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The Senate establishes a committee to oversee the use of intelligence funds.

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The Senate gave its blessing on Monday to the formation of a committee to investigate how government agencies are using their CIFs (confidential and intelligence funds).

Senate Resolution No. 302, a resolution establishing a select oversight committee to closely monitor the use of CIF, was supported by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

In a statement, Zubiri said that subject to the guidelines of the Commission on Audit, it is the Senate’s responsibility to safeguard the PHP9.28 billion CIF and ensure that it is used appropriately.

He also stated that if necessary, he is available for hearings or investigations.

In the 10th Congress, an oversight committee was initially proposed in the Senate, according to Zubiri.

Joel Villanueva, the majority leader in the Senate, moved to add all senators as cosponsors of the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel, Senators Sonny Angara, Ronald Dela Rosa, and Villanueva, as well as Zubiri, will serve as the committee’s chairmen.

Pimentel voiced his support, but only if his colleagues concurred that when changes are made to the planned P5.268 trillion national budget for 2023, the CIF of several civilian agencies must be reduced.

In his demonstration, Pimentel declared, “This is our second line of defense in the name of the people and for the people, in the spirit of transparency.”

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