ON TARGET

Aquino now up and about

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President Noy came out on Wednesday after several days of absence from the public eye because of a severe allergy.

P-Noy had a full schedule: He visited Biñan and San Pedro in Laguna province, and Mandaluyong City, which was one of the hardest-hit by floods in Metro Manila.

He distributed relief goods in the areas he visited.

As this column was being written, he was scheduled to attend Mass for his late father, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. at Meralco Theater in Pasig City.

The President had not fully recovered on Wednesday but he forced himself to get up so he could be seen in public, according to my little birdie in Malacañang.

The source said that the President monitored from his bedroom relief efforts in Luzon and search and recovery operations for passengers of a passenger ship that had sunk off the waters of Cebu province.

It’s reassuring to know that even if he was sick our Chief Executive still thought about the welfare of his constituents.

* * *

I hate telling other people they were wrong and I was right, but I should mention the gross mistake made by the Commission on Audit (COA) regarding then Compostela Valley Rep. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora.

Budget Secretary Butch Abad admitted the Department of Budget and Management made a big mistake in including Zamora’s allocation of P500,000 from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the same statement of allotment release order (Saro) it issued for the P3-billion project of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

But why is Abad speaking for former DBM chief Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya, who’s now Camarines Sur representative?

The mistake, honest or not, was made during Andaya’s watch at the DBM.

The COA made the audit report based on Andaya’s report to the government audit agency.

*  *  *

Zamora, a simple man in every way, was listed in the COA audit report covering the 2007-2009 period as having received P3.1 billion in pork barrel funds in 2007.

I checked on Zamora whose nickname means “one who doesn’t panic” and I found that he is as poor now as when he became a congressman.

People I interviewed in Tagum City in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley’s neighboring province laughed at the report.

“Mon, somebody else got the P3.1 billion and put it in Zamora’s name.  He’s not capable of being corrupt because he’s a bumpkin,” said one of those I interviewed.

Poor Zamora! Just because he’s so unsophisticated some people in the Arroyo administration (the years covered by the COA report) stole money from the government coffers and put it in his name.

Yes, sir, Zamora was that congressman seen on national TV sweeping the floor while the impeachment hearing of President Erap was going on in the halls of Congress.

Before he took his oath of office as congressman, he reportedly asked his friends in Compostela Valley what to wear when he attends sessions in Congress.

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