Lawyer urges VP Sara: Withdraw and reallocate confidential funds to other sectors | Inquirer News

Lawyer urges VP Sara: Withdraw and reallocate confidential funds to other sectors

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 03:05 PM September 10, 2023

Sara Duterte confirms requesting P125 million secret fund for OVP in 2022

Vice President Sara Duterte and the logo of the Office of the Vice President. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines — Former legislator Atty. Barry Gutierrez urged Vice President Sara Duterte on Sunday to voluntarily withdraw her request for confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) and instead reallocate them to other sectors.

Duterte’s request for CIF amounting to P500 million and P150 million for the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education, respectively, for 2024 was approved at the Senate subcommittee-level hearing on September 4.


In an interview with DZRH’s “Isyung Pambayan,” the former OVP spokesperson and aide to ex-VP Leni Robredo stressed that Duterte should proactively distribute CIF to meet more pressing needs.


“Dito sa confidential fund hindi mo na kailangan hintayin na kongreso mismo ang kumilos. Mismong si VP Sara, nakikita naman niya na may mga kwestyon dito, nakikita naman niya na may mga pangangailangan yung iba, pwedeng yung OVP mismo ang magrequest na wini-withdraw nila ang kanilang paghingi at Congress na lang ang maglilipat,” Gutierrez said, emphasizing that it would be better to initiate the withdrawal while it is still under deliberation.

(In line with the confidential fund, you don’t have to wait for the Congress to act on it. VP Sara herself sees that there are questions here and she actually sees that others have needs. The OVP itself can initiate to withdraw their request and Congress will then transfer it.)

Gutierrez added that the CIF can be redirected to the agriculture sector to help ease the impact of price ceilings on retailers.

“Yung pera pwedeng ipambayad sa kanila [retailers] para hindi naman sila malugi and at the same time mababa pa rin ang magiging benta ng bigas,” he said.

(The money can be paid to the retailers so that they will not lose money and at the same time the price of rice will still be low.)

He further stated that this move could even be commendable.


“In fact, tingin ko mapupuri pa ang ganitong klaseng hakbang,” he said.

(In fact, I think this kind of move is commendable.)

Last September 7, Gutierrez also called OVP’s admission of receiving P221.4 million worth of funds, of which P125 million is CIF, in December 2022 a violation of the constitution.

He cited that it was not included in that year’s General Appropriations Act.

“This is clear as day: this is a violation of the Constitution,” he said.

“What now? Are we to just move on from this,” he added.

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However, state Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin clarified that the release was authorized by the Office of the President in compliance with “Special Provision No. 1 under the 2022 Contingent Fund” which covered new and urgent activities for the office.


OVP confidential funds still illegal, constitutional violation – lawyer

Sara Duterte defends OVP’s 2022 confidential funds: ‘Nothing irregular’ about it

Dispute over Sara’s confidential funds heats up at House

TAGS: confidential and intelligence funds, Department of Education, OVP, Sara Duterte

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