The Senate yesterday adopted a resolution that sought to create a select oversight committee on intelligence and confidential funds used by various government agencies.
Proposed Senate Resolution No. 361 would reconstitute the Select Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds, “to enable the Senate to oversee the efficiency of concerned government institutions in the production of accurate and timely intelligence information to better deal with the threats to national security, including the maintenance of peace and order.”
“In light of the recent threats to our country’s national security, including disturbance to peace and order by lawless elements, the importance of gathering intelligence information by concerned government agencies cannot be overstated,” Senator Gringo Honasan II, who introduced the measure, said.
According to the resolution, the new Select Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds in the 17thCongress would allow the Senate to “continue exercising its oversight functions over the use, disbursement and expenditures of confidential and intelligence funds granted to certain government agencies; and to provide vigilant legislative oversight over the conduct of these activities.”
After the resolution was adopted, Honasan was named the chairman of the oversight committee, while Senators Ping Lacson, Richard Gordon, Manny Pacquiao, Bam Aquino IV and Kiko Pangilinan were named as members of the committee.
Honasan noted that in the 2017 General Appropriations Act alone, P5.48 billion has been allocated for confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) “to implement programs and activities of the government, relative to national defense, peace and order, and national security.”
“The intelligence and confidential funds are not subject to the regular auditing rules and procedures of the Commission on Audit,” the resolution stressed.
The resolution said that the previous Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses each had a Senate Select Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds.
Section 14, Rule X of the Senate provided that whenever necessary, special committees shall be organized, the membership and jurisdiction of which shall be determined by the Senate President.