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Abad brushes off resignation calls

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Budget Secretary Butch Abad

As if brushing dirt off of his shirt, Budget Secretary Butch Abad refused to give up his post out of “delicadeza” (good taste) after Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani urged him to resign.

“I had warned about people being confused and distracted by these unfounded allegations and accusations. The bishop thinks I am on both the Napoles and Luy lists. I am not on the Luy list,” Abad said in a news report.

“And I have proven thru documents that the Napoles allegations are not true. So what delicadeza are we talking about here?” he added.

Malacañang, time and again, defended the good friend of President Benigno Aquino III.

“We have already made our position clear: when it comes to cases against anybody, we will go where the evidence is. And so far, the claim of Napoles has been rebutted by Secretary Abad by the fact that there is no Special Allotment Release Order for the Batanes Electric Cooperative as mentioned by Mrs. Napoles,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

On Monday, Bacani called out Abad, urging him to resign his post after he was linked in the pork barrel scam as per the documents of Janet Lim-Napoles and whistleblower Benhur Luy.

“Truth is, Secretary Abad should resign, even if investigation is pending, I will leave my office, he should tell himself, that’s it. I will suspend myself,” he said.

“I will tell him to step down and he should show that he is not clinging to his post. Somebody else can take his place,” the bishop pointed out.

Abad also slammed Napoles’ list, adding that it should not be believed.

“The Luy files have copies of letters, Saros, NCAs [notice of cash allocations] and other documents. They are also corroborated by whistleblowers,” he added.

Abad was referring to the transaction records of Luy, which contain 31,700 pages of dealings of Napoles with lawmakers.

“When it comes to cases against anybody, we will go where the evidence is. And so far . . . Again, we’ve stated the claim of Napoles has been rebutted by Secretary Abad by the fact that there is no Saro as mentioned by Mrs. Napoles,” Lacierda pointed out.

“By the way, all the allegations in the 2007-2009 Special Audit Reports are supported by documentary evidence and what are those [pieces of] evidence? Saros . So you look at Saros. So Mrs. Napoles claimed she met Butch Abad, he presented a Saro from Batanes Electric Cooperative. Go to the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] and you can see whether it’s true. Don’t take my word for it. Documents should prove or disprove an allegation,” the Palace spokesman said.

Lacierda also said the President is still confident in Abad.

“If you look at Secretary Butch Abad, he has long experience in governance. Look at Secretary Julia Abad, she has been the Chief of Staff of the President since the President was a senator. So you have competence, you have confidence . . . regardless of who the officials are. We need people who are competent. We need to have confidence [in] the people we work with. That’s a basic requirement in any relationship that you have,” he said.

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