Duterte suggests CHR budget can instead be used to buy cameras for policemen
President Rodrigo Duterte has said that if Congress would not restore the proposed budget of the Commission on Human Rights, the lawmakers could reallocate it for the equipment of the Philippine National Police.
Duterte made the proposal during his speech in Davao City as he also accused CHR chairperson Jose Luis Martin "Chito" Gascon of being a pedophile.
"If you don't want to restore the money to CHR, why don't you invest the money to buy equipment for police, all policemen in the Philippines," Duterte said.
He said the more than P600-million proposed budget for the CHR in 2018 can instead be used in procuring body cameras for all police officers in the country.
"Just don't invade the privacy of the soldiers and the policemen but you are free to embed and place cameras on the body of the law enforcers whenever they go out to operate," he added.
Some policemen were accused of executing some drug suspects during their operations.
Some quarters have suggested that the policemen should wear body cameras to capture their anti-drug operations.
Duterte reiterated that killings would not stop because "the Philippines is a narco-state already."
However, he clarified that when he vowed to kill anybody when he was still campaigning for the presidency, he was referring to the organized crime groups, particularly those involved in illegal drugs.
"I am referring not to teenagers without a sin. I'm referring to the organized crime, because shabu, it's really an organized crime," he said.
In the recent police operations, there were some teenagers who were allegedly executed by the policemen. One of them was 17-year old Kian delos Santos, who was killed in Caloocan City. The policemen allegedly involved in the rub out are now facing investigation.
The CHR has condemned the extrajudicial killings in the country, thus, earning Duterte's ire.
Duterte wondered why Gascon was so interested about the deaths of the teenagers.
"This Gascon, he's been (talking) for the past days about the teenagers, you're like a pedophile...why are you so fixated with the teenagers? I'm beginning to doubt you. Are you a gay or a pedophile?," he said.
The House of Representative, whose members are mostly allies of the administration, slashed the proposed budget of the CHR, as well as that of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples and the Energy Regulatory Commission, to P1,000, drawing criticisms from different groups.
The Senate has yet to deliberate on the House's approved proposed budget for next year. Ella Dionisio/DMS