President Duterte to hear Rio’s allegations about DICT confidential funds

(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte will meet Department of Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Eliseo Rio to hear what he has to say about the department’s use of confidential funds.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there was, however, no schedule of the meeting yet.

Panelo said the President would also observe the Senate inquiry on the funds disbursement, which took place in three tranches, on November 8, December 3 and December 17 in 2019.

He said that while the President has received Rio’s resignation letter, “he has not read it.”

Rio resigned after he was supposedly kept in the dark by DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan about the disbursement of the funds, which  did not have notice of cash advances.

NCAs, which are issued by the Department of Budget Management, authorize provincial, regional and city offices to cover  financial requirements prior to the release of cash advances.

Both Rio and Honasan later said in a statement that there was nothing unlawful about the “confidential expense.”

They said it was a “line item allocated under the 2019 (General Appropriations Act) that went through the rigorous process of approval by both houses of Congress and ultimately by the President himself.”