All confidential and intelligence funds must be abolished, rechanelled to social services

Photo from AlterMidya

October 15, 2023

After Congress turned down the proposed allocation of confidential and intelligence funds to the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd), rights alliance Karapatan said this should also prompt the legislative branch to completely abolish such funds and rechanelled to social services, instead of “reallocating them to human rights violators” in the government.

According to Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, the realignment of confidential funds to agencies like the National Security Council (NSC) and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) remains a threat to the Filipino people.

“In the hands of the NSC, NICA and agencies working in line with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), these confidential funds will only be used for killing, surveilling, threatening and endangering the lives and security of persons, resulting in more human rights violations. Confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) should cease to be given especially to the AFP and PNP who have no respect for human rights,” said Palabay.

“These agencies, which include the lousy liars at the NTF-ELCAC, are not expected to use the confidential funds to protect national sovereignty,” said Palabay. “They are more obsessed with leading the Marcos Jr. regime’s counter-insurgency program, raking in millions while promoting their made-up stories of surrenderees and rebel returnees, and with their criminal acts of abductions, unjust arrests and killings,” she added.

Palabay likewise said that former president Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements that the confidential funds are meant to be used to “kill communists in Congress” just goes to show that the policy of government-sponsored killings and rights violations continues, and is very much in place under the current regime.

“Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks, including threats against ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro, only strengthen the view that the Marcos Jr.-Sara Duterte tandem’s policy is to get rid of critics, activists and the opposition,” said Palabay.

Meanwhile, Karapatan lauded the people’s vigilance and opposition to the CIF, saying that this pushed Congress to disapprove the proposed CIF for the OVP, the DepEd and other civilian agencies.

Palabay called on the public to continue to keep watch until confidential funds are totally abolished.

“We enjoin the public to call for the complete abolition of the CIF. We must continue demanding that basic social services be at the forefront of government priorities, and reject any move to use the public coffers to violate people’s rights,” said Palabay. #