DBM Secretary Abad Confirms “Douchebaggery” as Official Administration Policy

Budget Secretary Butch Abad (artist’s rendition)

In a brief interview published in the Inquirer this week, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Jr. confirmed that the Aquino Administration would continue to use the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations otherwise known as “pork barrel” as a political tool to curry favor with Congressional allies and punish opponents. Abad did not clarify whether or not anyone who disagrees with the policy should kiss his ass.

Abad named Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay, Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco, Jr., and the two sons of former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as among those Congressmen who did not receive any of their PDAF in the past two years, and had zero allocation in the 2013 budget submitted to Congress this week. When asked why the funds were being withheld, particularly in an election year, Abad explained “These are political realities we have to consider,” without elaborating, although he earlier characterized Rep. Magsaysay, an outspoken critic of President Aquino, as “a special case” because “she says a lot of things.”

Abad’s home district, incidentally, comprises the Batanes Islands, which have a population of roughly 15,000 (the country’s smallest province) and are represented in Congress by his wife Dina. While most Congressional districts receive between P70 million and P140 million in PDAF funds, Abad reportedly approved P800 million for his wife’s district at the end of 2011.

What is truly disappointing – appalling, really – is that for all N/A’s rhetoric about “transparency” and “good governance”, not only did the current occupant of Malacañang reject the chance to literally put his money where his mouth is and put an end to the entire inefficient and corruption-ridden PDAF scheme, he has directed that it be used in the most blatantly cynical way possible. It would have even been praiseworthy, if only mildly so, if strict rules for its rational distribution and accounting had been imposed, but no; instead, he trots out his bookkeeper to announce that the new “political realities” are that those who oppose him – and by extension, the people they represent – will be sanctioned for doing so.

Daang na matuwid? Absolutely. It’s the same money-paved path to hell walked by every government this country has had for the past quarter-century.

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  1. #1 by Joe America on July 27, 2012 - 6:06 am

    At the beginning of the argument, I was shaking my fist at you for being so rude to Mr. Abad. At the end, I was giving him the finger, too. The use of the citizen’s money to play blatant political games is indeed appalling. I think there is a certain blindness to the “social causes” of poverty in the Philippines, of which the “trade of favors”, or this kind of game-playing is one. So is the need to play win/lose games in every discussion or vote. So is the setting aside of any notion of responsibility for outcomes, ala the Catholic Church. So is the failure to nurture and nourish principled achievement. I guess where I settle out on this issue is extreme “dismay”. Thanks for the ball peen hammer upside the head.

    • #2 by Amir al Bahr on July 27, 2012 - 10:40 am

      Come on Joe, you’re aiming the finger at the wrong guy. At this point, although it’s not clear whether Abad has any apparent personal reason to be playing this sort of political douchebaggery, his boss BS Aquino does. BS Aquino is whom you should be giving the finger to. Our “dear leader” remains an incorrigible brat two years into his term. I thought he was above playing such petty politics, so what’s up with this, hmm?

      Is his definition of corrupt someone who is either an Arroyo, or someone who criticizes him, hmm? “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap”? More like “kung corrupt ka, maghihirap ka”, based on how he’s acting.

  2. #3 by jojo on July 27, 2012 - 7:16 am

    Bravo, Ben! I guess the political reality that Mr. Abad is talking about is the one which states that if you ain’t with us, you can rot in hell. And yet, so many people refuse to believe what they see, perhaps because they still can’t accept that they were wrong in choosing to trudge down the matuwid na daan with their chain-smoking pied piper. Four more years, alas, of hearing one thing promised and seeing another get done by the policy douchebags. I’ll have that hammer when you’re done with it, Joe America.

  3. #4 by ardeend on July 27, 2012 - 4:37 pm

    And on and on it goes. Still as an underling to an opposition congressman that supported Arroyo and not Aquino i cant help but wonder why??


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