Press Release
November 21, 2022

Senate Constitutes Special Oversight Committee for Confidential and Intelligence Funds
21 November 2022

On Monday, Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri sponsored Senate Resolution No. 302, creating a Select Oversight Committee on Confidential and Intelligence Funds.

"Since the Tenth Congress, it has been the tradition of the Senate to constitute a Select Oversight Committee for these funds, and we must, in the 19th Congress, continue this tradition," he said.

In the General Appropriations Bill for 2023, there is an allocation of over 9.28 billion for confidential and intelligence funds.

Zubiri emphasized the importance of these funds in ensuring the safety and security of our people.

"Crime looks and moves differently than we are used to. Sometimes it creeps into vulnerable spaces, like schools--where illegal drugs or child pornography can find root in. So in these times, we need to be more trusting of our government agencies. We have to have faith that they would use every inch of diligence and discretion in undertaking surveillance and intelligence gathering in the discharge of their mandates."

While he recognized the necessity of confidential and intelligence funds, he also stressed the importance of remaining vigilant over their utilization.

"These are not subject to the usual or regular auditing rules and procedures of the Commission on Audit, as compared to other expense items in the budget. So it falls on us, on this proudly democratic and independent Senate, to reactivate the Select Oversight Committee, where we can subject these confidential and intelligence funds to checks and balances.

"We are cognizant of our own primordial role, power, and responsibility as holders of the power of the purse. We, the elected representatives of the people, must ensure that the funds are judiciously and rightly used.

"We will exercise the full extent of our oversight function: We will monitor the use of these funds; we will go over the reports relevant to each agencies' use of funds; and we will conduct hearings if necessary."

Zubiri chairs the Select Oversight Committee, and is joined by Sens. Sonny Angara, Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel as members.

"Babantay tayo sa pondong ito," Zubiri assured. "Pera ito ng bayan--kaya bilang Senado ng bayan, sisiguraduhin natin na taumbayan rin ang makikinabang dito."

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