Senate did not touch its intelligence funds — Sotto

Published January 13, 2021, 5:06 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Senate did not spend its intelligence funds, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Wednesday.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III
(Photo by Senate PRIB / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Sotto made the remark after the Commission on Audit (COA) recently reported that Congress was the top spender of confidential, intelligence and extraordinary funds in 2019.

“The Senate did not spend a single centavo on intelligence funds,” Sotto said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay virtual forum.

“Kaya wala akong matandaan, wala kaming ginamit na ganyan (That’s why I can’t remember because we were not spending that kind of funds),” he said.

Sotto, however, said he does not know if the House of Representatives spent their own intelligence funds.

“I don’t know about the (Lower) House, definitely,” he said.

Sotto said he has already asked his staff to get in touch with the Senate secretary in relation to the COA report.

According to the COA, Congress topped the list of government offices that used confidential and intelligence funds worth P3.98-billion.

Aside from Congress, COA, in its 2019 Annual Financial Report, said the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Office of the President were also among the top spenders.

COA said the total amount of CIF the DND used was P3.087-billion, while the amount of intelligence budget used by the President’s office was P2.410-billion.

 
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