UncategoriesLOOK:Trillanes wants PNP’s intel fund slashed, realigned to AFP
LOOK:Trillanes wants PNP’s intel fund slashed, realigned to AFP
Senator Trillanes IV wants to cut the extra P500-million intelligence fund designated to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for 2018 and realign some add up to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Trillanes said this on Thursday during the Senate finance committee hearing on the proposed budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and its attached agencies, including AFP.
According to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the AFP was only granted P225 million in additional intelligence funds for 2018. He said they requested for P280 million on top of the P225 million but it was rejected by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Trillanes, a former Navy officer, said the government’s priorities are “misplaced,” considering the situation in Marawi City, which was attacked by the pro-ISIS Maute group.
“Yung PNP na may P500 million na increase, for sure mapupunta ito doon sa Tokhang and we wouldn’t want that,” Trillanes said, referring to the PNP’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“Ang sa ’kin dito, yung misplaced priority. Mas mataas yung increase ng intel fund ng PNP [pero] mas malaki ang problema sa Mindanao so yun ang kailangan nating i-realign para mag-reflect sa priority ng ating gobyerno,” he said.
In an interview after the budget hearing, Lorenzana said the AFP “can live” with the budget allocated by the DBM.
“Yun ang na-approve na budget namin so we have to live with it, so okay na yun, I think we can live with it already…Sabi ko nga kanina, hindi namin hinihingi yun [additional] but tatanggapin namin kung magbibigay sila,” Lorenzana said.
The intel funds for the AFP, according to the Defense secretary, goes to intelligence gathering to counter terrorism and insurgency, among others.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who will sponsor the DND budget in plenary, said he has no objections to Trillanes’ proposal to realign part of PNP’s intel fund to the AFP.
A former PNP chief, Lacson, however, said the proposal would still need to be approved in the bicameral conference committee where the separate versions of the Senate and House of Representatives on the 2018 budget will be reconciled.
“Hindi naman ito na-realign sa House of Representatives version so that will be part of the disagreeing provisions,” Lacson said.