With his inclusion in the ‘Napolist’ Budget Secretary Florencio Butch Abad thinks that Janet Lim-Napoles was “hallucinating,” while insisted that he did not transacted with the businesswoman during the height of the pork barrel scam.
Abad said in a television interview on Wednesday that he did not transacted with Napoles from the time when he was still a Batanes congressman until today. He said even members of his staff never knew the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.
“Wala ho akong kinalaman bilang congressman, bilang opisyal, bilang secretary of [Department of Budget and Management] sa anumang scam ni Napoles o kanyang mga pekeng [non-government organizations],” Abad said.
But Abad admitted that Napoles tried to set up appointments with his office.
“Although I have heard that a number of times she had tried to arrange to have an appointment but my staff simply said ‘no’,” Abad said.
Abad is among the former and incumbent government officials who are implicated in the multi-billion pork barrel scam and is on the list of Napoles.
The list was given by Napoles’ husband, Jimmy, to Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson which the latter submitted to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Tuesday.
According to the affidavit, Napoles first met Abad in 2000 when the budget chief was still a congressman. It said that it was Abad himself who taught the businesswoman how to set up foundations.
Abad simply denied again the allegations that he mentored Napoles.
“I think she’s hallucinating. She’s been in bad shape for some time. But I really think that she is vigorously trying to get immunity from this and she’s been throwing around names that she feels that can put pressure on the government to consider her application as a state witness but there is no way that she can get that,” Abad said.
He said none of his PDAF was allocated to Napoles’ foundations since it all went to Batanes, which he said was among the 20 poorest provinces in the country before he became a congressman.
“They can very well see there all the benefits that the people got because of that,” Abad said.
One of President Aquino’s ally, Abad said his lifestyle to Napoles would show that he could have not mentored the businesswoman.
“You can see how a very poor ‘master’ or ‘mentor’ I am,” he said.
Despite all these, Abad said the President is still confident that the Budget Secretary would pull through the issue.
“Secretary Abad continues to enjoy the President’s trust and confidence,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
“A mere allegation concerning actions taken in a previous position does not affect the presumption of regularity in connection with the performance of current duties,” he added.