We commend *those who stood up at the House of Representatives to signify their opposition to giving the Commission on Human Rights only a P1,000 budget.

We agree with the arguments of Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza against the motion of 1-Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta. To quote Rep. Atienza: The CHR “should not be abolished. It should be strengthened because of the times. We are now passing through a very narrow path: to lose our democracy or to gain and strengthen it. I say we should all defend our democracy dahil ito po ang ating ipamamana sa ating mga anak…Let it not be said that in the middle of the darkness of the night, everyone slept. This representation is awake and will defend democracy all the way.”

The 32 are awake, while the 119 who voted for the measly CHR budget may be unaware that their vote could help lead to the end of our democracy. Because their “yea” votes means they agree to having more Kians, Carls, and Kulots in the future, defenseless in life and in death, their killers unpunished. Their deaths will be on them too.

During the viva voce (live voice) voting, we note the louder “nay” votes, those who lent their voice to the poor and powerless whose human rights are being violated, whose lives are being taken with impunity and without due process.

This louder voice is a moral victory that should inspire all who value human rights to close ranks and unite against the massacre of our people and our democratic institutions.


*A review of the video and photographs of the count showed that 33, not 32, members of the House of Representatives stood up to signify their ”no” vote. But since it was a viva voce (live vote), no official records exist to show how those present voted.