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Napoles wants Palace down, Abad says

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Budget Secretary Butch Abad

Budget Secretary Butch Abad said that Janet Lim-Napoles’ efforts over the pork barrel scam is primarily to bring down the allies of President Benigno Aquino III.

“The real target here is the President,” Abad said in a TV interview Thursday evening, at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum-East Asia summit.

“I think they’re trying to target people around him in the hopes that if they get us, they may just get to the President,” Abad added.

Abad, Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva, and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala are implicated in the multi-billion pork barrel scam, according to Napoles.

Napoels tagged Abad as her “mentor,” who taught her how to set up bogus foundations through which lawmakers could course their Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations in exchange for kickbacks.

“It’s an absolute lie. It’s ridiculous. I flatly deny that,” Abad said.

Abad theorizes that this move is an attempt to get immunity from suit over the pork barrel and Malampaya fund scam.

“Napoles herself is campaigning for immunity. She wants to attract the attention of the President, wants to be able to negotiate, but the President has closed his mind to that,” Abad added.

But these allegations, as Abad noted, have not put a dent on the President’s trust and satisfaction ratings.

No blackmail

The camp of Napoles fired shots at Abad, saying the businesswoman is telling the truth and she is not out to blackmail anyone.

“Wala kaming bina-blackmail at hindi naman namin kayang mang-blackmail. Nagsasabi lang kami ng totoo… I think that [accusation] is unfair,” Atty. Bruce Rivera said.

Meanwhile, Rivera said they aim to finish Napoles’ affidavit by Monday, May 26, the deadline set by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

He said Napoles’ affidavit will contain the names of three more senators and other lawmakers allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam.

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