Duterte orders DILG ‘audit’ of mayors’ intel funds

Rambo Talabong
The Department of the Interior and Local Government is set to audit the confidential and intelligence funds of mayors to check how they have used this to fight crime in their areas

AUDIT ORDERED. President Duterte asks DILG to look into the spending of intelligence and confidential funds by local chief executivesa. Malacañang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Dismayed that 1.5 million Filipino families fall victim to crime, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to “audit” the intelligence funds of local officials, with a focus on mayors.

DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año shared this in a radio interview on Wednesday, June 27.

Pinapa-audit din sa akin ng Pangulo ‘yung mga confidential funds ng local government officials, particularly the mayors para mabusisi kung saan ginagastos ng ating mga officials ang intelligence funds,” Año said.

(The President ordered me to audit the confidential funds of officials, particularly the mayor,  to scrutinize how intelligence funds are being spent.)

Año said the task will be carried out with the Commission on Audit as the funds are difficult to audit

The DILG will do the audit alongside another audit on the performance of local chief executives in fighting crime, triggered by the results of a Social Weather Stations survey held in March that showed that 1.5 million families reported falling victim to common crimes.

Duterte had anchored his presidential campaign on an anti-crime platform. During the campaign, he promised to end crime, as well as the drug menace, within 6 months of this term. (READ: Two years of Duterte: Broken and fulfilled promises)

In 2015, the Commission on Audit signed a memorandum circular with the with Department of Budget and Management, DILG, Department of National Defense, and the Governance Commission for GOCCs, on setting more transparent rules for the use of confidential and intelligence funds.

Under the joint circular, the funds could only be spent on crime prevention expenditures like payment of informants, maintenance of safehouses, and espionage.

Duterte himself has confidential and intelligence funds, notably multiple times bigger than that of his predecessors. (READ: Are Duterte’s multi-million-peso intel funds achieving their purpose?– Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.