By Reni M. Valenzuela
The “confidential and intelligence fund” (CIF) is legalizing plunder, plain and simple, from the time it became a part of the National Expenditure Programs in 2006, during the term of the ousted former president Gloria Arroyo who, incidentally but relevantly, was detained for nearly five years over corruption charges.
Alas, the “fund” is now becoming more and more a trend among our top officials as a greater and greater number of them want a share of the same for their own – in their budget. Pathetic. Woeful.
Is the fresh news of a cyberattack on Philippine Statistics Authority just another “security news” or a set up news meant only to justify the existence or approval of the confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) in the national budget, simultaneous with the news of Philhealth hackers demanding “ransom” money in the amount of $300,000? Are these just coincidence at an “opportune” time when the budget is under review by Congress?
“God is like oxygen. You can’t see Him but you need Him to survive.” – Anonymous
The same with the government, but at variance in certain ways. Crooked officials create false gods out of the CIF. They crave and fight for the “fund” like it is god or they cannot exist or perform their jobs without it. But should that be the case (for them), it validates further their unworthiness (or abhorrence) as public servants. This is why the CIF is not only wrong. It is sin, detestable as the sin of idolatry because there is only one God. “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” – Exodus 34:14
Time to correct what’s wrong with and cast away evils from Philippine governance. The Commission on Audit reported that “The Office of the President (OP), under the shared terms of President Marcos and former president Rodrigo Duterte, spent P4.5 billion in confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) in 2022.” Thus, I am compelled to ask, with due respect: Where did the money go, given the unchanged, dire condition of the country, and the worsening quality of life for Filipinos?
COA has been doing its work and doing it well, apparently. Should it not then be the agency that ought to receive a budget allocation in billions of pesos (not the “CIF Department”) – to catch all the soulless avaricious and eradicate corruption in the government. How come COA has been performing well without the CIF, considering its meager budget (at that) as a government agency with the herculean task of policing government expenditures, one that guards the nation’s coffers/people’s money?
I clamor for a bigger, much bigger budget for COA to widen its tentacles and strengthen its teeth/reach just as I am praying hard for BBM to realize the path he is taking. The nation cannot afford President Bongbong Marcos to fail in his presidency at this juncture of the nation’s annals. Wish him the best of God’s anointing and guidance upon his leadership.
May BBM forgo his own CIF, together with the remaining departments and agencies whose CIF are still intact and unquestioned. I pray that he sets the historic precedent on the matter for which even the future Filipino generations would hail him. But, whatever, may the worshipers of the one and only true God in Congress stand strong and true, enough for them to chuck the false god or all the CIF allocations from the General Appropriations Act.
Meanwhile, some officials (past and present) just don’t know until now who the real enemies of the nation are – themselves. Mad at ghosts are they when they should be mad at themselves for hallucinating. They have the habit of using certain vanishing issues and create scenarios that are non-existent or mere dramatized creations of their own imaginations – if only for them to justify their CIF – to pocket much of them.
Bakit nga po ba ang mga naghahasik ng liwanag ang inaakusahang kaaway ng gobyerno, sila na mga nagmamalasakit upang mapalaya ang bansa sa samu’t saring pagkakagapos? Parang inamin ng mga nagaakusa na wala na ngang liwanag na naghahari o umiiral sa gobyerno nang dahil sa mga nakaluklok. Ngunit kung magkaganon nga (God forbid) ay tumpak ang kanilang panghuhusga.
There is nothing urgent about the 2024 proposed national budget except the urgency of approving the intelligence and confidential funds and other/assorted/inserted, allocated secret funds. Scan the budget well and laboriously.
See through the heart, transcendent of what’s on paper.