In the wake to abolish the CIF
TACLOBAN CITY-Interior Sec. Benhur Abalos said that it is up to Congress if they want to clip local executives on the matter of the controversial confidential and intelligence fund (CIF).
Abalos, who was in the city on Monday (ct.2) to attend the Joint Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (JRTFELCAC), said that it is up to Congress to ‘refine’ the law governing the CIF.
He, however, stressed that CIF is essential for the local governments to fight criminalities and even the continuing war on drugs.
“Ako, walang problema sa akin because that is a law. It was passed by Congress and Senate. Kung mayroon man itong issue, its up to them if they want to refine it or not,” he said in a brief interview with the members of the local media.
Abalos said that he does not see anything wrong with the local executives having their own CIF as long as they would be strictly guided by the law governing it.
“We are guided by the law. As long as it is not abused; as long as it is within the intention of the law, which is really to aid the chief executives in fighting criminalities, extreme violence, and even drugs,” he said.
Abalos admitted that his department, the Department of Interior and Local Government has its own CIF amounting to ‘more or less P100 million’ for this year.
He, however, defended the department’s CIF, citing their fight against illegal drugs, their campaign against e-sabong, and on the matter relative to fugitive former Arnolfo Teves Jr. of Negros Oriental.
Earlier, Senate President Miguel Zubiri said that not only national government agencies should be clipped with their NIF but also to include those of the local government units.
The issue of the CIF came into light amid questions on the said matter involving Vice President Sara Duterte who also heads the Department of Education, totaling in all to P650 million.
Duterte, as mayor of Davao City, had also P460 million CIF.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA/ JOEY A. GABIETA)