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MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros joined Tuesday, September 26, those asking Vice President Sara Duterte to explain how did her office use up its P125 million in confidential funds (CF) in just 11 days.
“Anong uri na naman ng magic ang ginamit nila para ubusin ang P125 million sa loob ng 11 araw? Hindi na lang ‘yan spending spree. ‘Yan ay paglapastangan sa mamamayan. Napakagaspang. P11 million kada araw? Daig pa ang may patagong credit card sa national budget. Hindi niyo pera yan!” Hontiveros said in a message to reporters on Tuesday.
(What kind of magic did they do to wipe out P125 million in just 11 days. That’s not just spending free. That’s an insult to the public. That’s shameless. That’s 11 million each day? It’s like she had a secret credit card charged to the national budget. That’s not your money!)
Hontiveros stressed that CF can only be used for surveillance activities of civilian agencies. She compared the OVP’s spending spree using its CF, to how the Philippine Coast Guard manages it own meager CF.
“‘Yung ating Coast Guard sa West Philippine Sea, araw-araw binabantayan ang sumpong ng China. 17 years pinagkasya ang P117 million na confidential funds. Ang OVP, hindi man lang umabot sa dalawang linggo,” she said.
(Our Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea monitors the Chinese activities every day. It spent P117 million in confidential funds for 17 years. Meanwhile, it even didn’t take the OVP to spend P125 million in two weeks.)
At a House hearing on the 2024 proposed budget, it was bared that the OVP, under Duterte’s leadership, spent the controversial P125 million in CF, which budget experts said “unconstitutionally” obtained, in just 11 days.
“What can VP Sara show for it? Nagmass hiring ba ang OVP ng libo-libong informant sa loob lang ng 11 na araw? Nagpatayo ba sila ng daan-daang safehouse sa loob lamang ng 11 na araw? (Did the OVP mass hire thousands of informants in just 11 days? Did they build hundreds of safe houses in 11 days?),” Hontiveros asked.
It was in early July that the Commission on Audit report on the OVP was released, and up until now there has been no clear explanation from Duterte how her office used the P125 million in CF. What she told the public was that the confidential funds were used for “safe, secure, and successful implementations of the programs and projects and activities of the OVP.”
“Saan ninyo dinala ang pera? Naghihintay ng resibo ang buong Pilipinas,” (Where did you spend the money? The Philippines is waiting for receipt),” Hontiveros told Duterte. – Rappler.com