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The No Vote of Congressman Rene Relampagos
« on: October 04, 2017, 06:15:52 PM »
PRESS STATEMENT
Congressman RENE L. RELAMPAGOS
First District, Province of Bohol
14 September 2017

Rep. Rene L. Relampagos a No Vote

Bohol First District Representative Rene L. Relampagos, contrary to fake news, did not vote “yes” to the Php 1,000 budget of the Commission on Human Rights.

“This would be the height of irony for me having been the chairman of the House Committee on Human Rights during the 15th Congress and for having filed bills promoting human rights including the strengthening of the Commission through the proposed CHR Charter. This proposed charter I filed since the 15th Congress,” he explained.

“It was the last, and seventh, day of the budget hearings. The CHR budget was discussed last. I was not in the plenary when the voting happened. I was not able to vote.”

Regular plenary sessions at Congress start at 4:00 in the afternoon onwards. During budget deliberations, however, plenary sessions start at 10:00 in the morning onwards. At times, budget deliberations end at 2:00, even 3:00, in the morning.

“For a day, there are agencies on agenda. CHR was actually first on agenda for the September 6, 2017 plenary deliberations but they were called around 7:00 in the evening. Then they were made to go back 9:30 the following morning. On September 7, 2017, they came before 10:00 am but they were called around 7:00 pm. Again, they were told to come back Tuesday.”

“On Tuesday, Typhoon Maring caused the suspension of classes in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.  Malacanang also declared ‘no work’ for government employees. However, we were told to finish the budget. Hence, representatives and employees of the House braved the weather including all agencies that were left for deliberation. CHR was there as early as 10:00 am,” he narrated.

“You have to understand that we cannot sit the whole time, all the time, at the plenary. We sometimes have pocket meetings and appointments. We also have office matters to attend to. We were advised that budget voting will be at 7:00 pm. CHR voting came earlier and it was fast. Unfortunately, I was not there inside the plenary when it happened,” he explained.

Voting was 119 in favor, 32 against. There were 143 members who were not able to cast their votes.

“I recognize the importance of CHR as a constitutional body.  I was among those who moved for the passage of the anti-torture law, anti-enforced disappearance law and other important human rights measures. Again, how can I move for the strengthening of the CHR through my proposed CHR charter and yet give it no budget? That’s ironic,” Rep. Relampagos stressed.
 
“The budget season is not over yet. It’s not even halfway done. It would be premature to discuss some constitutional and legal issues at this time. If at all, this has forced a discourse on human rights and this is good. People are now talking about it,” he concluded.

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Re: The No Vote of Congressman Rene Relampagos
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 08:00:34 PM »

this is reassuring.
Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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