Aquino trusts Abad despite ‘Napolist’—Palace
MANILA, Philippines – It’s just an allegation. That’s the stand of President Benigno Aquino III on reports that his close ally Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was included in Janet Lim-Napoles’ list of pork barrel scam perpetrators.
“Secretary Abad continues to enjoy the President’s trust and confidence,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to media.
He said “a mere allegation concerning actions taken in a previous position does not affect the presumption of regularity in connection with the performance of current duties.”
Abad, former congressman of Batanes, earlier laughed off Secretary Panfilo Lacson’s statement that he was among the lawmakers who received commission from Napoles.
“I find it amusing, if not outright revolting, that I am once again in the crosshairs of those who want the Aquino administration to fall,” the Abad said.
Earlier in the day, Coloma said Malacanang stands by its principle of letting the evidence direct the investigation on the pork barrel scam.
“Malinaw ang batayang prinsipyong itinakda ni Pangulong Aquino sa simula’t sapul: hayaang ituro ng ebidensya ang direksyon ng pagsisiyasat. Walang hinihiwalay o kinakampihan, basta’s kongkretong ebidensya ang batayan,” he said.
(The basic principle established by President Benigno Aquino III is clear from the very start: Let the evidence point the direction of the investigation. There is no exclusion or taking of sides, as long as concrete evidence is the basis.)
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