The Congress of the Philippines was just drafting a budget proposal for 2018. In the history of politics, the members of the Congress voted for Php 1,000 or ($20 USD) for the 2018 budget allocated to the Office of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). There are at least 119 who voted for yes while 32 members of the congress voted for no. President Rodrigo Duterte indicated that the decision is not yet final as he is the last person to approve the bill. The members of the Senate vows to nullify the recent decision and will return the proposed budget of more than Php 700 million ($14 million USD).

The Commission of Human Rights head Chito Gascon became teary eyed when the budget allocated for his department is only Php 1,000 for the whole year of 2018. He never imagined that this particular scenario would do to his department. Gascon is deeply frustrated and disappointed with the decision. However, he still vows to move on from the case and will resort to alternative sources of funds to continue the advocacy of the human rights of the Philippines. Even though his commission is only allocated with such amount, he still remains optimistic to continue the vision of the Commission of Human Rights.
Human Rights Commissioner Chito Gascon
Officially known as Jose Louis Martin C. Gaston, he is the current head of the Commission of Human Rights, which is an independent governing body connected to the Philippine government. The purpose is to defend the rights of individuals or groups abused by corrupt members of the authorities. The commission serves as a mirror towards the Philippine government.

Chito Gascon was criticized by the President of the Philippines for outspokenly discrediting his mission to neutralize users and regulators of prohibited narcotics. In every spat of executions across the country, Gascon has been interviewed by the members of the media and always indicated that the reign of governance against negative elements of the law is a concern for the safety of the society. Chito is concerned that innocent individuals blamed for the outbreak of vigilante rampage of unidentified perpetrators of executions across the country.

The actions of the Commission of Human Rights has been generating an international attention to western countries. Condemning President Duterte's vision on his rampage against the circulation of prohibited substances across the country. The Philippine president's image has been tarnished by the opposition groups due to conflicting interests with human rights groups. Despite from the allegations and controversies, President Duterte is still reconsidering the budget to be revised because he is a bonafide follower of the Philippine Constitution and may still have the last stance with the final budget of the Commission of Human Rights agency.

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5 Facts about Chito Gascon

1. Head of the CHR: He was appointed as the head of the Commissioner of Human Rights in 2015 by former president Benigno Aquino III before ending his term. Gascon's term will end on 2022 and is expected to be appointed by either President Duterte or the next elected president of the Republic of the Philippines. Chito succeeded former CHR commissioner and now detained Philippine Senator Leila Delima.

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2. CHR budget issue: Many supporters of the president agreed that the Congress just made the right decision to allocate only Php 1,000 for the CHR. Many believe that the CHR should respect the decisions and policies of the president as he is currently cleansing the government from widespread corruption allegations of officials linked to prohibited substance trade. There are some who are even requesting to abolish the CHR due to their interference with the president's advocacies.

3. Outspoken human rights activist: Gascon played a role for condemning abusive authorities against their treatment towards suspected criminals. The sudden rise of executions by the authorities against reported suspected members of drug cartel has been gunned down without proper due process by vigilantes. As a human rights advocate, Gascon gained international attention to foreign human rights activists, further angering Rodrigo Duterte and his administration.

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4. He is a lawyer: Chito Gascon took a Bachelors of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman. He finished his laws degrees in 1995. He then took the Bar examination and was eventually admitted as a new member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in 1996. Gascon further elevated his academic and professional degree by obtaining a Master of Law Degree, specializing in the law of peace, settlement of international disputes, and human rights in the University of Cambridge.

5. Alliance with the Aquino: Gascon was a known supporter of the Aquino clan. His interest in human rights became a serious issue when he was involved with the opposition groups who were fighting the rights of the abused victims of Martial Law. Together with Leila Delima, Antonio Trillanes, and Risa Hontiveros, Chito Gascon is a known outspoken opposition member against the current political administration of the Philippines.

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