Lawmakers betrayed Constitution, lawyers say


Posted at Sep 14 2017 11:42 PM

MANILA—A group of lawyers on Thursday urged the public to be critical of the budget process and reminded lawmakers that the budget they allot to government agencies comes from their constituents.

The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), in a statement, said those who reduced the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) budget to only P1,000 “betrayed the Constitution.”

“It is the duty of the Congress to serve the people’s interests, not those of a particular party or politician,” the statement read.

“The way Congress has allocated our money reflects its priorities, and demonstrates that it is indeed Government policy to violate the rights of all Filipinos, by preventing the sole agency tasked with protecting rights from fulfilling its mandate,” it added.

Former CHR Chairperson Loreta “Etta” Rosales on Wednesday said lawmakers don’t seem to know what they’re doing by reducing the commission’s budget.

"Ipaalam diyan sa mga 119 congressmen na ‘yan, you don’t seem to know what you are doing. You are actually violating the rights of the people, their protection of human dignity because you have reduced the budget to $20," she said.

The group also called on senators to restore the commission’s budget, several of whom vowed to return the proposed fund.

The House of Representatives reduced the commission's budget to P1,000 from P623.38 million following its criticisms of the Duterte administration's drug war.