At a press briefing, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said she’s “quite amused” by the recent “string of press releases” asking for the resignation of different Cabinet members.
“Hindi ko po alam sa kanila kung sino po talaga ‘yung mga pinupuntirya nila. But, in the past week, there have been more than three na binabanggit. Isa po, mag-resign daw, dapat liable, dapat ganito,” she said.
Valte was reacting to criticisms on how quickly the Palace has been supposedly clearing government officials linked to the scam, including Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, a close ally of President Benigno Aquino III.
“We have the ability to quickly discern what is a substantial allegation and what is an allegation borne out of politicking,” she said.
Other officials who have been implicated in the scam were Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
Reacting to Valte’s statement, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said Malacañang was being “self-righteous.”
“Ang pinapalabas nila sila lang ang may karapatan to discern. Napaka-self righteous naman ‘yun. Ibig sabihin sila lang ang judge? Same COA report naman ang pinagbabasehan,” Tiangco, secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), told GMA News Online by phone.
He was referring to a Commission on Audit (COA) report detailing the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds by several government officials, most of them lawmakers. The report said Roxas, during his stint as senator, allocated P5 million of his pork barrel funds to a questionable non-government organization, the Kaloocan Assistance Council Inc.
“Bakit ang kakampi nila madaling i-absolve pero kapag kalaban nila (may) imbestigasyon?” Tiangco said. “Why don’t they just let the allies go through the same investigation?”
But Valte said they have documents proving the innocence of administration officials in the alleged scam, which has already resulted in the largest protest rally under the Aquino administration.
“At least we look at the documents. We asked the secretaries about it. Kasi alam naman po natin kung sino lang yung namumulitika at sino lang yung talagang merong pinanghahawakang akusasyon,” she said.
She asked their critics to take the COA report “in the proper context.” — with Marc Jayson Cayabyab/KBK, GMA News