Duterte drugs war sparks agency funding tiff

World | 14 Sep 2017

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's critics and allies in the Senate vowed yesterday to block a lower-house move to slash the annual budget of a public- funded human rights agency opposed to his bloody war on drugs to just US$20.

The house, dominated by Duterte's supporters, voted on Tuesday to allocate a 2018 budget of just 1,000 pesos (HK$440) to the Commission on Human Rights, which has investigated hundreds of killings during the president's anti-narcotics crackdown. Vice President Leni Robredo said the lawmakers' move effectively abolishes the commission, a constitutional body.

Critics say the lawmakers are trying to retaliate against the commission for pursuing allegations of executions by police during sting operations, which police deny.

The upper house minority bloc will seek to restore the 678-million-peso budget the government proposed for the commission.


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