Tañada dares Duterte gov’t to divert intel funds to boost COVID-19 budget

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A ranking opposition leader challenged the Office of the President (OP) to divert its billions of pesos in intelligence funds to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency funds.

Erin Tañada, Liberal Party Vice President for External Affairs, said it is time for the OP to put their P4.5 billion intelligence budget to good use, instead of using it to fund their failed intelligence gathering.

“Mas maiging gamitin na lang ang intelligence fund ng OP upang tustusan ang pangangailangan ng Department of Health (DOH) para sa COVID-19 kaysa gastusin ito sa palpak na pangangalap ng impormasyon,” said Tanada.

Tañada lamented the fact that the DOH only has 2,000 COVID-19 testing kits during this critical time while the OP enjoys enormous funding for its incompetent intelligence gathering.

“Nakakalungkot na habang tila namamalimos ng pondo ang DOH para makabili ng testing kit habang nagmamantika ang bibig ng OP sa intelligence fund,” Tanada stressed.

The former lawmaker from Quezon said if Duterte is really serious in addressing the COVID-19 issue, he would immediately order the diversion of the intelligence fund for DOH’s use.

“Kung totoong may malasakit ang Pangulo sa mga Pilipino, hindi na siya magdadalawang isip na ilipat ang pondong ito at gawing pampuno sa pangangailangan ng DOH,” said Tanada.

He pointed out that there’s no need for the government to obtain loans to contain the virus. /Stacy Ang

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