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Gascon resignation could save CHR budget – solon

By: Ellson Quismoro and Hannah Torregoza

A ranking supermajority solon in House of the Representatives (HOR) suggested yesterday a possible way out for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to escape its budget conundrum for 2018.

According to Surigao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Johnny Pimentel, CHR Chairman Chito Gascon could spare the agency of its P1,000 budget for next year if he steps down for his post.

“If he will resign, he could save the budget of the CHR,” he said in a text message.

Pimentel chairs the House Committee Good Government and Public Accountability.

A day earlier, House members approved via voice vote (ayes vs. nayes) the paltry P1,000 budget for CHR that was suggested by 1-SAGIP Rep. Rodante Marcoleta on the floor during the final day of debates on the proposed P3.767-trillion budget.

Meanwhile, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III yesterday said the Senate has no qualms granting the CHR its desired budget of P678-million.

“Basta sa Senado, the CHR deserves more than a thousand and here they have more than P600-million,” Pimentel told reporters in an interview before the session.

The Senate leader, however, agreed with Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon’s belief a deadlock in the deliberations of the proposed 2018 national budget if the Lower House insists on giving the CHR a meager budget.

Pimentel acknowledged that President Rodrigo Duterte has the last say in the budget of the CHR as stipulated under the Constitution.