Sen. Panfilo Lacson is not keen on slashing the President’s intelligence and confidential funds, after learning they are being used to augment the police and military’s own intelligence funds.
In an interview on ANC, Lacson said he initially planned to have President Rodrigo Duterte’s confidential and intelligence funds reduced for 2021, but decided not to after talking with people from the police, military, and intelligence community.
“Dini-distribute pala ni Pangulong Duterte sa kanila to augment their own intelligence funds. So after hearing that info, hindi ko na tinuloy ang plano ko to support the reduction of the presidential confidential and intel funds,” he said.
“So as long as it is put into good use and several military and police officers I talked to confirmed independently, hindi ko kinausap (as) isang grupo pare-pareho ang sagot, independently and informally, unofficially, I talked to them. Sarili kong initiative. And I found out uniform ang sagot nila: the President would always augment whatever intel funds they would need to accomplish their mission. So with that information di na ako kumibo sa P4.5B intelligence fund ng Pangulo,” he added.
Also, he noted the P16.4-billion funds for the government’s anti-insurgency program will be needed for development projects – particularly to barangays cleared of insurgency activities.
“What will happen to those communities affected by conflict, if we will just abandon them without developing them? The people there will be open to recruitment by the NPAs again. So that is the wisdom I see on why we should retain the P16.4 billion… It’s not about combat operations,” he said, adding it is the Interior Department that will vet the items to be funded.
Besides, he said majority of the senators are supportive of retaining the amount.