Abad’s wife denies political ties spare her from scrutiny | Inquirer News
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Abad’s wife denies political ties spare her from scrutiny

/ 10:20 AM September 27, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Batanes Representative Henedina Abad denied Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s insinuation that she was spared from the “pork barrel” controversy because of her alleged ties with the administration.

Abad is deputy speaker and wife of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who is allied with President Benigno Aquino’s Liberal Party (LP).

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“I continue to denounce Senator Estrada’s implication that our office was engaged in irregular and dishonest practices in the use of PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund), or that my personal and political affiliations have protected me from proper public scrutiny,” Abad said in a statement Thursday.

She said Estrada’s claims that the Commission on Audit’s special report was biased in her favor were “as inaccurate as they are baseless.”

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Estrada, in a privilege speech Wednesday, said the COA was being selective in its investigation of legislators’ PDAF releases, pointing out how it supposedly spared those close  to the administration.

“The COA report also said that it was not able to establish total releases for each legislator. Is this the reason why only P2 million was audited for Congresswoman Henedina Abad?” asked Estrada in his speech.

But Congresswoman Abad said she received “little” PDAF during the previous administration because of  her stand against then President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“When my husband—who initially served as Department of Education Secretary under the Arroyo administration—resigned from his position, together with nine other Cabinet and key officials in July 2005 in protest against cheating in the 2004 elections, all PDAF support to Batanes ceased,” she said.

Congresswoman Abad said she signed the impeachment complaint against Arroyo in 2005 and received only P9.15 million in PDAF from 2004 to 2007.

“The last Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) issued to our office was dated March 3, 2005, but the corresponding Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA) was never released. Our district was therefore unable to make use of this fund,” she said.

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TAGS: Controversy, Henedina Abad, PDAF, Philippines, Politics, Pork barrel, Senator Jose Jinggoy Estrada
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