Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III has confirmed the veracity of Politiko’s report about his stand on the restoration of Vice President Sara Duterte’s P625-million confidential fund.
During Tuesday’s (November 7) session, Pimentel said Politiko correctly reported that he supports the removal of the confidential funds lodged in the Duterte-led Office of the Vice President and Department of Education under the proposed P5.768-trillion national budget.
“Disappointed nga ako sa report eh kasi ang sabi doon against ako sa restoration ng confidential fund ng Office of the Vice President. Tama yun pero kulang,” Pimentel, an abogado, quipped.
He said Politiko’s report should be updated to include his stand that the Office of the President should also be stripped off its confidential and intelligence funds, totaling P4.5 billion.
“Kasi the Office of the President is a civilian office, not an armed agency and not a uniformed agency,” Pimentel explained.
Aside from Pimentel, Politiko reported that Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Escudero, Raffy Tulfo and Sonny Angara were reportedly opposed to restoring Duterte’s confidential fund when lawmakers met in a caucus Monday (November 6).
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, meanwhile, said Pimentel’s disclosure didn’t violate confidentiality rules regarding caucuses.
“You’re not violating the rules because you’re divulging your own position,” he said.
Senators Ronald Dela Rosa and Jinggoy Estrada, who reportedly want Duterte to have her confidential funds back, were aghast at Politiko’s report. They have called for an investigation about the source of the supposed leak.