Senate defers CHR’s budget deliberation due to previous position on abortion

(CNN PH) Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 14) — The Senate on Tuesday suspended deliberation on the proposed 2024 budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) due to its previous position on decriminalizing abortion.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who sponsored the budget of the CHR, made a motion to defer the plenary debate “until, otherwise, this commission gives a stand with regard to abortion.”

“If they continue to espouse the decriminalization of abortion or support abortion per se, I’m sorry I will be unable to defend this budget,” he added.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who also stated his opposition to decriminalizing abortion, approved the motion.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano made an inquiry on a previous statement made by the CHR which he said was given in an international forum.

The CHR clarified, through Estrada as its budget sponsor, that it was the position of the fifth commission, which was in office from 2015 to 2022, and that the present body has yet to discuss its official stand regarding the matter.

Filipinos are predominantly Roman Catholic, a religion that has consistently condemned abortion.

Senators have also argued that the right to life is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

This story will be updated.