InterAksyon.com reports that Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. justified its receipt of a P30 million intelligence fund from Malacañang in February, saying that it was "an old practice in Comelec."
According to the report, Brillantes "confirmed that he received P30 million in February, and distributed half of it to commissioners: P5 million to his office, P2 million to each of the four senior commissioners, and P1 million each to the new commissioners." He said that even if the commission "has full control over all government agencies during the election period," it still needs its own intelligence fund for use "in special cases which we don't want to share [information] even with intelligence agencies of the military, and we wish to pursue on our own."
The report also quoted the Comelec chair as saying that he does not plan to immediately return the portion of the fund which has been unused in the midterm polls because the Comelec will still use it for the barangay elections in October. He said he will return what was left of the funds at the end of the year instead.
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