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Hontiveros wants Senate to probe ₱460-M CIF during VP Sara's term as Davao mayor
Hontiveros wants Senate to probe ₱460-M CIF during VP Sara's term as Davao mayor
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Hontiveros wants Senate to probe ₱460-M CIF during VP Sara's term as Davao mayor
by Ellicia Del Mundo03 October 2023
Photo courtesy: Senate Facebook page

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday, Oc.t 3 said the Senate must to look into the Commission on Audit (COA) findings that the Davao local government unit (LGU) had ₱460 million in confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) during the helm of Vice President Sara Duterte as Mayor.

In a statement, she pointed out that Davao City's CIF is larger than Makati, Manila, and Cebu which all did not reach ₱100 million in CIF.

"Mapapatanong ka na lang, ano ang meron sa Davao City at mas malaki pa ang CIF nila kumpara sa ibang national agencies gaya ng Philippine Coast Guard?" Hontiveros asked.

"While Davao City faces existing security challenges, are these challenges really so much worse than China’s incursions and abuses in our territorial waters? Inaagaw na rin ba ng Tsina ang teritoryo nila tulad sa West Philippine Sea?" she added.

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The Senator said the national government and local government should have clear guidelines and limitations in the use of CIFs.

Hontiveros stated that LGUs, like national government agencies, should present a "reasonable threshold on the amount" that they allocate the CIFs to "promote accountability and transparency."

She said she would be raising the matter and others that involve CIFs at the Senate plenary discussions on the 2024 national budget.

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"Ang pera ng taumbayan ay hindi ATM ng mga pulitiko na basta-basta pwedeng gastusin at ubusin," the Senator stressed.

ACT Teachers Party-List France Castro first called for the investigation of Davao's secret fund from 2019 to 2022 which amounted to a total of ₱2.697 billion.

To break down, Davao LGU spent ₱144-M in 2016, ₱293-M in 2017, ₱420-M in 2018, ₱460-M in 2019, ₱460-M in 2020, ₱460-M in 2021, and ₱460-M in 2022.

"This would mean ₱1.235 million a day of secret spending for 6 years, this is way bigger than even the richest cities in the country like Makati City and Quezon City," Castro said in a statement.

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Duterte has yet to release a statement regarding COA's audit report, as of this posting.

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