The Philippine government suffers from a bad case of Abad infestation

The Philippine government infestation by the Abad dynasty headed by current Department of Budget Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio ‘Butch’ Abad is being bathed under an increasingly harsh spotlight. The full extent of this infestation was described in detail by United Nationalist Alliance secretary general and Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco…

[…] Tiangco said there are 11 Abads in government — including Abad’s wife, Henedina (representative of Batanes and vice chairman of the powerful House approriations committee); daughter Julia (Presidential Management Staff head), son Luis (chief of staff of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima); four nephews; one niece; and two first cousins.

But in his 2013 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, Abad only declared nine relatives in government service. His son, Luis, was no longer listed.

Tiangco added the ‘alarming’ fact that “the Abads virtually control the Aquino administration from the President’s schedule to the trillion-peso purse” — “largely a family-run operation.”

Recently, Abad’s daughter Julia was named “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Manila Times columnist Ben Kritz described this move by the WEF as one that sends the wrong message

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If there were no else with the same surname in the Philippine government, we might not question whether a CV as a well-educated alalay [Tagalog for ‘assistant’] qualifies one as a “young global leader”, but the inescapable fact that the Philippine government is positively infested with Abads completely invalidates the argument that Julia Abad owes her position to her own talent and hard work. She doesn’t; everyone in the Philippines knows it, she knows it, her parents know it, and if the WEF did a little research, they would know it, too.

Indeed, as Budget Secretary, Abad is seen by many as the architect of the notorious “Disbursement Acceleration Program” (DAP), the renowned beyond-audit-reach Malacanang slush fund allegedly used to finance the bribery of ‘Senator-Judges’ who presided over the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012. As if this weren’t enough of a badge of dishonour to wear on his forehead, he is also now under pressure to explain why he sat for months on almost Php1 billion in relief funds that Congress had approved for use in the rebuilding of schools destroyed when super-typhoon Haiyan hit central Philippines in November 2013.

Yet despite all of this, President BS Aquino stands by his henchmen. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda attributes this perceived “singling out” of Abad Inc as sign of the public’s reluctance to criticise their “incorruptible” president. Lacierda asserts that “Obviously, nobody wants to hit the President because the President’s honesty, incorruptibility, reformist image…can never be questioned. So, they are trying to hit the people around him.” A remarkable effort to defend yet another PR disaster for the beleaguered regime of President BS Aquino. Like Deparment of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Abad is now all but a washout.


The Philippine President, however, owes Abad big time. Abad is likely to have won the favour of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan as a member of the famous “Hyatt 10”. The term “Hyatt 10” refers to a group of seven secretaries of the Cabinet and three heads of government agencies in the Philippines who resigned their posts on July 8, 2005 as a result of the ‘Hello Garci’ scandal, which allegedly implicated then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in rigging the 2004 general election in her favor.

The name “Hyatt 10” was coined because the press conference where the concerned officials announced their resignation was held at the then-Hyatt Regency Hotel (now Midas Hotel) in Pasay City. The group continues to be influential in Philippine politics, and includes current Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

Abad then served as then presidential candidate BS Aquino’s campaign manager during the 2009-2010 election campaign. Reports of infighting between the Hyatt 10 and President BS Aquino’s core Kamaganak Inc are legendary. Journalist Fe Zamora observed in a 2010 Inquirer report on the “inside story” of this feud how the Cojuangco clan at the time “did not want any Hyatt 10 member back in the Cabinet under the new Aquino administration because they were once closely associated with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.”

How much longer can Abad — and, for that matter, Mar Roxas — continue to cling to the Aquino administration by their fingernails? Two more years if necessary, perhaps. Then again, like the multitude of teleserye Filipinos are hopelessly addicted to, it is best to sit back and watch the show go its natural course.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the article “Hyatt 10” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]

27 Replies to “The Philippine government suffers from a bad case of Abad infestation”

  1. Whenever Lacierda speaks to justify the stupidity that is happening before our eyes. A facepalm is not enough. I am glad there is no sledgehammer within arm’s length.

    1. Abad was proclaimed by Pnoy as the Mabini of the Aquino Administration. Wonder what do they plan to do after 2016. If Roxas or Poe wins the election, the show will go on.

  2. The Abad family now owns the Philippine National Treasury…they determine, who gets the funding, and who do not get the funding…Why did Aquino and the rest of the Senators and Congresspeople allow this to happen?
    It is nepotism to the highest level…members of the Abad family serving the financial sectors of the government…
    It is a massive corruption , and it stinks to high heaven…
    Never in the history of our country, that we have seen so few people, with so much corruption committed.

    1. IDK about that last statement. Were you alive and able to ascertain what was going on during the 1972-1985 time frame? It was pretty bad, from what I’ve heard.International org.’s have put the financial crimes of the Philippine leaders at that time on the scale of “Worse than Caligula, and then the rest of the Ceasar’s combined”, and that HT….is pretty bad.

      Seems that the Filipino nation has been subjected to massive institutionalized corruption since the countries Independence in 1948 and further, the seated government does not know how,or simply does not want, to operate without this ‘disease’.

  3. Malacanang is the Starship Enterprise. The increasing number of Abads are the Tribbles. This is where my analogy dies like an unloaded photon torpedo. There is nobody aboard with the leadership of Kirk, the intelligence of Spock, the healthy cynicism of Mccoy. Valte, Coloma, Lacierda and Carandang take their turns at being Uhura. Lord knows they all wanted to kiss Noynoy like in Plato’s Stepchildren. Granted it would be like licking an ashtray.

  4. Here is another double standard for y’all.

    SC is now dragging it’s feet in deciding the legality of the presidential pork. So there is a possibility that it can still be declared legal. God knows what the SC is waiting for….

    So it is possible that what doesn’t work for Juan and Pedro (senate pork) works for Noynoy (presidential pork). What a government of imbeciles!!! Even a 5th grader can decide on that.

        1. Look who they CHOOSE to work for. The leader sets the tone. Which works if your leader is Patton. They work for a guy who was voted for out of pity and not out of respect. No matter what anybody says. What a lousy formula for nation building.

        2. Not surprising that they can’t even spread propaganda to save their sorry hides. People that drank too much of the yellow kool aid deserve to get their brains lobotomized.

          The yellow ship is sinking fast and they choose to go down with it.

        3. Budoy. I can actually see why you say that. But , if everybody hates your post that is no fun. However, should you hit the sweet spot where it’s polarizing , lots of supporters and lots of detractors that is very rewarding as a writer. Foster debate. The detractors sometimes get steamed because they are being described in the piece in a way that is too close for comfort.

        4. I think more people ‘hate’ a broken record really. I appreciate your comment, but perhaps I can clear some room for intelligence by removing such indolence? The irony in such moronic posts are very much what GRP appears to avoid. In fact much of da best on offer is typified by such knee jerk responses as ‘one drip’ proffers…… .

    1. Budoy,

      Well you keep surveying GRP since you have a firm grip on what is moronic and you seem to be regulating the intelligence and navigating the landmines. Do you want me to bow next time??

    2. If SC declares DAP constitutional, GRP would condemn it; if it declares otherwise, GRP would praise it to high heavens. Alam na.

  5. Looks like Aquino is getting dragged into this abad mess since he’s the one who appointed abad in the first place.
    Even the former bishop is now calling for abad’s resignation.

    It’s better for abad to jump the sinking yellow ship than to go down with it.

    1. There’s no hard evidence against Abad. If there is, do you think the Opposition would wait a minute longer to file a case against him in order to destroy PNoy?

      1. Yes,there is.
        If abad was really innocent, he would have resigned to save face but nope, kapit tuko kasi sa pwesto so there is hard evidence against one of your bosses, Mr. “Jacinto”

        You’re just too stupid and blind to see how abad is really the mastermind of that PDAF scam.

        Troll harder, Loser with a capital L

      2. “There’s no hard evidence against Abad.”- a) Who is looking? b) Who does that looker work for? c) does the answer to b want anything to be found on Abad?

        Difference between you and us is that you take Lacierda, Valte and Abad at 100% face value. Don’t bother reading GRP anymore. You will be in danger of learning something.

  6. Not True. The Filipino people suffer from a bad case of Colonial Mentality (aristocratic thinking because they’ve been pedigreed by the Spanish and Americans) and Tribal Mentality (feuding and warring with each other because of their primitive tribe-like mental and emotional makeup, regardless of how educated and sophisticated they claim they have become in the last century).

  7. This kind of political scandal may have a negative effect on foreign investors looking for a place to set up their businesses. Right now the Philippines is enjoying a robust growth, increase of BOI registration and PEZA registration. FDI’s are in all time high and the ease of doing business in the Philippines has gotten better, confidence of foreign investors in the Philippines is contributing to the growth of the economy but this political scandal might affect their appetite in investing here, specially if the current administration is under fire from all the scandals hounding the cabinet members. So whether the accusations are true or not the government should do everything to clear the name of its cabinet members.

  8. Abad’s daughter is engaged to a World Bank executive. Is this one of the reason why we are getting loans from WB, even if we have tons of savings? Is this also the reason why we are getting good credit ratings? Is this also the reason why BSP paid millions from DAP to settle its dues? Abad and company are mortgaging our country to World Bank. Remember that WB lends you an umbrella when the sun is shining and takes it away when it rains.

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