Abad: Jinggoy's speech didn't help him in 'pork' case
MANILA -- Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad believes Senator Jinggoy Estrada should have just defended himself from his alleged involvement in the P10 billion pork barrel scam instead of hurling "unfounded criticisms" against lawmakers allied with the administration.
"You know the people actually expected him to explain his side...rather than accuse practically everybody else that I think he could accuse, and simply just confuse everyone as a consequence," Abad said in an interview with ANC's "Headstart" on Thursday.
"I think it did not help this case...by making those unfounded criticisms," he added.
Estrada, along with Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, is facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel anomaly.
In his privilege speech on Wednesday, Estrada slammed the supposed partiality of the Commission on Audit (COA) for not highlighting irregularities in the fund disbursements of other lawmakers allied with President Benigno Aquino III.
Abad explained that the COA's special report which covered the years 2007 to 2009 was started by Chairman Reynaldo Villar in 2010, when Aquino was not yet the President.
Grace Pulido Tan only took over the following year.
Abad said it just so happened that the findings of the COA and the testimonies of the whistleblowers in the pork scam case "somehow converged on certain names."
He also said that Estrada's insinuation that the government's investigation into the controversy has become more of an administration versus opposition issue did not actually help the senator's side but only "diminished the credibility of [his] speech."
Meanwhile, the budget secretary again denied bribing senators for the ouster of Chief Justice Renato Corona in May 2012.
Abad said Estrada simply "jumped to conclusions," citing his contradictory statements on Wednesday.
Estrada, in his speech, insinuated it was a bribe, but later denied it to Senate President Franklin Drilon.
"How can people now conclude that there was bribery in the first place when the very person who exposed it turns around and says no there was no bribery," Abad said.