Anomalous DICT intelligence funds
THE ANOMALOUS USE of confidential funds in 2019 by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was exposed on January 31. The office spent P300 million in conducting surveillance which violates the right to freedom of expression, and possibly using the personal data of Filipinos for intelligence purposes.
This was exposed by DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. upon his resignation. He explained that surveillance operations are beyond the mandate of the DICT. He also accused the department of failing to immediately release operational funds.
Progressive groups responded by filing a resolution in the Congress and Senate last February 5 to conduct an investigation on the utilization of intelligence funds.
Amid worsening fascist attacks and widespread Red-tagging against progressives and activists, the surveillance operations conducted by the office pose a huge threat to freedom of expression. The department’s confidential funds has reached P800 million this year.