Press Release
September 11, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 594:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on the swift approval at the House Committee level of the President's intel funds


Where in the Constitution does it state that Congress cannot exercise its oversight function over the Intelligence Funds of the President? Why is the House of Representatives allowing this so-called tradition of "courtesy" to prevail over public scrutiny? Considering how bloated the budget is, all the more the President has to justify this amount.

This P4.5 billion budget of President Duterte for Confidential, Intelligence and Extraordinary (CIE) funds is already suspicious as it is. This is way too much for an office, which already has direct control over institutions that are mandated to gather information in relation to national security. There is no sense for an executive office to ask for the highest confidential and intelligence funding than any other security and law enforcement agency in the government.

The continuing attacks and fabricated accusations in the past three years against the opposition, myself included, casts a shadow of doubt on how the President would use this budget. For what it's worth, intel funds under President Duterte has only resulted in rubbish matrices, with the sole purpose of harassing or persecuting critics and dissenters.

Kailangan talaga siyasatin ng Kongreso kung bakit napakalaki ang hinihinging CIE funds ng Pangulo, lalo na at hindi basta-basta puwedeng ilabas ng Commission on Audit ang resulta ng pag-audit nito. Kailangan manaig ang interes ng maayos na paggugol sa budget, lalo na at ang bilyong-bilyong nais ng Pangulo ay maaaring abusuhin.

My fellow legislators, let us be reminded that our chambers hold the power of the purse. As we extend the necessary courtesies due our counterparts in the executive, we ought to remember that we also have the bounden duty to safeguard public interest against abusive and anomalous practices. We cannot just cite tradition on a whim that scrutinizing delicate funding, such as the CIE of the Office of the President, can be foregone, especially with the limiting accountability features for these budgets.

The failure to have the President justify these budgets is also the failure to respond to the clamor for accountability from the people. National interest and public trust are at stake here.

*Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 594 here:

News Latest News Feed