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Abad: I’m not the pork king

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Budget Secretary Butch Abad

Fingers are now pointing at Budget Secretary Florencio Abad as the “pork barrel king” behind pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. But Abad quickly shutdown these allegations that he and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala were behind the scheme. “These fresh allegations that I tutored Napoles in designing the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scam are simply not true. I’ve been called several names since I began serving in this administration, but ‘pork king’ is certainly the most ridiculous,” Abad said in a statement. “It would in fact be funny if it weren’t such a blatant lie,” he added. A newspaper report picked up by several broadcasting stations yesterday said Abad, a former Batanes congressman, and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, former Quezon congressman, were among several public officials implicated by Napoles in the multibillion-peso anomaly. The daily cited a source who quoted Napoles as saying that Abad and Alcala were directly involved – with the former releasing the funds for senators and congressmen and the latter taking charge of the implementation of the projects. “At the moment, these are all speculations, and until I receive a copy of Ms. Napoles’ affidavit, I cannot comment properly on the matter,” Abad said. “Suffice it to say that I have never dealt with Napoles, much less acted as a mentor in executing her alleged schemes,” Abad said. The Liberal Party stalwart, who is a close friend of President Aquino, vowed that the Department of Budget and Management will continue “to fight for a government free of corruption, even if our transparency and accountability reforms run counter to the interests of some.”

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