ROMUALDEZ TO ABAD

Romualdez: Abad should have submitted irrevocable resignation

  • July 11, 2014
  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Top Stories

BUDGET Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad Jr. should have submitted an irrevocable resignation if he was indeed sincere on his decision to vacate his post, adding that the refusal of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to accept his resignation would show the other side of “Daang Matuwid.”

House independent minority bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting said the good governance is being jeopardized by the continued stay of Abad in the Cabinet despite the Supreme Court (SC) ruling declaring key provisions of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

“At this stage when no less than the Supreme Court has spoken, Sec. Abad is a clear baggage to President Aquino. Better if an irrevocable resignation has been made than submitting a mere publicity stunt. It goes to show the other side of good governance of this administration. A bad move because this government is not sensitive to public opinion,” Romualdez pointed out.

Tambunting, a member of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said “it’s his (President Aquino) privilege to accept or refuse the resignation of anyone in his Cabinet but it reinforces the perception that his ‘Daang Matuwid’ criteria only applies to other people especially his political nemeses and not to his friends, party mates and allies.”

But Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga Jr. and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone defended the President, saying accepting the resignation of Abad would help cement the notion that DAP was not good for the people when it served as stimulus to the country’s economy.

“President Aquino did the right thing in rejecting the resignation of Secretary Butch Abad who is a great asset to the administration. Abad was appointed to head the DBM to institute reforms in the national budgeting by advocating transparency and accountability in the use of public funds. He was the first budget secretary to have made public the use of the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) on the DBM’s website and the President obviously did not want all his efforts to go to waste,” Barzaga, head of House bloc for the National Unity Party (NUP), pointed out.

“The calls for the Abad’s resignations are off tangent, especially since there is nothing new with the Executive’s use of pooled savings to fund other projects, activities and programs (PAPs). It has long been practiced by the previous administrations and it just so happened that the Supreme Court ruling was issued under the present one,” Barzaga stressed.

For his part, Evardone, a stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said Abad did nothing wrong, stressing the President made a right move.

“The only mistake of Abad was to put a name to the use of savings to various laudable projects and programs that spurred economic activities. On the other hand, Abad has been instrumental in initiating various reforms in budgeting to ensure transparency, accountability and prudent use of public funds,” Evardone said.

Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA spokesman and secretary-general, said the President is obviously protecting himself by keeping Abad in his Cabinet.

“I believe it’s a matter of I’ll-cover-your-back-you-cover-mine kind of arrangement. Malacañang already absolved Abad from any wrongdoing in DAP, and by protecting Abad, the Palace is also protecting the interest of the President,” Tiangco pointed out. “Today is a day of hellish lows. It may not be a bad day for Abad, but definitely a bad day for good governance — a bad day for the country.”

“The President is duty bound to uphold and defend the Constitution. By rejecting Abad’s resignation and by harboring a ‘Constitution offender’, the President’s act is a direct insult to the dictums of the Supreme Court as an institution that already declared Abad’s impounding mechanism as unlawful and unconstitutional,” Tiangco explained.

On Thursday, Abad tendered his resignation, but the President announced that he did not accept the budget chief’s resignation during the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang yesterday.

 

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