By Chito Chavez
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) brushed off accusations that the body is running against the anti-illegal drug war of the Duterte administration maintaining that it has been only exercising its lawful mandate.
CHR Commissioner Karen Dumpit said that the commission is empowered by the Constitution to investigate human rights violations, denying in the process that the CHR was accused of only protecting the rights of drug suspects, and not the police and military officers killed in line of duty.
Citing the difference in the duties of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the CHR, Dumpit suggested that critics should closely examine the Constitution including the commission’s mandate, clarifying that the investigation of human rights abuses is far different from a criminal probe.
She stressed that the mandate of the PNP is to investigate crime-related violations citing the public’s need to understand the distinguishing tasks of the CHR and the PNP as the commission focuses on human rights abuses of people in government service.
The CHR, after receiving a measly P1,000 budget from Congress on Tuesday, plans to plead its case as it plans to troop to the House of Representatives to seek for reconsideration.
Despite being distraught by the budget allocation, the CHR expressed gratitude to the 32 congressmen who opposed and rejected the huge budget cut.
Dumpit noted that the huge support from the netizens who opposed the P1,000 allocation from the previous P678 budget is “a testament that the public values human rights.”
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