Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
STORY #1 “PORK”
DEPENDING on their moral compass, Budget Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad
Jr. and other Cabinet officials implicated in the pork barrel scam
allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles can either submit courtesy
resignation or take a leave of absence to spare President Benigno
“Noynoy” Aquino III from the baggage of defending them.
“It is up to him (Abad) to resign or take a leave of absence and
these are worthwhile options to keep their offices beyond reproach. He
can even stay depending on his moral compass,” Leyte Rep. Ferdinand
Martin Romualdez, head of the House independent minority bloc, told
reporters in a press conference.
“Naaawa rin ako kay Presidente, he is constantly defending his men
and that is unusual that the President is defending his people. They
can spare the President from the burden. Just take off the heat and
give the President a break,” Romualdez added.
When asked if he was surprised by the exclusion of Senate President
Franklin Drilon from the final signed affidavit of Napoles where Abad
was the latter’s alleged mentor, Romualdez said many people have been
asking the very similar inquiry.
In the same press conference, Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay)
party-list Rep. Lito Atienza and Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de
la Cruz, both members of Romualdez bloc, said Abad has no other option
but to resign.
Atienza said Abad was wrong to claim that the real target of news
item implicating the Cabinet members was President Aquino.
“Hindi siya (President Aquino) ang target, kayong mga gumagawa ng
masama. Sec. Abad should resign,” Atienza said.
For his part, de la Cruz said Abad should show proofs that the
President is the real target of the controversy that implicated his
men to alleged wrongdoing as he asked if the Chief Executive is
deliberately hiding information from the public to protect and cover
for his men.
“They should show proofs or is he (President Aquino) hiding some
information and trying to protect his men?” De la Cruz asked.
Romualdez also scored some people in the government who are acting
like genuine advocates of straight path and good governance that
President Aquino has been espousing since his day one in office.
“Mas masahol ang nagpapanggap na malinis pero marumi naman, lahat tayo
‘di perfect and we give allowances sa ilan. Pero sa mga nagpapanggap
na matuwid dapat mataas ang fine. They have higher price to pay,” he