Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) has criticized Vice President Sara Duterte for defending confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) and suggesting that those opposing them are against peace.
The group reminded Duterte that the public has the right to scrutinize government spending while stressing the need for transparency and accountability.
Josh Valentin, the National Vice Chairperson of SCMP said peace is “rooted in the just distribution” of the world’s resources.
“At a time when commodity prices are surging and inflation rates are on the rise, it is imperative that confidential funds be allocated to provide essential social services for marginalized Filipinos,” he said.
Valentin added that those who allow the culture of corruption to advance “are the ones truly obstructing peace”.
During a speech at the 122nd police service anniversary celebration of the Philippine National Police in Butuan City on October 4, Duterte defended her proposed confidential and intelligent funds.
“Anyone who attacks or undermines funds allocated for peace and order is naturally assumed to have insidious motivations. Such actions go against the protection and well-being of our citizenry. Those who seek to compromise the security and development of our nation jeopardize the very fabric of our society and hinder our progress,” Duterte said.
Duterte, who is also the education secretary, has a combined request of P650 million in confidential and intelligence funds for the Office Vice President and the Department of Education, which do not have military or police functions.
Congress decided to reallocate Duterte’s confidential funds to agencies protecting the West Philippine Sea amidst the increasing aggression of China in the disputed waters.
Valentin urged Duterte and other public officials to embody “humility and simplicity” and “forsake lavish lifestyles while their constituents languish in poverty”.
“We implore them not to serve as conduits for corruption but to, inspired by our faith, champion transparency by advocating for the abolition of confidential funds,” he said.