Aquino rejects Abad’s resignation

By Louis Bacani
The Philippine Star

Florencio-Abad-and-Noynoy.3MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — President Benigno Aquino III revealed on Friday that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has tendered his resignation amid the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy.

Aquino said Abad submitted his resignation letter yesterday, but he turned it down.

“I have considered the same and I have decided not to accept the resignation,” Aquino said at the start of the 2015 budget presentation in Malacañang, which was shown live on state-run People’s Television Network.

Abad is considered as the architect of the DAP, a mechanism introduced in 2011 that realigns government savings from slow-moving projects to other programs supposedly to boost the economy.

Critics have claimed that DAP funds were used as bribes for lawmakers to vote for the impeachment and conviction of former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The high court finally released a decision last week declaring key parts of the DAP as unconstitutional, which sparked calls for Abad’s resignation.

Aquino maintained that the DAP benefited the people.

“To accept his resignation is to assign to him a wrong and I cannot accept the notion that doing right by our people is a wrong. Therefore, I have decided not to accept his resignation,” Aquino said, drawing applause from the other members of the Cabinet.

In the 92-page decision published last week, the SC said “authors, proponents and implementors” of the DAP can have criminal, civil, administrative and other liabilities “unless there are concrete findings of good faith in their favor by the proper tribunals.”

Malacañang has insisted that the DAP was done in good faith, with Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda clearing Abad of any liability over the controversial fund scheme.

Read: Palace clears Abad of plunder over DAP

But Justice Arturo Brion, in his separate opinion, said there were transgressions found in Abad’s performance of duties when evidence showed that his actions “negate the presumption of good faith.”

“To be specific about this disclaimer, aside from the many admissions outlined elsewhere in the Opinion, there are indicators showing that the DBM Secretary might have established the DAP knowingly aware that it is tainted with unconstitutionality,” the magistrate said.

Brion said during the oral arguments for the DAP, the budget chief admitted that he has an extensive knowledge of both the legal and practical operations of the budget.

He also explained that his verbal exchange with Abad during his questioning negates any claim by the Cabinet official that he did not know the legal implications of what he was doing.

“As a lawyer and with at least 12 years of experience behind him as a congressman who was even the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, it is inconceivable that he did not know the illegality or unconstitutionality that tainted his brainchild,” Brion said.

“Armed with all these knowledge, it is not hard to believe that he can run circles around the budget and its processes, and did, in fact, purposely use this knowledge for the administration’s objective of gathering the very funds collected under the DAP,” the SC justice added.

Read: SC Justice: Abad aware DAP tainted with unconstitutionality

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/07/11/1345010/aquino-rejects-abads-resignation


2 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Don Azarias says:

    Perry,

    President Aquino was given a chance to remove the cloud of doubt that has been hanging over his head over the PDAF and DAP controversies. Had he only used his best judgment, that would have been good enough to restore the public’s trust and confidence in him as a leader.

    Abad’s offer to resign should have been an easy way out for P-Noy yet he didn’t grab that golden opportunity. Bluntly speaking, P-Noy blew it. What what was he thinking? Or is his IQ simply below par?

    Don

    • tirso padel says:

      Mr.Noynoy Aqueno I warn you, conselation of Philippine ONE with the access and credibility on international responsibility.I hope not too late nuclear Bomb destroyers including your advisers in this centurium event.maintaining third world problems wherein the Philippines the second poorest of the ASEAN countries and consolation of Philippine ONE world budget Composition.

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