TIMES COLUMN: ABAD, A BAD BOY

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad has been a bad, bad boy. At least according to alleged PDAF scam ringleader Janet Napoles who recently fingered the ex-Batanes legislator as the real brains behind the anomalous scheme.There’s a growing clamor from many thinking Filipinos that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and Commission on Audit (COA) Grace Pulido Tan ought to investigate Napoles’ revelation against Abad instead of the ever-expanding list of senators, representatives and government officials implicated in the pork barrel racket. After all, everyone familiar with the workings of the bureaucracy knows that no government funds can be released to the implementing agencies without the indispensable imprimatur of the DBM chief. Even House Speaker Sonny Belmonte seems to agree. He pointed out in previous media statements that reference to PDAF should be linked with the issuance of a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO). He said that without a SARO from the DBM, there would be no PDAF. We agree. In her expanded affidavit, Napoles revealed that it was Abad who, as then Batanes congressman, influenced her in engaging in the PDAF scam after she met him through Manuel Jarmin, acting director of the Livestock Development Council, an agency under the Department of Agriculture in 2000. Napoles revealed that Abad taught her how to use non-government organizations (NGOs) to profit from government projects. “I learned from Cong. Butch Abad that NGOs or cooperatives are needed to do business with government agencies,” Napoles said. As expected, Abad vehemently denied “tutoring” Napoles or any of her associates-turned-whistleblowers. “I have never dealt with Janet Lim Napoles in any manner, much less through an agent or a middleman. And while I may be acquainted with Mr. Jarmin, I have never transacted with him in any capacity. Ms. Napoles’ claims about me—that I tapped Mr. Jarmin as my ‘agent,’ and that I taught her how to profit illegally from the bureaucracy—are absolutely not true,” Abad declared in media statement. What is a bit curious, however, is that except for his blanket denials about knowing, mentoring or transacting with Napoles, Abad has not denied Napoles’ accusation that government funds were still being illegally diverted to bogus NGOs or ghost projects during his watch.READ MORE, INCLUDING READERS' REPLY...

(ALSO) Standard Column: Presidential perp

Of course, if there is any justice at all, President Noynoy Aquino is going to get hit by super-typhoon Jenny. And that’s only because he’s one of the most active and involved of the perpetrators, instead of being just an innocent bystander. In a moment of dazzling brilliance, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said last week that President Noynoy Aquino was the real target of people who want to link his Cabinet members to the Napoles pork barrel scam. And there is truth in Abad’s statement, not because there is an actual plot to get Aquino, but because his closest advisers and subordinates could never have acted the way they did, had they not been taking orders from Aquino himself. Over the weekend, for instance, yet another close and longtime Aquino aide, appointments secretary Rochelle R. Ahorro, has been linked to suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. The weight-challenged Ahorro, who once admitted that her longtime boss’ sophomoric nickname for her is “Sexy,” supposedly received campaign contributions made by Napoles to then-presidential candidate Aquino. (I’d long heard reports that Ahorro —who carries the official rank of Presidential Assistant I—was actually the person who was given the code name “Sexy” by Benhur Luy and other Napoles henchmen in their ledgers. I guess Luy and other witnesses will clear that up in a hearing soon.) If Ahorro had received money from Napoles intended for Aquino without Aquino’s knowledge, well, she would have been summarily and ignominiously removed from Malacañang. Just like Abad, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and all the other Aquino allies and alalays who would have suffered the same fate, after they’d been tarred with the same pork-dipped Napoles brush that has nearly all of Congress screaming with self-righteous denials. As the journalist Teddy Boy Locsin said recently in a series of tweets, “lawmakers cannot steal unless [budget] secretaries approved the theft.” It’s Abad’s job, after all, to verify and sometimes identify the non-government organizations that should receive the pork-barrel funds that Napoles and her crew so rapaciously raided. READ FULL COLUMN...

(ALSO) Malaya Column: DAP WORSE THAN PORK

So far, it is estimated that more than P150 billion has been disbursed by the President under the Disbursement Acceleration Program. This fund is not appropriated in the General Appropriations Act.
The money that makes up the fund for the DAP is actually pooled savings of all government agencies. Sensibly, the savings should revert to the General Fund, if only to prevent the agencies from using the money as bonuses and other benefits while their performance does not come up to expectations. The necessity of transferring the savings to the General Fund is precisely to stop its use for the benefit of the officials and employees of the agencies. In the same light, the savings should not be pooled by the President into one fund and use it at his sole discretion even if the purpose is noble. Pooling the savings into one fund is an act of appropriation, a function that under the Constitution, is exclusive to the Legislative Branch. Therefore, the wisdom or lack of wisdom in disbursing the fund does not diminish the “crime” committed by the President in usurping the functions of the Legislature. The means cannot justify the end even if the end is noble. That Machiavellian practice dies naturally in a country that claims to be a democracy. The pork barrel, declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is allocated in the budget. Still the President has complete control over its release. Lawmakers file a request for release with the Office of the President. The lawmaker is required to justify its use as if to show that government is careful with taxpayers’ money. Because pork barrel is defined as a reward for political patronage, the President has the sole authority to reject a request for fund release if in his belief it does not promote his political interest or patronage or that of his political party. That makes the release of pork absolutely selective and based almost solely on the political gains or votes the political party of the President can get. READ MORE...

(ALSO) TRIBUNE EDITORIAL: Noynoy, Abad and the LP agenda

The Palace is turning absurd by the day in defense of Noynoy’s allies implicated in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, particularly since the anomaly has induced other questions on the propriety on his administration. The allegations raised against Budget Secretary Butch Abad, who was tagged by alleged pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles as her mentor in creating the scam outfit, have branched out to questions of nepotism since 10 of Abad’s relatives all hold sensitive government positions. The so many Abads in government have led to the allegations from critics of Noynoy that the family has full control of government. And why not? The patriarch has control over the government finances as Budget secretary. The Budget secretary’s daughter, Julia, is head of the Presidential Management Staff. Four nephews, two first cousins and a niece all hold sensitive positions in the administration.
All of Abad’s relatives are appointees of Aquino, while Abad’s wife is a Representative for the lone Batanes congressional seat. As a member of Congress, Henedina Abad, holds a high position in the House of Representatives as vice chairman of the House finance committee and she also holds other committee seats in the House. Aside from his daughter, Abad’s son, Luis, is the chief-of-staff of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima. READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORTS HERE:

Abad, bad boy


by ATTY. DODO DULAY

MANILA, JUNE 9, 2014 (MANILA TIMES) by ATTY. DODO DULAY - Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad has been a bad, bad boy. At least according to alleged PDAF scam ringleader Janet Napoles who recently fingered the ex-Batanes legislator as the real brains behind the anomalous scheme.

There’s a growing clamor from many thinking Filipinos that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and Commission on Audit (COA) Grace Pulido Tan ought to investigate Napoles’ revelation against Abad instead of the ever-expanding list of senators, representatives and government officials implicated in the pork barrel racket.

After all, everyone familiar with the workings of the bureaucracy knows that no government funds can be released to the implementing agencies without the indispensable imprimatur of the DBM chief.

Even House Speaker Sonny Belmonte seems to agree. He pointed out in previous media statements that reference to PDAF should be linked with the issuance of a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO). He said that without a SARO from the DBM, there would be no PDAF. We agree.

In her expanded affidavit, Napoles revealed that it was Abad who, as then Batanes congressman, influenced her in engaging in the PDAF scam after she met him through Manuel Jarmin, acting director of the Livestock Development Council, an agency under the Department of Agriculture in 2000.

Napoles revealed that Abad taught her how to use non-government organizations (NGOs) to profit from government projects. “I learned from Cong. Butch Abad that NGOs or cooperatives are needed to do business with government agencies,” Napoles said.

As expected, Abad vehemently denied “tutoring” Napoles or any of her associates-turned-whistleblowers.

“I have never dealt with Janet Lim Napoles in any manner, much less through an agent or a middleman. And while I may be acquainted with Mr. Jarmin, I have never transacted with him in any capacity. Ms. Napoles’ claims about me—that I tapped Mr. Jarmin as my ‘agent,’ and that I taught her how to profit illegally from the bureaucracy—are absolutely not true,” Abad declared in media statement.

What is a bit curious, however, is that except for his blanket denials about knowing, mentoring or transacting with Napoles, Abad has not denied Napoles’ accusation that government funds were still being illegally diverted to bogus NGOs or ghost projects during his watch.

Neither has Abad made any categorical statement that the so-called “budget reforms measures” he introduced in the DBM—at least according to the Palace’s chief apologist, Edwin Lacierda—has completely stopped anomalous schemes (such as that detailed by Napoles) from happening during the Aquino administration.

Truth is, however hard Abad tries to wash his hands of any complicity in the PDAF racket, he will have a hard time convincing people of his inculpability especially after his prowess at juggling government money was exposed during a previous fund-diversion controversy.

Our readers will recall that in a privilege speech last September, Senator Jinggoy Estrada revealed that P50 million in additional funds were released to senators who voted in favor of the conviction of former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.

It was Abad himself who admitted that the questionable funds given to senators came from a newly minted program called the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which is funded by government savings.

Abad explained that the additional discretionary fund given to lawmakers was not hard cash but recommendations for projects where the funds would be allocated, which, to our mind, is basically the same scheme used for the legislators’ PDAF. Perhaps this explains why the DAP funds also ended up in one of Napoles’ bogus NGOs.

Although Abad insists that the DAP funds were not given to senators as a pay-off or bribe for convicting Corona, he never fully explained how and why government money that was supposedly meant only for projects within the executive branch ended up in the hands of legislators.

This despite the constitutional prohibition against realigning savings from one branch of government to supplement the funds of another branch, or what Supreme Court Associate Justice Lucas P. Bersamin called “cross-border” fund augmentation.

For the past several months, several lawmakers like Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco and ABAKADA partylist representative Jonathan de la Cruz have been asking Abad for the list of all the DAP spending as well as the corresponding SAROs issued by DBM. But to this day, Abad has yet to turn over any document to them.

Meanwhile, PNoy refuses to have Abad investigated at all. In fact, he has practically acquitted Abad of any wrongdoing, arguing that the latter had even initiated budget reforms for greater transparency.

Perhaps that’s the reason why many ordinary Filipinos are now asking: Is Abad trying to hide something? Or is he trying to cover up for someone, a bigger fish maybe?

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10 Responses to Abad, bad boy
Inocent says:
June 3, 2014 at 10:57 am
Several weeks or was it months ago, I read an article somewhere that in the notes or was it instructions of Napoles, Florencio Abads’s share of his PDAF/DAP is to be by DD (direct deposit) to a dollar account in Singapore. Cannot recall which broadsheet it was but the meat of that article disappeared like thin air.
Reply

jaime sta.isabel says:
June 3, 2014 at 9:59 am
Pnoy will not allow Abad to be crucified since he knows Abad that he is like a chameleon or balimbing, when worst come to worst he will do his very best no to be put in jail. He is always a traitor to his master look what he had done to GMA, Pnoy knew this attitude of Abad so he will keep on protecting him until his last breath.
Reply

emmanuel says:
June 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm
it is only a matter of days and aBAD will be made sacrificial lamb by his emperor named PeNOY. they tried Vitangcol but it did not create any stir.

dustin says:
June 3, 2014 at 8:45 am
The problem with having a truth commission is everyone who comes out & tells the truth is granted immunity from prosecution. So thats great yes we will own up to all we have done but only if you let us off with it. No truth commission as its easy to investigate if you do it right then jail these scum for life & that means they die in jail & thats how they get out, no exceptions & that means none whatsoever for any reason. Abad is as guilty as the rest of them if not more, he doesnt care about you or me he cares about himself.
Reply

Resty reyes says:
June 3, 2014 at 5:08 am
Identifying Abad is a warning by Napoles that if her requests were not granted, a much bigger fish would soon be included in the scam, as she could show some docs connecting the big fish to Abad. What a clever strategy of Napoles and her lawyer.
Reply

Alejo Rosete says:
June 3, 2014 at 4:09 am
The President is not foolish to have Secretary Abad investigated. If Abad is pushed against a blank wall and no way out – surely, he will turn around 180 degrees and spill all the beans. If this happens, do you think the President and/or Senator Drilon can escape and/or run away that they are part and parcel of the whole scheme?
Think!
Reply

George Ace says:
June 3, 2014 at 3:23 am
I agree with Senator Trillanes, a truth commission has to be convinced to sort out these PDAF scandals. The gravity of these scandals are just too pervasive for the DOJ and the Ombudsman to handle. However, I am very pessimistic that this will happen. I believed the administration of President Aquino will never allow this to happen for fear that it will bring some embarrassing revelations to his administration.
I don’t have any doubt that some people close to the President were at one point in time perpetuators of these PDAF scandals. It is a shame that scandals of this magnitude have to happened. Those billions of pesos could have been used to help millions of poor Filipinos make their lives much better.
Reply

victorts says:
June 3, 2014 at 9:43 am
A truth commission is not the answer simply because its composition could not be guaranteed to be fairly chosen. Who will determine who would be in the commission? Noynoy would not allow that he would not have a hand in populating it. And if indeed, he could have a voice, his impartiality would be in doubt all over again. Just let justice run its course without intervention from anyone, more so Malacanang.

Inocent says:
June 3, 2014 at 11:02 am
Truth commission, my foot. How can a truth commission be organized having PNoy is in charge. He will just bribe the members of the commission to conclude that he is innocent, that is all. Being a pro-PNoy Trillanes should not have thought about any truth commission but since information is already out that he has ambition to run for a higher post, it is expected that Trillanes start showing his face everywhere and anywhere. The only post open that is higher than a Senatong is as Vice President and President. Maybe the man wants to be President.

Guadalupe says:
June 2, 2014 at 11:35 pm
The bigger fish in this grand thievery is the Abnoy himself. He was the one who stopped the slow moving projects funded by the PDAF, reclassified the funds as forced savings and then tasked Abad to lump up those funds and make them available for his use. It cannot be any plainer than this.
Reply

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Presidential perp By Jojo Robles | May. 27, 2014 at 12:01am

Of course, if there is any justice at all, President Noynoy Aquino is going to get hit by super-typhoon Jenny. And that’s only because he’s one of the most active and involved of the perpetrators, instead of being just an innocent bystander.

In a moment of dazzling brilliance, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said last week that President Noynoy Aquino was the real target of people who want to link his Cabinet members to the Napoles pork barrel scam. And there is truth in Abad’s statement, not because there is an actual plot to get Aquino, but because his closest advisers and subordinates could never have acted the way they did, had they not been taking orders from Aquino himself.

Over the weekend, for instance, yet another close and longtime Aquino aide, appointments secretary Rochelle R. Ahorro, has been linked to suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. The weight-challenged Ahorro, who once admitted that her longtime boss’ sophomoric nickname for her is “Sexy,” supposedly received campaign contributions made by Napoles to then-presidential candidate Aquino.

(I’d long heard reports that Ahorro —who carries the official rank of Presidential Assistant I—was actually the person who was given the code name “Sexy” by Benhur Luy and other Napoles henchmen in their ledgers. I guess Luy and other witnesses will clear that up in a hearing soon.)

If Ahorro had received money from Napoles intended for Aquino without Aquino’s knowledge, well, she would have been summarily and ignominiously removed from Malacañang. Just like Abad, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and all the other Aquino allies and alalays who would have suffered the same fate, after they’d been tarred with the same pork-dipped Napoles brush that has nearly all of Congress screaming with self-righteous denials.

As the journalist Teddy Boy Locsin said recently in a series of tweets, “lawmakers cannot steal unless [budget] secretaries approved the theft.” It’s Abad’s job, after all, to verify and sometimes identify the non-government organizations that should receive the pork-barrel funds that Napoles and her crew so rapaciously raided.

And if the thievery went on for so long, it’s only because the President allowed it, so that Congress would do what he wants it to do. In other words, the buck stops with Aquino because it was he who opened the public purse strings to Napoles.

And Aquino, during his stint in both Houses, should know the drill. As Locsin said, former President Gloria Arroyo even had to invent a title for him in Congress (deputy speaker for Central Luzon) to justify Aquino’s receipt of an additional P500 million a year in pork after he already got P1 billion annually during Joseph Estrada’s term.

Of course, at this late date, if you still believe that Aquino didn’t have anything to do with Napoles, then you’ve just not been paying attention. Why else would Aquino take such a personal interest in Napoles from the time of her “surrender” in Malacañang if he—and his Malacañang gang made up of Abad, Ochoa, Ahorro—wasn’t neck-deep in pork himself?

As Ahorro once told a television interviewer when asked about the management style of his boss, Aquino is “hands on.” Maybe he just couldn’t keep his hands off the pork, either.

* * *

So, I was asked once again recently, what’s the palace game plan in the long-running Napoles saga? My guess is, it involves having Napoles turn state’s witness while the rest of the “most guilty” walk, as long as they are not political allies.

Indeed, the only way for Aquino, his closest allies and his henchmen to avoid prosecution and jail time is for the mastermind to get off the hook. This is why the reports that Napoles is going to get immunity after she supposedly “tells all” (meaning, implicates only those that Malacañang tells her to implicate) refuse to die —I suspect that the palace itself is “floating” the idea, in order to judge the public’s reaction.

Of course, under this scenario, Malacañang will have to carefully manage the resulting firestorm of adverse public opinion—which will probably not last very long, anyway, given the citizenry’s laughably short attention span. But Aquino will have to dig deep into his propaganda assets, both state-owned and in co-opted “big media,” in order to pull this off successfully.

Congress, which is still controlled by Malacañang, will have to play along, only because the alternative—an out-of-control Napoles—may very possibly ruin both Houses irretrievably. Naturally, some very prominent legislators in both chambers will have to be thrown under the bus, to appease public anger; but since these people aren’t allies, anyway, they will have to be sacrificed.

The only alternative scenario is for Napoles to bleed to death—or to otherwise disappear from the face of the earth like Harry Stonehill, who was summarily deported when the corruption scandal involving him got too close to Malacañang during the first Macapagal administration in the sixties. I guess we’ll not have too long to wait to find out.

As the Bard once said, if you have tears, prepare to shed them now. If Malacañang will have its way, no one really guilty—not Napoles, not her mentors nor her enablers—is going to jail.

FROM MALAYA

DAP WORSE THAN PORK By Amado P. Macasaet | June 06, 2014


By Amado P. Macasaet

So far, it is estimated that more than P150 billion has been disbursed by the President under the Disbursement Acceleration Program. This fund is not appropriated in the General Appropriations Act.

The money that makes up the fund for the DAP is actually pooled savings of all government agencies. Sensibly, the savings should revert to the General Fund, if only to prevent the agencies from using the money as bonuses and other benefits while their performance does not come up to expectations.

The necessity of transferring the savings to the General Fund is precisely to stop its use for the benefit of the officials and employees of the agencies.

In the same light, the savings should not be pooled by the President into one fund and use it at his sole discretion even if the purpose is noble.

Pooling the savings into one fund is an act of appropriation, a function that under the Constitution, is exclusive to the Legislative Branch. Therefore, the wisdom or lack of wisdom in disbursing the fund does not diminish the “crime” committed by the President in usurping the functions of the Legislature.

The means cannot justify the end even if the end is noble. That Machiavellian practice dies naturally in a country that claims to be a democracy.

The pork barrel, declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is allocated in the budget. Still the President has complete control over its release. Lawmakers file a request for release with the Office of the President. The lawmaker is required to justify its use as if to show that government is careful with taxpayers’ money.

Because pork barrel is defined as a reward for political patronage, the President has the sole authority to reject a request for fund release if in his belief it does not promote his political interest or patronage or that of his political party.

That makes the release of pork absolutely selective and based almost solely on the political gains or votes the political party of the President can get.

If the lawmaker is a loyal follower or supporter of the President or his political party, the Chief Executive orders the secretary of budget and management to release the pork.

As it happened in the days of Gloria Arroyo, lawmakers who were in the opposition hardly got a cent of the pork. The political system has become so rotten that lawmakers who support the President get all the help to be reelected by getting patronage using taxpayers’ money while politicians in the opposition are left to scrounge for their own campaign funds because they can be denied, as in fact, they are denied, what to other re-electionists is a right.

DAP is anomalous in many ways. First, the money is not allocated to any agency – least of all to the Office of the President – in the General Appropriations Act.

Second, and clearly worse, the release of funds in the DAP do not go through rigorous processing. The President releases it at will for a purpose he does not have to explain, least of all defend.

If the release were to be processed as in the case of pork, the amount disbursed from the DAP would probably be smaller than P150 billion so far. The name of the fund – DAP – fits its use to a T.

Disbursement acceleration is fully complied with. Nobody can question the amount. Nobody can question the use of the money. Since the President is the sole authority, the release of the fund is accelerated.

It may be too early to ask about the results of the “accelerated” disbursement. However, the taxpayers might be told where and how the money is spent. If judiciously used, the President takes the credit. If used otherwise, the President is cursed by his own constituents.

It is important to point out that there will be national elections in May 2016. This is a presidential derby. Huge amounts of money are needed to get voters’ patronage. The money can well come from the DAP.

Since this will likely be the case, the DAP is actually a monster bigger and more vicious than pork. The anomaly of using taxpayers’ money stays, this time with the President. This time without rigorous processing. Simply file a request . Money will come if the lawmaker is a supporter of the President.

We thought that the declaration of unconstitutionality of the pork by the Supreme Court will change the whole political landscape. Not really. The presidential candidate favored by the sitting president, and the congressional aspirants in his party may continue buying patronage or votes using taxpayers money. Not pork but DAP.

The President has awesome powers. Those powers can be used to abuse the use of taxpayers’ money by using the DAP.

A democratic market-driven system should have no room for the President to abuse what is not even discretion but usurpation of power of the purse that is not a function of the Executive Branch but solely and exclusively of the Legislative Branch as so stated in the Constitution.

We do not begrudge the President having discretionary funds. One such fund comes from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., a state owned and controlled corporation.

There is a marked difference between money given to the President by state owned firms and money allocated for a specific purpose in the General Appropriations Act.

Sadly, the DAP is money not specified in the GAA. They are leftovers or savings of other agencies.

Why should these agencies exert any effort when they know what they save can be arbitrarily spent by the President by forming a fund called DAP.

FROM THE TRIBUNE

Noynoy, Abad and the LP agenda
Written by Tribune Wednesday, 04 June 2014 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print 8 comments



The Palace is turning absurd by the day in defense of Noynoy’s allies implicated in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, particularly since the anomaly has induced other questions on the propriety on his administration.

The allegations raised against Budget Secretary Butch Abad, who was tagged by alleged pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles as her mentor in creating the scam outfit, have branched out to questions of nepotism since 10 of Abad’s relatives all hold sensitive government positions.

The so many Abads in government have led to the allegations from critics of Noynoy that the family has full control of government.

And why not? The patriarch has control over the government finances as Budget secretary.

The Budget secretary’s daughter, Julia, is head of the Presidential Management Staff.

Four nephews, two first cousins and a niece all hold sensitive positions in the administration.

All of Abad’s relatives are appointees of Aquino, while Abad’s wife is a Representative for the lone Batanes congressional seat.

As a member of Congress, Henedina Abad, holds a high position in the House of Representatives as vice chairman of the House finance committee and she also holds other committee seats in the House.

Aside from his daughter, Abad’s son, Luis, is the chief-of-staff of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

It is almost as if the Abads have obtained a franchise to hold seats in the Aquino government that naturally does not pass the approval of the Filipino people, United Nationalist Alliance secretary general Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said.

The nepotism charges, however, have been shrugged off by the Palace, dishing out the excuse that it is not the surname that matters but the contributions of the Abads to the administration.

Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda even went to the extent of saying ridiculously that the Abads are taking the rap because critics of Noynoy cannot hit directly at him since he is “incorruptible.”

Lacierda apparently does not read the papers, as he would certainly know that Noynoy is not exactly regarded by the general public as “incorruptible” nor treading his straight path. But of course Lacierda and everyone in the Palace know that the propaganda of Lacierda and Noynoy’s allies no longer work with the people.

The mere fact, however, that the President has been tolerating excesses of his officials including the all-too-obvious system of political patronage, of which nepotism is merely a manifestation, makes him complicit in the irregular practice.

The association with Noynoy is enough reason also for the Palace, in the matter of the Abads being immune from committing corrupt practices thus their right to be in government is the raison d’etre, based on Lacierda’s argument.

Noynoy likes to portray him as one who radiates the energy of integrity no different from a deity that anybody whom he touches becomes incorruptible. What hubris!

Yet the Abads are already becoming a spectacle of sorts which defies any suggestions of misdeed despite implicating evidence including the Budget secretary and his wife being included in the pork barrel scam of Napoles.

The patriarch was also tagged for the selective information provided the Commission on Audit in the Special Report on the Priority Development Assistance Fund which was used extensively to pin down the three opposition senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

The deficient report was then used in the filing of plunder charges against the three but the other names of legislators cited in it remain free from any legal action particularly on those allied with Noynoy.

The hard-line defense of the Abads and Noynoy’s other allies, however, is starting to boomerang on Noynoy as the public that thirsts for integrity in government is seeing through the duplicity of his supposed good governance policy.

The pursuit of Noynoy is merely to eliminate obstructions to the continued dominance of his Liberal Party (LP) in the government.

One reason for Abad’s solid clout with Noynoy is that he is the LP’s chief strategist of the party which makes him indispensable to nobody home Noynoy.

Good governance is not exactly Noynoy’s policy but instead it is giving LP a good assurance for its political agenda.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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