MANILA – Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad was again linked to the multi-billion pork barrel scam as a lawyer recently petitioned the Sandiganbayan to include him among those charged with alleged involvement in the pork barrel allocations.
“It was [Abad] who released the money. He’s actually the most guilty in this case,” Bonifacio Alentajan said, stressing that it was the budget secretary who released the notice of cash allocation (NCA) and special allotment release order (Saro) to suspected pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles’ bogus foundations and nongovernment organizations.
Alentajan then asserted that Abad had ‘direct participation and indispensable cooperation’ in the pork barrel scam, making him ‘the most guilty among the perpetrators of the cases [on] plunder, graft and corrupt practices.’
Abad, however, simply scoffed at the lawyer’s petition.
“Go back to law school… In criminal cases, you just don’t file a motion to implead, you file a complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman,” he said in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.
“As in the earlier plunder case he filed against me, I don’t think Alentajan is serious about filing the case… Why is he doing it or upon whose urging he is doing it, I don’t know,” he added.
Alentajan, for his part, clarified that he filed the petition to the Sandiganbayan instead of the Ombudsman since the Supreme Court already had jurisdiction over the scam cases.
As to why he submitted the motion at this time, it was because he only recently secured copies of the High Court’s ruling on the unconstitutional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Alentajan also filed the petition as Technology Resource Center former director general Antonio Ortiz’ lawyer. Ortiz was among those charged with alleged diversion of pork barrel allocations.
Aside from the former director general, also detained in connection with the pork barrel scam were Napoles and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla.
It can be recalled that Napoles earlier admitted Abad was her pork mentor and that he was the one who taught her how to set up fake foundations and organizations. The budget secretary, on the other hand, denied all accusations.