With more than 7,000 dead in the “war on drugs”, Philippines approves $20 USD budget for Human Rights Commission in 2018



Aidan Quinn | Editor In Chief

The Philippine House of Representatives has caused alarm internationally following its announcement that the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will be funded by 1000 Peso ($20 USD) in 2018, instead of the 649 million Peso (approximately $12.7 million USD) requested.

While the original budget request was initially passed in the Senate, the funding was blocked and revised in the House of Representatives. The CHR is a constitutional body formed in 1987 tasked with keeping the government accountable for human rights abuses. This has brought it into conflict with Philippine President Robert Duterte, whose controversial “Drug War”, which has allowed law enforcement as well as vigilantes to kill drug users and suppliers without consequence.

The Brief:

  • The Philippine House of Representatives has voted 119 – 32 in favour of funding the Commission on Human Rights 1000 Peso ($19.6 USD) for its 2018 budget.
  • This budget is a rejection of the 649,484,000 Peso ($12.7 million USD) budget initially approved earlier in the day by the Senate.
  • The revised budget will now be forwarded to the Senate for deliberations.
  • The CHR has been the target of anger by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose authorisation of extra-judicial killings by police of drug users and suppliers has caused alarm abroad.

“If I make it to the presidential palace, I will do just what I did as mayor. All of you who are into drugs, you sons of bitches, I will really kill you. I have no patience, I have no middle ground, either you kill me or I will kill you idiots” – President Roberto Duterte during a campaign rally 

The exact number of dead killed by law enforcement and vigilantes is unknown. Human Rights Watch has called the drug war a “calamity”, emphasising the murky legality of the killings as an erosion on due process and Human Rights in general.

The numbers:

Security forces and vigilantes have killed “at least 7,000” people.

A reported 1,308,078 “drug suspects”  have surrendered to authorities.

More to come.

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