Release of P125M confidential funds to OVP illegal – Castro

Release of P125M confidential funds to OVP illegal, unconstitutional – Castro

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 05:22 PM May 29, 2024

VP Sara Duterte accused of spending P125 million in funds in 19 days

Vice President Sara Duterte and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro (File photos)

MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro reiterated on Wednesday that the release of P125 million confidential funds to the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in 2022 was “illegal, unconstitutional” and it has caused “real damage.”

Castro was among the persons who filed petitions at the Supreme Court, along with Makabayan Bloc lawmakers who questioned the legality of the funds.


According to the Commission on Audit (COA), the funds were spent within an 11-day period.


READ: Sara asks SC to dismiss petitions vs P125-M OVP confidential funds

“This illegal and unconstitutional transfer of P125 million to the Office of the Vice President for confidential funds violated all rules on the proper use of such funds,” Castro said in a statement.

“It represents a massive redirection of public resources away from essential services and towards opaque purposes with no accountability,” she noted.

“It is a glaring example of bureaucrat capitalism and should be stopped,” she added.

Other petitioners were Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas, Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel and Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares.

Castro’s statement was released a day after VP and Education Secretary Sara Duterte asked the SC, through her legal counsel, to dismiss the petitions.


Citing Duterte’s consolidated comment, Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza said that the petitioners “simply made a blanket allegation that they are taxpayers or concerned citizens.”

“The petitions are mere apprehension and speculation about contingent funds or confidential funds, which does not constitute a justiciable controversy,” her comment also said.

For her part, Castro said no confidential funds were allocated for civilian agencies such as OVP.

She stressed that “there was no congressional authorization for the OVP to receive and spend P125 million in confidential funds, in clear violation of our laws.”

“This case goes beyond just theoretical arguments about budget rules. Real public money that could have helped struggling Filipinos was instead funneled into a legal gray area with zero transparency,” she said.

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“The people deserve to know where their money went,” Castro asserted.


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