Wednesday, August 24, 2011

“Intelligence fund”

THERE is good number of intriguing and perplexing if not suspicious financial issues in the government from the local to the national levels. There are many serious questions asked about public funds perceived as benefiting private pockets of government officials. More specifically, there are real and ardent inquiries raised in conjunction with the standard, sizeable and impressive appropriations under the fascinating title of “Intelligence Fund”

Said funds are in the hands of a good number of government entities. The Office of the President has it as some kind of a prerogative. The Armed Forces of the Philippines have them as they should. The Law and Order agencies have them as a matter of course. The truth is that even Gambling Corporations have them. But this is not all. There is the added truth that all so-called “Intelligence Funds” while glaring in amounts, are nevertheless beyond honest to goodness accounting.

It has been this way “since time immemorial”. Year after year, The National Budget casually carries entries thereof. Oh, yes! Questions have been repeatedly raised about their respective amounts and purposes. Oh, yes! Answers have been given one way or the other. And oh, yes! They are usually approved—unless there is a change of administration. But in principle the funds remain “alive and well”—as many say.

There are many variations in the “Fund”—but usually in conjunction with their amounts and with reference to the government agencies that have them. There are also this and that new “Fund” for this and that purpose. But one thing remains definite and defined: The funds all remain beyond accounting after their grant and spending. There seem to be three cardinal rules about all the so called “Intelligence Funds”: One, they are covered by the norm of “Omerta”. Two, only those who directly handle them really know who and how they are spent. Three, they are wherefore immune to accounting.

All “Intelligence Funds” are private in origin through the (more and more in number and amount) demanding direct and exacting indirect taxes of every Filipino from birth to death. And here comes the government of the people, by the people and for the people that is not accountable to people in the handling and spending of the said “Funds” casually and continuously demanded from them. There is something here that “does not cut”. Perhaps—just perhaps—a special office with a special task could be formed in the COA specifically for the proper audit of “Intelligence Funds”.

24 August 2011