• Will Abad hang with PNoy or will he save himself alone?


    NOT a few are disappointed that President B. S. Aquino has remained untouched despite Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ recent move to have the hitherto untouchable Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad investigated and prosecuted, if warranted, for his role in the massive manipulation and misuse of the constitutionally outlawed P150-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Morales’ move followed the reported shouting match inside Malacañang’s Yellow Room between Aquino and Abad, whom the former had earlier described in a speech in Cebu City as the “brains” behind his much touted “daang matuwid” (straight path). Abad’s defense could prove lethal to the President.

    Like the Nazis accused of war crimes at Nuremberg, Abad is now trying to say he was merely following superior orders when he instituted the DAP. He obviously anticipated the day of reckoning and made sure it would be Aquino’s neck, not just his own, on the chopping block. He even made sure that every DAP document which required his approval was signed instead by his faithful undersecretary, Mario Relampagos, on his behalf. None of this could completely acquit him, but because of this, PNoy could find himself in a much larger, crocodile-infested swamp.

    By pinning on Aquino the ultimate responsibility for his unconstitutional brainchild, Abad has made it clear he saves himself instead of sacrificing himself for his political and intellectual ward. The name of the game now is political survival, and he might survive only by abandoning Aquino to his own fate.

    Sources at the Department of Budget and Management claim that Abad has in his possession a document signed by Aquino, authorizing the various uses of the unconstitutional DAP. Abad could use this now to tell the nation the whole story of how Malacañang used the DAP to bribe Congress in order, among other things, to railroad the impeachment and conviction of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, on the basis of eight unverified Articles of Impeachment, which were ultimately reduced to one unimpeachable offense—his inaccurate Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, which under the law he was allowed to correct.

    Related sources claim that when Abad first asked PNoy to sign the purported DAP document, the latter referred the same for study to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, who recommended that he not sign it. Despite this, Abad managed to outsmart Ochoa and get PNoy to sign it, the sources said. This is now the lethal weapon in Abad’s hands. Abad knows he has the advantage and has apparently decided to exploit it; some analysts already see dangerous signs in his body language.

    One eyewitness has revealed that in PNoy’s recent Malacañang meeting with 20 retired generals, led by former Defense Secretary and AFP Chief of Staff Renato de Villa, Abad made a spectacle of himself by having his arms akimbo (he had his arms bent at the elbows and his hands at his hips) when he spoke to the President. The generals took this as a sign of disrespect for the President and his guests.

    In that meeting, PNoy wanted to find out why 31 retired senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, reservists and veterans had put out a full-page “Manifesto” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sept. 14, 2015) expressing “apprehension and alarm” over the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro forged between Aquino’s negotiators and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and “opposition to the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, in its original form,” as a byproduct of the FAB and the CAB.

    The PDI was also reportedly asked why it did not suppress the anti-Aquino ad.

    The Manifesto said the implementation of these “crafty agreements” would be “an express trip to the dismemberment of this country’s territory and the creation of a Moro state in Mindanao” as well as the “renewal of organized violence and horrendous destruction of life and property.” It expressed “unsullied support” for the Philconsa petition before the Supreme Court, asking the Court to declare the FAB and the CAB unconstitutional and prevent their hasty implementation. This petition was signed by Philconsa president, Rep. Martin Romualdez, together with Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz of Zamboanga and Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao, former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales and this writer.

    According to our eyewitness, PNoy tried to suggest that Sen. Ferdinand (Bongbong) Marcos Jr., who has conducted extensive hearings on the proposed BBL, and authored an alternative Senate version of measure to the draft, was responsible for the full-page ad. He was quickly corrected by retired Commodore Liberato Lazo, president of the Kapisanan ng mga Kawal sa Mindanao, who said the ad was an independent, patriotic initiative of the retired flag officers, and that Bongbong Marcos had nothing at all to do with it.

    PNoy tried to say something about the Philconsa position, but before he could do so, former Chief of Staff Gen. Dionisio Santiago cut in to say he was a member of Philconsa, and started discussing the contents of the SC petition.

    PNoy was especially warm to De Villa and to retired Major General Jose C. Magno, former Cencom and Southcom commander, who was also close to the late President Cory Aquino, and the generals found the conversation with PNoy pleasant and fruitful. But what stuck out of the meeting, according to our eyewitness, was Abad’s unusual behavior. They could not remember his exact intervention, but they are not likely to forget an image of his superior (supercilious) posture, said our eyewitness.

    The apparent danger Abad poses to Aquino is not only legal, but also political. Abad remains one of the leaders of the so-called Hyatt 10, the group of Cabinet and other senior officials who were ousted by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, PNoy’s immediate predecessor, after they had threatened to oust her. Not all of them are still in office, but the bulk of them had become the most powerful members of the Aquino government. They could still stage the same putsch which was aborted under GMA.

    What happened then?
    Because of the various scandals that began with the alleged rigging of the 2004 presidential election, compounded by the alleged corrupt transactions involving the “First Gentleman” and some of his adult children, GMA had become so unpopular that at one point former president Corazon Aquino led a number of friendly bishops to ask her to resign. The administration was morally and politically hemorrhaging. To staunch the hemorrhage, the Cabinet decided to intervene.

    In a meeting led by then Defense Secretary Avelino (Nonong) Cruz, the Cabinet agreed the “First Gentleman” and the Arroyo children should voluntarily exile themselves to some foreign country while the embattled Mrs. Arroyo takes a low public profile and allows the Cabinet to be seen as running the government.

    But unbeknownst to Arroyo, and many members of the Cabinet, Abad, who was then Secretary of Education, Nonong Cruz and Sen. Franklin Drilon, their chief ally in the Senate, were said to be hatching a move to remove GMA from the presidency altogether This involved invoking Section 11, Article VII of the Constitution.

    This provides: “Whenever a majority of all the members of the Cabinet transmit to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice-President shall immediately assume the powers of the office as Acting President.

    “Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall reassume the powers and duties of his office. Meanwhile, should a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet transmit within five days to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Congress shall decide the issue. For that purpose, the Congress shall convene, if it is not in session, within forty-eight hours, in accordance with its rules and without need of call.”

    The reported plot failed, largely because GMA’s vice president, the broadcaster Noli de Castro, refused to join. They promised him heaven and earth, but De Castro remained loyal to Arroyo and the Constitution. In the case of PNoy’s vice president, Jejomar C. Binay had earlier left the Cabinet, where he used to be in charge of overseas Filipino workers’ concerns and housing, and declared himself the presidential challenger from the opposition. But he has been the object of a two-fisted demolition campaign by the same elements of the former Hyatt 10. This has caused his public trust rating to fall, behind that of the non-performing and untrustworthy PNoy.

    An alliance between the Abad camp and Binay is completely unlikely, but part of the demolition job aganst Binay is a plan to fast-track the five-year-old protest at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal by the defeated vice presidential candidate and now LP presidential nominee Mar Roxas, and to have him declared as the real vice presidential winner in 2010. Roxas would then sit as vice president, and led by Abad, the original Hyatt 10 could then invoke the previously quoted Section 11 Article VII of the Constitution against PNoy.

    Abad’s camp is confident, our sources say, that if there is a move to divide the House, PNoy could expect full support only from Ochoa, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Science and Technology Mario Montejo, who is related to Ochoa by affinity, but that’s all.

    That, they point out, is how the cookie crumbles.

    * * *

    PERSONAL. I cannot thank everyone enough for all their warm greetings and prayers on my 76th birth anniversary yesterday, on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Please continue praying that nothing I say or do in and outside this space will ever offend the dignity of the family, the trust of my neighbor, the honor of our country, and our Lord’s love and peace.



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    1. ABad is very Bad,he together with Pnoy and cabinet secretaries(belonging to Hyatt 10) should be put in jail after the last day of his administration, because they are all corrupt.The people should not vote any Liberal Party candidates because they were trained by Pnoy and ABad in “Tuwad na daan” as performed by Playgirls.

      • Exposing their own guilt. They deserve what is happening among them…CORRUPT! Fooled everyone, fooled all, used ppol’s tax to bribe allies against corona impeachment. They all made corona look like a fool when all of them lost their conscience spending taxpayers money at their foolish interest and at the expense of the taxpayers.

    2. The citizens realized that we have a budget and management secretary who was wise enough to make plans how to distribute the budget and gain maximum support from both the congress and senate. He is on his last eight months and i hope that no president will get him again for that position because he can be hazardous to our country’s budget.

    3. someone has to answer for the PDAF and DAP, it cannot be that the 2 highest approving authorities can claim innocence. One has to go down and it looks like Abad is going to be the fall guy. Time to call a presscon and spill the beans Mr. Sec. It could be your finest hour yet.

    4. Conchita Carpio Morales, the Ombudsman, is my hero and my leader. One day she will leave a legacy that will reverberate forever in the minds and hearts of our faceless kababayans and written in the annals of our political evolution. Her recent action to take on the most powerful troika; Abad, Aquino, and Drilon secures her place in history as a patriot of the war against corruption and political dynasties. If I were to pick a candidate for President it will be her, regardless of political affiliation or even lack of it. We do not need a revolution we just need to evolve into a people like the Ombudsman. I am saying this to encourage COA auditors, the PMA graduates, and intelligent lawyers to stand up and fight in the esteros of public opinion and in the courts of law by invoking our rights for justice and fairness, so we can provide a decent shelter, meal and medicine daily for the unfortunate. Next target should be the Smartmatic system. This one should be easy to legally dismantle as well. And it should be done pronto to ensure that it will not be used at all for the 2016 election, if there ever will be an election. Why, I say that? I believe that if the COA auditors, intelligent lawyers, and PMA graduates look deeper into the “details” Binay, Roxas, and Duterte have a better chance of winning a place in jail than in Malacanang. And therefore, the Ombudsman will be the next president of the Republic which she will win by popular vote if not by default. I grant you that if this happens, the Bansangmoro initiative will collapse, the need for a charter change or federalism type of government becomes irrelevant. We do not need a bloody revolution. What we need is a blessing from God and support from all sectors of our society to throw all that is evil. Let us pray to find the resolve to fight this Evil that had afflicted our minds and way of life. Pope Francis is on our side. Now, we need to muster our collective courage to develop strategic and tactical plans to execute before the 2016 election to have a fighting chance. Let us do it! Let us do it!

      • Darewin Amio Ocampo on

        My opinion about the Ombudsman was about to change for the better until she acquitted from the DAP scandal investigation, despite Abad was repeatedly saying all DAP documents were signed by Pnoy.

    5. Good Job Mr. Senator Kit Tatad…. I know more relevant and important issue must be revelead from you so the filipino people knows the mafia syndicate happenings in Malacanang, associated with Congressman and senator allied by this LIAR, CROOKS,LUNATIC, MORONIC PRESIDENT.

    6. Natanggal na ang PDAF, next phase naman ng debate ay lump sum funds. It must scrutinize these funds to ensure that they will be used properly.

    7. Yancey Rodriguez on

      That amount is very huge and a Congress championing transparency and accountability that this administration has been bragging about should bar such appropriation because it does not provide the full details as to where the funds will be spent.

    8. joselito talavera on

      we cannot predict calamities but I would suggest that we lessen the lump sum funds so that we can ensure that public funds are not wasted by allocating these to specific.

    9. The government definitely need the SPF to be used for “calamity funds, contingency funds.

    10. ramil panganiban on

      show-cause order should be issued against Secretary Abad for his “flagrant disobedience, resistance, and disregard of the decisions of the Supreme Court in the PDAF and DAP cases.”

    11. Were the pay off to Congress and Senate to impeached CJ Corona included to the President’s personal project mentioned earlier?

    12. Amnata Pundit on

      If this is their karma, it is karma well-deserved. Im certain more is coming, not just for
      Abad and Boy Sayad but for the other yellows as well.

    13. Concerned Citizen on

      ABAD should be JAILED with Pres PNoy along with Mar Roxas, Dinky Soliman, Leila de Lima , Sixto Brillantes of Comelec (Hocus Pcos electoral sabotage in 2010 and 2013). Their days are numbered – they have to be accountable for all their crimes against the Filipino people – From Corona’s illegal impeachment, DAP/PDAF; Misuse of CCT /4 P’s, Mamasapano, Corruption of Mar Roxas while DOT and DILG Secretary , Malampaya Funds, BUB , Yolanda funds not disbursed properly, violating the Constitutione, etc, etc – Thank you Mr Tatad for exposing the true character of ABAD !! We are SOOOOO TIRED of this yellow regime claiming they are “daang matuwid” (laughable !!) when they are the extreme opposite ! Filipinos – please do NOT vote for all the LP candidates ; we need to get rid of all the yellow ribbon political candidates !!

    14. Thank you Senator Tatad! This article is priceless, to say the least! May your tribe increase. God bless you and our country!

    15. laguatanlawzen.com on

      Excellent and erudite and well researched writings. Good job Kit. Please run for the Senate you deserve the slot better than any present crops of “Senatongs” and “Representa-thieves.”

    16. Jose A. Oliveros on

      If it is true, as A Bad claims, that PeNoy approved all disbursements out of the PDAP, that makes PeNoy a principal by indispensable cooperation, or at least an accessory to the crime. But A Bad cannot invoke the defense that he was just following superior orders because that defense will hold water only if the order is legal. PeNoy and A Bad should remember that criminal liability is personal to the offender.
      And since the trial of the surviving Nazi officials was mentioned, the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal did not give credence to the defense of those officials that they just followed the orders of Hitler.

      • Leodegardo Pruna on

        The president has the power to overrule or even veto official pronouncements emanating from his cabinet and by affixing his signature obliges the implementer to exercise that is provided for. This is even more exacting if in the process, the chief executive states approval and affix his signature on the document. A BAD man is not only smart but vicious. God bless the Philippines.

    17. Sana humaba pang ang buhay ninyo,dahil marami pang tao ang natututo sa mga kaalamang ibinabahagi ninyo.Para kaming mga estudyanteng laging nagbabasa ng leksyon na nagbibigay ng liwanag sa mga usaping hindi pa namin gaanong nauunawaan, Nawa ang pagibig ng diyos at kapayapaan ay matagpuan ninyo.

    18. Justaskingseriously on

      Your 76th birth anniversary continues until the whole earth has completely turned on its axis. It is still the feast of St. Francis of Assisi in the other half of the earth’s circumference while sister moon looks on as mother earth slowly turns on its axis as if to display her happiness on your birthday. “Happy Birthday, Francis!” as if displayed on a global blimp makes your Tocayo Saint Francis blush with utmost modesty. And everybody is happy too for displaying your scoop on what goes on in the palace for all to share.

    19. Maribel A. Calanda on

      Belated Happy Birthday, Senator Tatad! May you have many more birthdays to come. I wish you the best of everything.

    20. We wish you good health and a belated happy birthday sir! Thank you for your articles which are worth reading.