Defense chief defends DepEd's P150-million confidential fund request


Posted at Sep 14 2023 11:31 AM

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MANILA — Defense Secretary Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro on Thursday defended the P150-million confidential fund request of the Department of Education (DepEd), saying children are susceptible to exploitation. 

For 2024, the DepEd — under Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte — proposed P150 million in confidential funds, saying basic education "is intertwined with national security."

Progressive lawmakers in Congress have insisted that surveillance activities should be left to intelligence gathering agencies.

Teodoro told ANC's "Headstart" that other agencies need confidential funds to vet suppliers, as well as uncover scams and "criminal acts" by their employees and other service providers.

"The youth are the most impressionable targets for potential influencing," Teodoro said when asked if he agreed with the DepEd's confidential funds.

"I mean they would be the most vulnerable targets for exploitation by malefactors or those who wish ill against this country."

But Teodoro pointed out that agencies requesting confidential funds have "the burden" to justify their proposals.


Teodoro said it was not a "wise practice" to rely on intelligence gathering conducted by the military.

"For example, if you use the armed forces in anti-smuggling [operations], which we do once in a while, or anti-drug operations, the temptation may be there and it may infect the intelligence gathering agency," he said.

"And our capabilities of the intelligence agencies are really limited to the threats of their major organizations," he added.