Sotto, Lacson push to 'reactivate' Senate oversight on intel funds

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2020 12:40 PM

MANILA - A resolution seeking to “reactivate” the Senate’s power to review intelligence and confidential funds was filed this week to ensure that billions of taxes are spent “efficiently.”

“It is incumbent upon the Senate to reactivate the Select Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds... to continue exercising its oversight functions over the use, disbursement and expenditure of these allocations," Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senate Committee on National Defense and Security Chair Panfilo Lacson said in Senate Resolution 310, filed Feb. 3, 2020.

The oversight committee needs to be revived to “enable the Senate to oversee the efficiency of concerned government institutions in the production of accurate and timely information to better deal with the threats to national security,” the resolution said.

The oversight panel will be allowed to conduct inquiries and subpoena witnesses and documents about the use of the funds, which are not subject to regular auditing rules and procedures.

Around P9.60 billion was earmarked for the executive branch’s intelligence and confidential funds this year.

The resolution noted that the intelligence funds of previous administrations were subjected to legislative review since the 10th Congress.