Press Release
September 26, 2023

Koko praises DFA for not dipping its hands into CIFs

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III praised the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for not dipping its hands into the controversial confidential and intelligence funds (CIF).

In the agency's budget hearing on Tuesday, Pimentel asked Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo if his department had requested confidential funds, to which the country's top diplomat answered "no."

In a separate statement, Pimentel, who advocates the removal of CIFs in the national budget, commended the DFA, saying that "all agencies should emulate DFA."

This praise comes amidst a growing public outcry concerning the proposed allocation of P10.14 billion to CIFs in the national budget. A substantial portion of this allocation--P4.5 billion--is earmarked for the Office of the President, with P500 million for the Office of the Vice President, and P1.7 billion for the Department of National Defense, among others.

According to Pimentel, other agencies should follow DFA's stance as he lamented how several civilian agencies are dipping their hands into the confidential funds.

"The DFA, under Secretary Manalo, is a model of fiscal integrity. I hope I could say the same for the other agencies with the executive branch," Pimentel said.

"Ang CIFs ngayon parang kabute, kung saan-saan tumutubo. Kailangan nating alisin sa budget ang mga CIF na hindi kailangan at hindi nararapat. We need to purge the budget of unwarranted CIF allocations." Pimentel said.

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