'Millennial' people power helped refund CHR, says Liberal Party

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2017 06:45 PM

Commision on Huma Rights Chairman Chito Gascon during the CHR 30th anniversary in Diliman, Quezon City. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Liberal Party on Thursday credited a "millennial version" of People Power for the restoration of the Commission on Human Rights' budget for 2018.

Congressmen voted last week to slash to P1,000 the proposed P623.38 million budget of CHR, which has clashed with President Rodrigo Duterte over the killings under his anti-narcotics drive. 

House leaders promised Wednesday to restore CHR's funding after thousands of social media users badgered their representatives to explain their vote while urging senators to fight the budget cut, LP noted. 

Various organizations also decried the budget slash while some senators vowed to correct the appropriation, the party said. 

"All these combined pressured the Lower House to restore the budget of the CHR," LP said. 

"This is how democracy works. This is People Power, millennial version in the age of social media. This is our, the people's, victory."

CHR's budget breakthrough came after agency head Chito Gascon met with House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Karlo Nograles. 

During the meeting, Gascon agreed to expand CHR investigations to human rights violations allegedly committed by crime syndicates, and not just those by state agents, Nograles said. 

Nograles said his panel also endorsed the restoration of the proposed allocations for the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), whose budgets were also reduced to P1,000. 

The original allocations would be incorporated in the final version of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) which will be tackled by the House plenary, Nograles said.