February 24, 2024

The unprecedented multi-front attack on Israel by the Hamas shocked the world, with hearts going out to the innocent civilians killed and taken hostage by the Hamas terrorist group.
The Oct. 7 attack that has ensued into a full-blown war is a global concern and has a great impact on local fronts such as in the Philippines.
Despite having one of the best intelligence services in the world such as Mossad, Israel failed to detect the Hamas invasion against them which is greatly responsible for the tragedy.
Mossad is the Hebrew term for institute and has the task of human intelligence collection and counter-terrorism with a focus on Arab nations and other world organizations.
This leads us to discuss why empowering through sufficient funding the intelligence community consisting of agencies and organizations responsible for gathering, analyzing, and disseminating information relevant to national security is crucial for every country.
The long-time maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea is one of the major threats to national security which calls for better intelligence gathering to ensure that the conflict would not be militarized.
We laud the Lower House for its decision to realign the controversial confidential intelligence funds (CIF) of government agencies to key agencies focused on defending the West Philippine Sea.
With this move, the CIF intended for the Office of the Vice President and Department of Education totaling P650 million will be realigned to three key agencies – the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) with P300M, National Security Council (NSC) with P100M, and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) with P200M.
The decision of the Lower House in totally removing or reducing the CIF of nine other agencies or departments is laudable in spite of the tirades it received from concerned officials and agencies, including the former president who labeled Congress as “the most rotten institution” in the country.
Simply put, aside from the maritime dispute on the WPS, internal security threats posed by armed groups in the South, the New People’s Army, and remnants of the Maute terror group responsible for the Marawi siege are matters that have to be addressed with the use of CIF led by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, with support from NICA, NSC and other law enforcement agencies, not those civilian agencies whose CIFs were realigned.
We do not also see why the Vice President has to resort to gaslighting for making an impression it is wrong to question how her CIF was spent when surveillance and intelligence gathering are not part of the mandates of her office and that peace and order cannot be achieved without a CIF.
We share the view of many members of the Lower House that “the decision was made for the benefit of the nation and the Filipino people, not as a personal affront to any individual or institution” as it is simply the right thing to do, given world events that have great impacts on our economy and national security.
Majority of Filipinos support the latest move of Congress over the CIF, and that’s for sure.
Following the decision of Congress on realigning the CIF, it is time to turn the table on the one who said, “Those opposing the confidential funds are opposing the quest for peace and those who oppose the quest for peace are enemies of the State.”