By Kabataan Partylist
Kabataan Partylist condemns the death threat made by ex-President Rodrigo Duterte against ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro because of her stand to abolish confidential funds. This is a threat not just to a duly elected representative in Congress, but to all fellow Filipinos who share a critical stance against confidential and intelligence funds and their usage as a whole.
This death threat becomes even more dangerous when it comes from the mouth of a former president and a close political advisor of the current sitting Vice President, who has more than enough power to enact these threats or to influence other people to undertake these steps.
Rodrigo Duterte would do well to remember that he is not protected by presidential immunity anymore. We will review all possible courses of legal action to hold him accountable for his threats to Rep. France Castro and the Makabayan Bloc.
The fact that Rodrigo Duterte has resorted to lobbying death threats against ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro and the rest of the Makabayan Bloc tells us that they are now desperate against the massive outrage that the Filipino people have shown in their support for our fight to abolish confidential funds.
In their desperation, they are now trying to deflect blame from their side and turn the spotlight towards the Marcos dynasty, part of which is House Speaker Martin Romualdez, his main target. Once allies in the election, they are now throwing each other under the bus.
Maybe Rodrigo Duterte forgets that it was during his term as president when the meteoric increase in Confidential and Intelligence Funds and its concentration in the Office of the President (OP) started. In 2017, the first year where Rodrigo Duterte enacted a national budget, CIF in the OP rose from P500 million in 2016 to P2.5 billion in the last year.
In the last year of Duterte’s term, the CIF allocations in the OP had risen to P4.5 billion, and the CIF in the National Budget to P9.3 billion.
The issue at hand is the spending of public funds, not the Duterte dynasty’s funds, nor the Marcos dynasty’s funds, which is why we call for the Filipino people to see the issue at its essence and raise their vigilance against the potential corruption that may be done through confidential funds. Confidential funds must be abolished and reallocated to public services which is crucial at this time of recovery from economic crisis.