‘VP Sara’s P125 million in 11 days not theoretical’

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
�VP Sara�s P125 million in 11 days not theoretical�
Vice President Sara Duterte on January 25, 2024.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Militant opposition lawmakers refuted yesterday claims by Vice President Sara Duterte in her Supreme Court (SC) reply that the P125-million confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) her office received was only “theoretical” and thus didn’t cause any real damage.

“This case goes beyond just theoretical arguments about budget rules. Real public money that could have helped struggling Filipinos was instead funneled into a legal gray area with zero transparency. The people deserve to know where their money went,” Rep. France Castro of party-list ACT Teachers declared.

Castro, along with her two Makabayan bloc colleagues Reps. Arlene Brosas of Gabriela and Raoul Manuel of Kabataan party-list and militant organization Bayan Muna represented by Isagani Carlos Zarate, Neri Colmenares and Raymond Palatino, questioned before the SC the constitutionality of Duterte’s CIF disbursed in late 2022.

“This illegal and unconstitutional transfer of P125 million to the Office of the Vice President for confidential funds violated all rules on the proper use of such funds,” Castro insisted.

Spending P125 million in 11 days, as repeatedly reported, meant OVP was spending P11.3 million a day.

“It represents a massive redirection of public resources away from essential services and towards opaque purposes with no accountability. It is a glaring example of bureaucrat capitalism and should be stopped,” she said.

“We asked the SC to direct COA to fully audit how this money was spent,” Castro revealed.

“The petitioners, including myself, Brosas and Manuel, former Reps. Zarate, Gaite, Cullamat, Palatino and Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, are seeking the restitution of these P125 million in public funds that were unlawfully used with no oversight,” Castro stated.

Castro highlighted that the 2022 national budget did not allocate any confidential funds for civilian agencies like the Office of the Vice President.

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