Palace on Osmeña: Allies can have disagreements
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sergio Osmeña III may from time to time criticize the administration but that does not mean that he is no longer an ally of President Benigno Aquino III, Malacañang said Wednesday.
“Allies can have disagreements…That’s not an impossibility. But do we follow the same campaign of good governance? Certainly, Senator Serge Osmeña is one with the President and with respect to his—to the President’s campaign on good governance,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing.
The statement came after Osmeña questioned Aquino’s decision to tap Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to investigate the possible involvement of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to the pork barrel scam.
The senator said Aquino should have tasked an outsider to probe the agency, which is under the Office of the President.
However, Lacierda vouched for Ochoa and the other Cabinet officials’ competence for the work.
“They are not involved in this situation, in the NCMF…the DBM Secretary has no role on that manner, similar to the Executive Secretary, and also to the Cabinet Secretary…I suppose there will be no suspicion on the way that the three will be looking into the NCMF issue,” he said.
During the past weeks, Osmeña has been quoted criticizing the President for his bad decisions. Earlier this month, he called Aquino a “poor” and “awful” manager for retaining Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla.
But Lacierda said, “There will be times where we will disagree but…one statement would not unravel a relationship or a friendship.”
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