MANILA — Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte could have abandoned her pursuit for confidential funds due to the pressure from the public and her allies, an analyst said on Friday.
Duterte initially defended her offices' need for surveillance funds, saying those who opposed this request were enemies of the state and peace, noted political analyst Cleve Arguelles.
But "this did not work," he said.
"The Vice President was pushed to this direction by pressures both from the public and her supposed allies in Congress," Arguelles said in an interview on ANC.
Duterte may have thought that due to her popularity and mandate, her request for surveillance funds "will be welcomed." However, "the public can only stomach so much unaudited funds and that includes these confidential funds," Arguelles said.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education, both headed by Duterte, sought a combined P650 million in confidential funds for 2024.
The OVP has been the subject of intense interpellations at the House over its P125 million confidential fund in 2022. The Commission on Audit noted that the OVP spent the money in 11 days.
Duterte earlier said the OVP’s confidential fund supports its programs which include tree planting, free bus rides, livelihood projects, and calamity assistance.