Press Release
September 13, 2017


"May pera sa fake news pero wala sa karapatang pantao?"

This was the statement issued today by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros after over 100 members of the House of Representatives voted for a P1,000-budget for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in 2018.

"Ito ay lubhang nakakalungkot at nakakabahala. Sa kabila ng kaliwa't kanang patayan, ito pa ang gagawin ng ating Kongreso," Hontiveros said.

"It seems that this government is willing to use taxpayer's money to reward lies and incompetence rather than allow a Constitutionally-created body to fulfill its mandate to protect the human rights of Filipinos," Hontiveros added.

It was reported that the budget of the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) is P1.35 B. The office has repeatedly failed to shore up public confidence in it due to its numerous errors in basic reporting.

In May of this year, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) ran a story saying that 95 countries were convinced that there were no extrajudicial killings in the country. The claim was immediately contradicted by the United Nations Periodic Review.

In the same month, a photo depicting Vietnamese soldiers was used to show Philippine soldiers fighting in Marawi. It was also later revealed that the same photo was sourced from Wikimedia commons.

Last August, the government's news agency posted an article calling the historic ruling won by the Philippines against China an "ill-founded award."

Hontiveros said that the House of Representatives' move to cut the CHR budget to just P1,000 for next year is a shameless rejection of the country's international and national commitments to champion human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "Is the Duterte government associating itself now with anti-human rights regimes?" She asked.

"I call on my fellow senators to correct these terrible wrongs. The Senate must defend the people's human rights and ensure that the government lives up to its international commitments," Hontiveros ended.

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