Palace defends Abad for having most number of relatives in government

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Saturday, May 31, 2014


MALACANANG on Saturday defended Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, one of the Cabinet officials, who has the most number of relatives in government.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that even if Abad has nine relatives in public office, his actions, particularly on the government's budget, were all in accordance with law.

"Hindi naman po siya nakakapagpasya diyan na hindi naaayon sa batas. At ang kanya naman pong mga desisyon ay dapat ding naaayon sa desisyon ng Pangulo at ng Gabinete," he said over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

Abad, who like Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, has nine relatives in public office has been criticized for allegedly controlling the government.

In his 2013 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, the Budget chief declared his wife, a daughter, four nephews, two first cousins and a niece who have positions in government.

Abad's wife, Henedina, is currently the congresswoman of Batanes, while his daughter, Julia, is the Presidential Management Staff chief.

Coloma said that this is now the second term of Abad's wife as Batanes representative.

"Kaya 'yon namang mandato niya nanggagaling na tuwiran mula sa mga mamamayan. Kaya dapat lang sigurong isaalang-alang ang mga kongkretong bagay na ‘yan sa paggawa ng mga pahayag na tulad ng iyong nabanggit," he said referring to allegation that Abad's family controls the government.

"'Yon naman pong sa kanyang anak na si Secretary Julia Abad, nagpe-perform po siya ng functions bilang head ng Presidential Management Staff, na nasa nature po ‘yan nung personal assistance sa ating Pangulo o staff work para sa Pangulo at sa Gabinete. Wala naman pong nababanggit na hindi mahusay ang pagsasagawa ni Secretary Julia Abad ng kanyang mga tungkulin," he added.

Abad, who has a net worth of P32.77 million, was recently dragged into the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

Alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles, in her affidavit, claimed that she dealt with Abad when he was still a lawmaker, which the Budget chief denied. (SDR/Sunnex)

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