Even Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana believes the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) should stay in the government “for checks and balances.”
Lorenzana expressed objection to the House lawmakers’ move to give the CHR a measly P1,000 budget, which in effect would lead to abolishing the agency.
“CHR is a constitutional body eh. Gawa ng batas ‘yan, constitution ‘yan (The law created it, it’s constitutional). The people there can’t be removed. It has the right to be funded,” he said in an ambush interview at the Senate on Thursday.
Lorenzana said the mere existence of the CHR keeps the police and military cautious in their actions.
“For one it keeps government officials, especially the military and police, na ingat sila sa ginagawa nila (they have to be cautious with their actions), because anything that they will do ay liable sila sa (they will be liable for) human rights violation. For check and balance,” he said.
The Defense chief also said that the military enjoys a good working relationship with the CHR.
“Kung titignan mo record namin for the past couple of years, very few lang ang human rights violation sa amin sa military (If you look at our record for the past couple of years, you would see very few human rights violations in the military),” he said.
Lorenzana, a former Army Major General, then recalled his days in the field as a commander. He said he had a “healthy relationship” with the CHR in the province.
“Iniimbita ko ‘yan noon para mag-lecture [about] because people should be taught what is human rights sa constitution. Mayroon na nga tayong mga human rights sa units eh—we have a human rights representative in every unit of the AFP down to the company and battalion na sila naglelecture ng mga tao on human rights,” he said.
(I would invite them before for lectures because people should be taught what human rights is in the constitution. We have a human rights representative in every unit of the AFP down to the company and battalion and they are the ones lecturing about human rights.) /idl
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