By Wilnard Bacelonia
MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday urged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to issue a “strong” statement against abortion before the Senate will reconsider approving the Commission’s 2024 proposed budget.
The CHR’s PHP934-million budget for next year was deferred during plenary debates on Tuesday after a previous statement by CHR Executive Director Jacqueline Ann de Guia supporting the decriminalization of abortion was brought up by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
In an interview, Estrada, who sponsored the budget, said de Guia can resign or the Commission should issue the needed statement.
“They have to rectify their mistake. They have to rectify what they’ve said before kasi (because) let’s face it, abortion syempre ayaw yan ng (of course is frowned upon by the) Catholic church, and even some religious denominations, ayaw ng (don’t like) abortion. Not only it is against the teachings of the church, it is against our laws,” Estrada said.
He said that even if de Guia made the statement years ago, she is still connected to the CHR and cannot in any way issue a personal view especially that she was the spokesperson of the office when the statement was made.
Estrada said since the budget deferment, he has been waiting for the CHR to reach out to his office.
“Mape-pending at mape-pending (It will continuously be pending). I’ve browsed the schedule of budget deliberations. Wala namang nakalagay na CHR dun. So, bahala sila (There is no CHR listed there. So, it’s up to them),” he said.
During his discussions with the CHR before the plenary debates, Estrada said no one mentioned anything about the previous statement of de Guia and he thanked Cayetano for bringing it up.
“Kung hindi, hindi ko malalaman. Hindi natin malalaman na meron palang isang ahensya ng gobyerno natin na nage-espouse ng (If not, I will never know. We will never know that there is a government agency that espouses) abortion,” Estrada said.
Aside from Estrada and Cayetano, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senate Majority Joel Villanueva also voiced out their opposition against abortion. (PNA)