MANILA- Support President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war or resign.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III made this statement Wednesday following the recent decision of the House of Representatives to slash the Commission on Human Rights budget to P1,000.
Sotto said CHR Chairman Chito Gascon's fierce criticism of the government's anti-narcotics campaign led to the lawmakers' decision to cut the commission's budget.
"Ang kasabihan goes: If you work for an institution or you're with an institution, speak well of it. Otherwise, resign then d*mn it. Ganun dapat," he told reporters.
"Stop hitting the war on drugs. Go for the incidents. 'Wag mong bintangan 'yung umbrella ng Presidente dahil policy ng Presidente 'yun eh. Kung gusto mo, mag-Presidente ka eh, palitan mo 'yung policy," he added.
Gascon earlier rejected calls for him to resign, saying life goes on for the commission as the budget bill still has to go through the Senate and the bicameral conference committee before final approval.
Several senators have vowed to fight to restore the commission's budget.
"The commission will continue to operate so long as the Constitution operates. Despite this defeat in the House, we look forward to defending our budget in the Senate and we hope that reason...will prevail both at the Senate as well as in the bicameral conference committee," he said.
Sotto said he thinks Gascon may have gone too far with his criticism of the government, affecting lawmakers' views of the commission as a whole.
He explained that if Gascon wants to criticize the administration, he should first leave his post before condemning its leaders and policies.
"Ako nga, ang simple lang ng sinasabi ko, kasi naman dapat naman kasi, kung ikaw nagtratrabaho ka sa isang government, hindi mo gusto 'yung mga polisiya nung namumuno, eh 'di umalis ka, at saka mo siya pintasan," he said.
"Siguro naman dapat mag isip-isip na si Chairman (Gascon) na siya ang nagiging balakid dun sa entire commission," he said. --with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News