Duterte admin's confidential, intelligence spending hit ₱13.47B in 2019 – COA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) - President Rodrigo Duterte's administration had ₱13.47 billion worth of confidential, intelligence, and extraordinary expenses in 2019, the Commission on Audit said in its annual financial report.

State auditors noted that this is ₱2.03 billion higher than the ₱11.4 billion spent in 2018.

COA said intelligence expenses accounted for ₱6.12 billion, the extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses reached ₱4.8 billion, while confidential expenses accounted for ₱2.57 billion.

The report also showed that Congress (₱3.98 billion), the Department of National Defense (₱3.09 billion), and the Office of the President (₱2.41 billion) are the top three highest spenders for confidential, intelligence, and extraordinary expenses in 2019.

The other agencies that spent for confidential, intelligence, and extraordinary expenses as well are the following:

.Department of Interior and Local Government (₱1.79 billion)

.Other Executive offices (₱752.7 million)

.Department of Information and Communication Technology (₱307.3 million)

.Department of Justice (₱279.08 million)

.The Judiciary (₱268.5 million)

.Department of Finance (₱90 million)

.Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (₱82.6 million)

In his veto message for this year's budget, Duterte refused to disclose to Congress how intelligence funds will be spent.

"I am duty bound to protect national security and maintain public safety, as well as ensure peace and order at all times," Duterte said. "Hence, all activities involving gathering that have a direct impact on national security and public safety shall be reported directly to me."

The president said reports on intelligence funds are confidential or classified information.