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Robredo: Respect constitutional bodies like CHR, ombudsman

Vice President Leni Robredo called on Filipinos to rally behind the Commission on Human Rights and the Office of Ombudsman amid threats of President Rodrigo Duterte directed against them. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday called on Filipinos to respect constitutional institutions such as the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights amid criticisms hurled at these agencies.

Robredo, a human rights lawyer, noted that the 1987 Constitution ensures the perils of martial law would not happen again in the country through the creation of constitutional offices such as the CHR, Office of the Ombudsman, Civil Service Commission and Commission on Elections.

“Kailangang galangin ang kasarinlang iginagawad ng Konstitusyon sa mga opisinang ito upang kanilang magampanan ang tungkuling panatilihing malinis at tapat ang gobyerno,” Robredo said in a statement.

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Robredo called on Filipinos to rally behind these agencies, particularly the Office of the Ombudsman, amid the threats of President Rodrigo Duterte directed against them.

“Sa gitna ng mga kasalukuyang isyung kinakaharap ng mga constitutional offices, kailangan muli ang tibay ng loob ng bawat Pilipino. Sama-sama tayong manindigan para sa ating Saligang Batas at mga demokratikong institusyon, kabilang ang isang walang kinikilingang Ombudsman,” she said.

Duterte earlier threatened to form a commission that would investigate the supposed anomalies of the Office of the Ombudsman after the anti-graft agency announced that it was launching a fact-finding probe into the chief executive’s alleged clandestine wealth.

He then dared Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign with him.

READ: Duterte shuns ombudsman's probe, cries 'selective justice'

The president accused Morales of being involved in corruption and for employing “selective justice.”

Unfazed by the threats, the anti-corruption body vowed that it would proceed with the probe. 

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives voted during the plenary deliberations to give CHR a measly P1,000 budget for 2018 for allegedly not doing its job properly.

But the House leadership eventually decided to restore the budget of CHR by giving it P508.7 million. However, the 2018 budget is still lower than the proposed P600 million funding.

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