Palace to lawyer: Abad not yet DBM chief during pork scam
Malacañang on Tuesday insisted that Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad should not be included in the latest pork barrel scam case since the incident happened before he was appointed budget chief under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.
“Sa atin pong pagkabatid, ‘yung mga tinutukoy na paratang hinggil sa maling paggamit ng pondo ng bayan, ayon na rin mismo sa special audit report ng COA, ay naganap noong 2007, 2008, ang karamihan sa mga transaksyon na ito,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a press briefing.
(Based on my understanding, the issue tackled in the case on the misuse of taxpayers’ money, according to the special audit report of the Commission on Audit, mostly happened in 2007, 2008.)
Coloma was responding to a petition filed by Bonifacio Alentajan before the Sandiganbayan. His 10-page motion said Abad was instrumental in the release of funds to bogus non-government organizations linked to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Alentajan claimed that Napoles’ NGOs still received money through the Priority Development Assistance Fund (Pdaf) under the term of Aquino.
But Coloma said the incidents of alleged misuse of funds were only under the previous administration.
“So paano kaya magkakaroon ng katuwiran ‘yung alegasyon hinggil sa partisipasyon diyan ni Secretary Abad dahil hindi naman po siya naninilbihan sa Department of Budget and Management doon sa panahong iyon,” he added.
(So why would it be justified to claim that Secretary Abad was involved when he was not yet the head of the Department of Budget and Management at that time.)
Coloma said it is fairly easy to “understand the data.”
“Kung ang tinutukoy ay mga transaksyon ‘nung nakaraang administrasyon, paano naman po magkakaroon ng katuwiran na ang papanagutin ‘yung nanunungkulan sa kasalukuyan?” he asked.
(If he is referring to the transactions of the past administration, how could he justify holding accountable someone who is with the present administration?)
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