Napoles’ ‘mentor’(?) a man of integrity and simplicity
I commend Solita Collas-Monsod for her clear, simple and logical debunking of Janet Napoles’ claim that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was her mentor in the PDAF scam (“He returned the money, with interest,” Opinion, 6/7/14).
I would only add a few highlights of Abad’s character based on my personal experience.
He and I were in the Eighth Congress which convened in 1987 during the presidency of Cory Aquino, during which, as leader of the House Liberals I had the privilege to work closely with him. Although only a first-termer, he stood out as a consistent propoor and progressive legislator.
When President Cory harnessed Abad into her Cabinet as agrarian reform secretary, even without ensuring that he first got confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, he readily assumed the job in order to advance the agrarian reform program, thus forfeiting his seat as congressman. However, a potent group, which included some congressmen, preferred the conversion of agricultural lands to industrial and commercial uses and opposed his confirmation. Rather than compromise his principles in order to assure his confirmation, he chose to resign. Unfortunately, having already lost his House seat, he could no longer return to it.
He was the secretary general of the Liberal Party when I was its president from 1994 to 1999. Notwithstanding the demands of legislative work, he prodigiously attended to party tasks with full dedication, especially in matters affecting the women, youth and labor sectors.
Why Abad resigned as education secretary in the past administration as one of the Hyatt 10 is widely known.
Through all the 27 years that Abad and I have been associated together in government and party, I can vouch without any reservation for his integrity, loyalty, patriotism and dedication to the poor and, if I may add, simplicity and humility. And I am sure many other Filipinos from all walks of life, politicians or otherwise, do.
—RAUL A. DAZA,
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