Brillantes disputes Lagman’s allegation on Comelec intelligence fund anomaly
MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Wednesday denied the allegation of former commissioner Augusto Lagman that the poll body’s intelligence funds were riddled with anomalies.
“If he wants to say something about it, it’s OK. But these are all documented,” Brillantes told reporters in an ambush interview.
“I have intelligence funds, in fact the intelligence funds [for all commissioners] are in my name, I just give it to them,” he said.
Lagman issued a statement in response to Brillantes’ allegation that he had done nothing while he was in the Comelec. Lagman enumerated his accomplishments in the statement and also claimed that he was given P1.25 million as intelligence funds in 2011.
He later said that in 2012, he was being made to sign a liquidation document by the director of the finance department for the intelligence fund even though he had not spent it.
“Somebody from Finance asked me to sign a document (just one sheet) that would liquidate the fund. The document basically said that I spent the amount on a variety of activities, none of which I actually did,” Lagman said.
“I therefore refused to sign the document and said that I would just return the money, still untouched,” he said.
Brillantes however refused to disclose how the intelligence funds are being used.
“We don’t actually reveal how we use the intelligence funds. That’s precisely [it]: it’s for intelligence,” he said. “We gave it to [Lagman], we gave also to other commissioners, and I also have one.”
Lagman also claimed that he was the only one who returned the unspent intelligence funds, which Brillantes denied.
“Not true. How would he know that he is the only one who returned it? That is not true and he does not know what he’s talking about,” Brillantes said.
“I think he’s trying to claim that he’s the only one that is good here. Talaga namang hindi ko maintindihan. Humahanap lang siya ng gulo,” he said.
Brillantes maintained there was nothing anomalous with the intelligence funds and he was not hiding anything.
“Tell Gus that if he wants to make this a big issue, it’s OK with me. Because I am not hiding anything. If we are talking about money or anything anomalous, I am not hiding anything. So I will not be afraid,” Brillantes said.
He also insisted that the issuance of intelligence funds had been going on even before he was in the Comelec.
Brillantes said that Lagman was given the intelligence funds but returned it because his appointment was not confirmed.