Joke didn’t deserve to be banner story
I write in response to the article, “Lawyer seeks charges vs Abad in pork scam” (Front Page, 8/11/15) which was published as the day’s banner story.
While the piece aspired to fairness–particularly in featuring my response to the motion filed against me in the Sandiganbayan by lawyer Bonifacio Alentajan—its gravest failure was the very weakness of its subject.
A cursory study of Alentajan’s allegations should reveal nothing but the clumsiest logic. In his motion, he claims I am “most guilty” in the execution of the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, which, by the Commission on Audit’s own accounting, covered the years 2007 to 2009.
Unfortunately for our heroic petitioner, I was not the budget secretary from 2007 to 2009, and thus had no authority over the special allotment release orders (Saros) and the notices of cash allocations (NCAs) issued during that period. Neither was I serving in public office then.
Alentajan further embarrasses himself by claiming that all Saros and NCAs are issued under my specific direction. This is hopelessly inaccurate. Since occupying my post as budget secretary, I have not been the signing authority on any of these documents.
That authority has been delegated to an undersecretary.
It does not require thorough research to secure this information. And what crucial details these are—not only would they have given the banner story the dimension of reason it so needed, they would have alerted the readers to the speciousness of Alentajan’s arguments.
Alentajan himself does not seem very serious about pursuing the case; he can’t be blind to its fundamental weaknesses. It does make me wonder: Whose interests is Alentajan serving, and why is he especially keen on discrediting me? Under whose orders is he acting, and why is there always such generous media
coverage of his stunts?
While I take the greatest exception to Alentajan’s obtuse, blundering accusations, I am disappointed anew with the Inquirer for
assigning this story the esteem it does not deserve.
One cannot be disappointed in Alentajan, from whom we have already come to expect the most vacuous legal theatrics. Yet I—and certainly the public—would have expected more from the Inquirer, which prides itself on the reach of its circulation and the professionalism of its people.
A joke of a legal complaint for a banner
story? Surely the Inquirer knows better.
—FLORENCIO B. ABAD, secretary,
Department of Budget and Management
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