MANILA, Philippines – Several controversies unfolded in the country the past week: the killing of 17-year-old Jemboy Baltazar by the Navotas City police, who mistook him for a suspect, and the unprecedented and contentious P150-million confidential fund of the Department of Education (DepEd).
Baltazar was shot last August 12. Forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun said that Baltazar could have been saved had he not been left in the water for almost five hours.
The six cops involved in his killing have been relieved from their posts and detained in Navotas City, while Baltazar’s family has filed a homicide complaint against them. Baltazar was laid to rest on Wednesday, August 16.
Meanwhile, the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2024 shows that the education department has again requested a P150-million confidential fund in its budget despite opposition from some lawmakers.
From having no confidential funds as far back as 2011, the DepEd is again requesting the funds for intelligence-gathering regarding “illicit recruitment” on campuses. Many education experts agreed that the P150 million could have been put to better use, such as teachers’ salaries and the purchase of textbooks and laptops.
In this latest episode of Newsbreak Chats, Rappler investigative head Chay Hofileña talks with multimedia reporter Jairo Bolledo, who has covered the Baltazar killing, and data journalist Gemma Mendoza and researcher-writer Jezreel Ines, who have been scrutinizing the budget, particularly confidential and intelligence funds.
Watch Newsbreak Chats on Thursday, August 17, at 4 pm. – Rappler.com