Press Release
August 23, 2016


Senator Grace Poe today said the government must ensure that those given monetary incentives are not themselves involved in the illegal drug trade, with P2.5 billion in intelligence and confidential funds at Malacañang's discretion to support its war against drugs and crime.

"Ang atin lang babantayan dito ay hindi dapat gamitin ng mga mismong kasangkot ang pabuya na 'yan na magtuturo sila ng mga kasamahan nila tapos sila ang makakatanggap ng reward," Poe said during the second Senate hearing on alleged extrajudicial killings.

"Tignan din natin kung ano talaga ang mga koneksyon ng mga kasangkot dito," the senator added in the light of two witnesses' testimony that scalawags in the police service are themselves the source of illegal drugs.

Poe said the mechanics for the use of such funds should be carefully looked into by the chamber once deliberations for the 2017 proposed General Appropriations Act reach the Senate.

Under the proposed P3.35 trillion national budget for 2017, the Office of the President has been allocated P1.25 billion in confidential expenses, from P250 million in the current budget. President Duterte's intelligence expenses will be P1.25 billion in 2017, up from P250 million this year.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier defended huge increases in the confidential and intelligence funds, saying the outlay is earmarked in the government's fight against illegal drugs.

A measure of transparency should be allowed and demanded in the use of intelligence funds, which are usually not audited and require only general certification on its use, added Poe.

PNP Director-General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, in answering Poe's queries, said the PNP has a separate reward system and confirmed that some policemen who became instrumental in the arrest of suspected drug suspects have been given rewards.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Bureau of Investigation also give monetary rewards to their operatives for successful drug operations.

The PNP has reported that there were 712 deaths during legitimate police operations and 1,067 deaths outside police operations or what they tagged as "deaths under investigation."

Poe is also looking at a "reasonable" increase in the maintenance expenses of police precincts in the country, with the current allocation pegged at a meager P1,000 per policeman.

The PNP Chief, in answering Poe's queries, said this was the "standard" being observed by the PNP in allocating maintenance expenses for each police precinct.

A total of P206.6 billion is contained in the proposed outlay for public order and safety, to support the Duterte administration's war against drugs and crime.

Specifically, the PNP has been allotted P110.4 billion for 2017, a 24.6-percent increase than this year's allocation for the police force, to hire more policemen, acquire more guns and patrol vehicles and finance other activities for more effective crime suppression.

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