Senate to conduct probe on intelligence funds of government agencies

Maris Federez

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate is set to conduct an investigation on the intelligence funds of several government agencies.

The Senate will be reinstalling an oversight committee to launch the investigation.

This is amid the controversy in the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which was revealed following the resignation of USec. Eliseo Rio.

Rio alleged that there was an irregularity in the use of the agency’s confidential funds.

Senator Panfilo Lacson who will chair the said committee clarified, however, that the investigation is not directly because of the said allegation.

“Si Senator Honasan, I’m sure, he is more than willing to air his side, because these are insinuations and gusto niya ring makita o malaman, ano ba talaga ‘yung puno’t dulo nung mga allegations na ibinabato sa kanya,” Lacson said.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri assured that the hearing will be fair despite being close to the DICT head.

“No one is above the law, alam namin na malapit sa amin si Senator Honasan. What we can do is to fast track the approval of this committee para sa ganoon ay mabigyan po siya ng venue para maisagot ‘yung mga katanungan kung mayroon mang mismanagement of funds,” Zubiri said.

Zubiri added that they would still have to look into the funds of the Office of the President which has the highest intelligence fund in the 2020 national budget amounting to Php 4.5-Billion.

The investigation will also delve into the intelligence funds of the local government units.

The Commission on Audit will also be invited to the hearing.

The Senate targets to have the resolution creating the oversight committee approved by next week. — (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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