Gomez defends House leadership after stripping Sara of funds

Gomez defends House leadership after stripping Sara of funds

Gomez defends House leadership after stripping Sara of funds

Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez. FILE PHOTO

ORMOC CITY — Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez has joined his colleagues at the House of Representatives in defending Speaker Martin Romualdez amid controversies after scrapping the confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) of different government offices, particularly the Office of Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd).

Gomez said the Lower House led by Romualdez of Leyte’s first congressional district was just doing its job when it scrapped the CIF of Vice President Sara Duterte who is also the education secretary.


“(I) support him (Romualdez) because he is our Speaker. (He is the) head of our institution. We cannot back out on our Speaker,” the actor-turned-politician said.


READ: OVP budget sponsor standing by Romualdez amid attacks vs House

Gomez explained that as congressmen, they have the power to ask every agency of the government about their proposed annual budget and how they would spend it.

“That’s the procedure. If there is a budget session, we (congressmen) would really ask where the budget would go, why you are asking for extra funds, and how you would spend it,” he said.

If Congress is satisfied with the answer, the legislators would approve it, he said.

Gomez, who is the House deputy majority floor leader, also said that he did not believe that the decision to scrap the CIF of Duterte’s two offices has something to do with politics.

READ: Secret fund issue a preview of 2028 clash? House just doing its job

There were rumors that Romualdez was running for president against Duterte in the 2028 elections.

“The next general election is still far away. I don’t think it’s due to political reasons. The thing is, Congress just (demanded) for the sole purpose of the confidential and intelligence funds,” Gomez said.


“It’s too early to tell. We’re just about to hold the barangay elections,” he added.

The House recently stripped Duterte of P650 million in confidential funds for both the OVP and DepEd.

Gomez played down the rant of former president Rodrigo Duterte against Romualdez and Congress as a result of the scrapping of the CIF of his daughter.

READ: Romualdez: Confidential funds should be used for peace by best-suited …

“Alam mo naman si (former) Presidente, ganun lang naman siya magsalita. (You know the former President. He really speaks like that),” he said.

The former president spoke ill of the lower chamber in a radio interview last week, defending his daughter Sara who refused to explain where her P125-million intelligence funds in 2022 went, after the House leadership realigned P650 million of her confidential funds.

Gomez, however, admitted that when he was the mayor of Ormoc, he also had his own CIF in the amount of P6 million a year.

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He said he made use of his CIF in the fight against illegal drugs and the anti-insurgency program.

TAGS: confidential funds, House, Richard Gomez, Sara Duterte

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