Rights agency to get $20 budget

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The speaker of the house of representatives, Pantaleon Alvarez. Wiki Commons CC0

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine lawmakers allied with President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday voted to allocate an annual budget of just 1,000 pesos ($19.66) to the Commission on Human Rights, a public body investigating Mr Duterte’s bloody war on drugs. The rights agency deserved a low budget for being a “useless” body and defending criminals’ rights, the speaker of the house of representatives, Pantaleon Alvarez, said in a television interview. “If you want to protect the rights of criminals, get your budget from the criminals,” he said. “It’s that simple. Why should you get budget from the government and yet you are not doing your job?” The motion still requires another reading and Senate approval.Manila also plans a cut of 75 percent in spending next year on drug rehab facilities, while at the same time seeking a massive hike in funding for a war on drugs that has killed thousands.

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