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UN review: Philippines vowed to increase CHR budget

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano speaks next to the head of the Philippine delegation, Menardo Guevarra, during the universal periodic review by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN office in Geneva yesterday. AFP/File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Increasing the budget of the Commission on Human Rights was part of the Duterte administration's Human Rights Action Plan for the next five years.

The decision of the House of Representatives directly contradicts the promise of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano before the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights last May 8.

On Tuesday, 119 members of the House voted to give the CHR a measly budget of P1,000 for 2018.

RELATED: Who moved to give the CHR a budget of P1,000?

During the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the UN body last May, Cayetano reported the administration's drafting of the human rights action plan.

"Included was a promise to continually augment the CHR's budget, citing last year's increase from P439 million to P724 million, as a way to show that this administration supports human rights programs and initiatives," the CHR said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

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During the UPR, Cayetano highlighted the Duterte administration's effort to augment the CHR budget, which is the highest since 2005.

The Foreign Affairs secretary insisted that there are no state-sponsored killings in the country as part of the so-called war on drugs.

About 45 members of the UN Human Rights Council called on the Philippines to end extrajudicial killings and withdraw the planned revival of the death penalty.

Later this month, the Philippines is expected to announce which of the recommendations of the UPR working group it will receive or reject in relation to its human rights obligations.

RELATED: Senators promise to fight to restore CHR budget

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