‘Political noise over CIF won’t deter House’

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Legislative work will continue at the House of Representatives despite accusations hurled by former president Rodrigo Duterte, who was apparently offended by the chamber’s realignment of his daughter’s confidential funds, a House official said yesterday.

“The House is resolute in its determination to serve the Filipino people. We will not be deterred by distractions or intimidation. We recognize our responsibility to the nation, and we will continue to work diligently, regardless of the circumstances,” Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez said.

The lower chamber’s appropriations committee, chaired by Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Zaldy Co, has recommended the reallocation of Vice President Sara Duterte’s combined P650-million confidential funds – for the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education, which Duterte also heads – to national security agencies protecting the West Philippine Sea.

“This underscores our commitment to reinforcing the programs of the administration for the improvement of the lives of Filipinos. Our intent is to ensure that these funds contribute effectively to the well-being of our citizens and the advancement of the nation’s interests,” Fernandez said.

“This action showcases the proactive role of Congress in supporting the administration’s initiatives, particularly in areas crucial to the safety and welfare of the Filipino people. Reprioritizing these funds is a clear demonstration of our commitment to creating positive impact and addressing the nation’s most pressing needs,” he added.

Fernandez, who chairs the House committee on public order and safety, also emphasized the importance of focusing on the legislative agenda of the Marcos administration and not being swayed by external pressures.

“Our commitment to the people is unwavering. We are here to serve, and our duty to the nation remains paramount. We will not allow political noise to divert our attention from the work that needs to be done,” he said.

To prove that the lower chamber remains unperturbed, the lawmaker pointed out that all House committees were in fact “authorized” by Speaker Martin Romualdez to conduct hearings even while Congress is in recess, like at present, when lawmakers are on break and will resume session on Nov. 6.

Fernandez, along with several other lawmakers like Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, who chairs the House committee on dangerous drugs,

recently joined the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in an operation to destroy nearly P6 billion worth of illegal drugs.

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