No need for confidential funds, we can deputize agencies - Comelec

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — The Commission on Elections said Tuesday it sees no need to ask for confidential and intelligence funds in its budget even as more agencies seek to include the item in their respective appropriations.

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said the law gives enough power to the poll body to deputize any agency for an electoral exercise.

“We can always tap the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines); we can always tap the PNP (Philippine National Police). Kapag po kasi election period kami po ay may power na mag-deputize ng kahit anong government agency. So ibig sabihin po nasa amin naman po ang vast powers, marunong ka lang gamitin,” he said at the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas general membership meeting.

[Translation: We can always tap the AFP; we can always tap the PNP. We always have the power to deputize any government agency during the election period. So, it means that we have the vast powers, we must just use it properly.]

Garcia said he has no intention of asking or inserting a line item on confidential and intelligence funds in the Comelec budget.

“Kaya ang gagawin natin sa Comelec (What the Comelec will do), with or without that kind of fund, we will implement the law and enforce it in accordance with the best interest of the nation,” Garcia said.

Comelec proposed a ₱27.34-billion budget for 2024, mostly allotted for the preparatory spending for the 2025 midterm elections.