Yung nagkakalat ng maling info, kalaban na rin ba ng estado? ‘Malisyoso, mapanlinlang’ ang akusasyong may confidential funds ang Senado —opisyal

Tulad ng naunang pagkastigo ng Kamara sa “fake news” na kumakalat sa social media tungkol sa diumanong confidential funds ng Kongreso, pinabulaanan rin ng Senado ang impormasyon na mayroon itong secret funds.

Nilinaw ng liderato ng Senado na wala itong nakalaang confidential funds, salungat sa kumakalat na maling impormasyon na nagtabi ito ng sikretong pondo gaya ng Office of the Vice President (OVP) at Department of Education (DepEd).

Sa isang pahayag, ipinaliwanag ni Senate Secretary Renato Bantug Jr. na mariin nitong itinatanggi ang isang social media post na diumanong mayroong P331 milyong confidential fund ang mataas na kapulungan ng Kongreso para sa kasalukuyang taon.

“The Senate categorically denies the reports circulating on social media that the upper chamber has a confidential fund of P331 million for the year 2023,” sinabi ni Bantug.

“These posts are deliberately misleading and maliciously presented by some personalities who seek to malign and tarnish the reputation of an institution currently taking a long, hard look at the nature of confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) and the government agencies that deserve to have them,” aniya.

Sinabi pa ni Bantug na sa ilalim ng maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) ng Senado, mayroong tatlong line item sa ilalim ng “confidential funds, intelligence funds, and extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses.”

Para sa taong 2023, tanging ang item na extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses lamang ang may pondo na nagkakahalaga ng P331.942 milyon na ginamit ng Senado para sa “meetings, seminars, conferences, public relations, education, and other activities of the chamber.”

At dahil nasa ilalim ito ng MOOE, sumasailalim ito sa auditing rules ng Commission on Audit, kung saan pinapatunayan ang paggastos ng salapi gamit ang mga resibo at iba pang dokumento.

“In the past Senate leadership, the confidential fund allocations of the Senate amounted to: P100 million in 2020, P100 million in 2021, and P50 million in 2022. But all of these funds were never used and reverted to the National Treasury in full,” saad ni Bantug.

“Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri is firm in his belief that the Senate does not need confidential funds,” dagdag pa ng opisyal. “He has been actively saying that confidential and intelligence funds should be for our military, police, and other uniformed personnel who protect our country from both internal and external security threats.”