Abad on Binay tirade: 'It's almost a joke'
MANILA, Philippines – Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad denied allegations of Vice President Jejomar Binay that the government's housing budget was diverted from Binay's agencies to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) headed by Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Abad cited Department of Budget and Management (DBM) records showing that the 4 housing agencies headed by Binay—the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), and National Housing Association (NHA)—have received a total of P116.3 billion pesos from 2010 until 2015.
But Binay claimed otherwise, saying political ties dictate who gets more money from the government.
Abad is closely associated with Roxas, Binay’s political nemesis. Although Roxas has not formally announced his intent to run, he and Binay are seen as the top contenders in the 2016 elections.
Why only now?
Until he resigned from the Aquino Cabinet, Binay has been thanking the Aquino administration for supporting his housing programs. Binay served as housing czar from 2010 to June 2015.
“What’s most galling is the fact that just last year, Binay gave effusive thanks to the President for the support that was given to the Vice President’s housing programs. Perhaps Binay doesn’t realize that by repeatedly contradicting himself, he exposes his character for what it really is,” Abad added.
This is similar to President Benigno Aquino III's sentiment on Binay's tirades against his administration. Aquino, dismayed, wondered aloud why Binay, as a Cabinet official, did not make any proposals at all to improve government service in the last 5 years.
Abad also denounced Binay’s inconsistent statements on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Binay, in an official statement, denied receiving P2.243 billion from the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) through the NGC, after questioning the government’s use of DAP at the height of the controversy.
Abad, however, maintained Binay’s agencies received a total of P11.45 B in DAP funds in October 2011, including the Housing and Urban Development Council (HUDCC.)
“Recently, the Vice President boasted about the ‘record and performance’ of HUDCC under his watch. But didn’t an UNA official just say that HUDCC is under the OP, after we reminded the Vice President of the DAP support that the agency received? It’s almost a joke – and not a very funny one – when Binay keeps contradicting himself in this fashion. He’s certainly more than happy to take the credit when it benefits him. Unfortunately, however, he’s not quite as eager to be truthful or answerable to the people,” Abad said.
The Binay-led United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) previously called on President Benigno Aquino III to sack Abad for the implementation of DAP, which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.
Groups also filed plunder complaints against Abad after the SC decision.
The President, however, rejected Abad’s resignation despite Abad taking full responsibility for the questionable funds.
Binay launched his presidential bid on Wednesday, July 1, by blasting the Aquino government, which he described as inept and lazy. – Rappler.com