Arroyo ally calls for Abad’s resignation-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
BUDGET Secretary Florencio Abad should resign from his post if he fails to explain his alleged hand in the release of P500 million in priority development assistance funds (PDAF) or pork barrel funds to questionable non-government organizations (NGOs) in 2011, Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said Monday.
"Secretary Abad should resign. Was it the President who ordered him to release the P500-million despite the appeal of Secretary Paje? This insults the adherence to the so-called straight path mantra of public service of this government," Romualdez, a close ally of former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said.
A newspaper report said that the questionable Philippine Forest Corporation (Philforest) and its mother agency, the National Resources Development Corporation (NRDC), would have not been able to access PDAF if Abad had delisted them from the list of eligible implementing agencies.
In a statement, Abad explained that Congress added Philforest during the deliberations for the proposed 2011 budget then.
"We trimmed the PDAF menu as much as we could, and the resulting 2011 NEP (National Expenditure Program) did not include Philforest in the proposed menu. However, it was added during budget deliberations in Congress, so that budgetary support for Philforest later appeared in the 2011 GAA (General Appropriations Act)," Abad said.
Romualdez said Abad should stop pointing the finger at the previous administration.
"The buck stops with him. He should be held accountable for that budget. That was a very lame excuse of him, especially that this government is championing good governance," he said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)