By Reni M. Valenzuela
Where you spend or waste your money on (today) mirrors the future for you, bright or bleak.
There is no problem with the government’s “intelligence operations” in principle. The problem is in the secrecy of how the intelligence and confidential funds allocated for such purposes are being spent, in millions and billions of pesos. With this highly anomalous practice, we may have been experiencing “catastrophes” in the country – bigger evils trying to solve big evils.
Transparency on the matter doesn’t necessarily require the disclosure of the operations and particular persons involved in the “top secret” activities. However, the accountability and transparency on the use of the CIF by the departments and functionaries responsible for dispensing the funds are imperative, indispensable.
Retain the confidentiality of the operations, but not the use of the funds. By doing so, you make the CIF legitimate, believable and acceptable. If not, the only choice left for thinking legislators or Congress at this juncture is to chuck them altogether from the national budget. But, just in case, don’t label the funds neither “confidential” nor “intelligence.” Call it simply the “national security” fund because it is mainly for national security reasons the funds are meant and intended (not for personal, political, crooked purposes). Do it right.
Make the use of the funds open or fully open to the Commission on Audit, Ombudsman and Senate (under a confidentiality covenant) to make the funds unambiguous and beyond suspicion – and, of course, to correct what’s wrong with the CIF or what’s evil with the “intelligence operations” that go with them.
To whom do we really have to set our eyes on?
By virtue of the CIF’s secrecy alone, given the highly doubtful, leery activities and operations being done by those behind them, could it be that the real or bigger enemies of the state that we need to fight are those within the state itself – in charge of the funds and involved in the so-called “intelligence operations”?
The problem with the CIF goes beyond the stealing and squandering of people’s money. Chucking such tricky allocations from the budget would certainly also mean stopping all the wrongdoings and illegalities that accompany the real intentions. Wire-tapping and intrusion into the privacy of people are illegal, bad and demoniac. Worse, if they are employed merely for political, personal purposes by certain insecure, unscrupulous, ambitious, stray politicians.
How can these “budgets” and the “operations” it is funding be constitutional, much less sane and morally right? They monitor “critics” (not enemies). They are, in fact, the ones that need to be monitored.
Sino po ba talaga ang totoong mga kaaway ng estado? Hindi kaya ang dapat tugisin ng kanilang operasyon ay silang mga nasa posisyon sa gobyerno at mga tulisan na naghahangad na maluklok sa gobyerno? Has it never occurred to us, Filipinos, that much of the troubles in the country are caused by crooks and thugs? And, alas, don’t these types of people abound in the government or “public service”?
Truth be told, the use of the CIF (thus far) has nothing or little to do with national security? You bet.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” – John 3:19-21