FLORENCIO Abad Jr. is the new budget secretary. His daughter Julia is Presidential Management Staff (PMS) head. His son Luis is Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima’s chief of staff. His wife Batanes Rep. Henedina is House appropriations committee vice chair.

And they're all highly qualified for their respective posts.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Behold the Philippines’ new model family.


But some lawmakers felt uncomfortable seeing too many Abads controlling public funds.

Florencio Abad Jr., as budget secretary, disburses government funds, including pork barrel funds. His daughter Julia, as PMS head, disburses the President’s billion-peso pork barrel.

An in-law works for the World Bank.

Lawmakers were just wary the country’s model family may turn into the new “Kamag-anak Inc.”


Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s campaign slogan, “Gusto ko happy ka,” still works for him even after he got reelected to the Senate.

His main rival for the Senate top post, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, withdrew his bid.

Seventeen of his colleagues want Enrile to be happy too and reelected him as Senate president.


President Noynoy Aquino’s first ever State of the National Address (Sona) was marked by the absence of soaring rhetoric and clear economic goals.

He, however, succeeded in telling the people the state of the nation’s coffers, with only P100 billion left unspent out of the P1.54 trillion budget for this year.

He could have simply said: “What would you expect me to do? Our coffers have tanked.”


PNoy, who enjoys the trust of nine out of ten Filipinos in the latest Pulse Asia survey, said Filipinos can dream again.

“The mandate we received last May 10 was testament to the fact that the Filipino continues to hope for true change. The situation is not what it was before; we can dream again,” he said.

Yes, we can dream again, even during daytime.