Philippines awards Human Rights Commission a budget
Don’t go spending that all in one place.
Tasked with investigating the thousands of people who have been murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte began his war on drugs, the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights now has another daunting challenge: a budget of just $20.
The commission had initially requested $34 million for 2018 only to be awarded the massive reduction Tuesday by lawmakers, the BBC reports.
The cut from 2017’s budget of $15 million was approved by a margin of 119 to 32 in Congress.
People rallied outside the Philippine National Police headquarters to protest the killing by police of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, a 17-year-old student, Wednesday, Aug. 23, in Manila, Philippines.
In total, over 3,500 people have been killed since last June in anti-drug operations.
Calling out Duterte’s many supporters in Congress, Congressman Edcel Lagman said his colleagues were “virtually imposing the death penalty on a constitutionally created and mandated independent office.”
Although the Commission is largely viewed as a critic of the president, Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez suggested it suffers from corruption.
Duterte gives a pep talk to troops fighting the extremist Maute group in Marawi, Philippines, on Aug. 24.
“If you want to protect the rights of criminals, get your budget from the criminals,” said Alvarez.
The motion now moves onto the Senate, where it is also expected to pass.
Meanwhile, the interior ministry proposed late last month to increase the police budget for anti-narcotics operations to $17.58 million, an increase of 4,400 percent.