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Give Robredo a portion of Duterte’s P4.5B intel funds, Lagman urges Congress

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Congress should “reduce” President Rodrigo Duterte’s P4.5-billion intelligence fund for 2020 and augment it instead to the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) being co-chaired by Vice President Leni Robredo.

Lagman explained that “there is no line item for the funding of the ICAD” under the House-approved General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

Lagman stressed that there is only a “measly amount of P15 million included in the miscellaneous and other operating expenses (MOOE) of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the ICAD.”

He noted that a huge portion of Duterte’s intelligence funds has been allocated under the National Expenditure Program (NEP) to finance covert operations of the government’s bloody campaign to eradicate the country’s drug mess.

The Albay solon warned that the inadequacy of funding support for ICAD “will imperil the success” of Robredo drive in leading the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

According to Lagman, the multi-million allocation to sustain the bloody war on illegal drugs and related intelligence outlays embedded in the proposed 2020 budget for the Philippine National Police (PNP) should also be specifically reallocated by the Senate or bicameral conference committee to ICAD.

Lagman said his proposed budget realignments will “support Robredo’s non-violent and innovative approaches to solve the drug menace“ as co-chair of the inter-agency task force.

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