A video has emerged showing Department of Budget Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio ‘Butch’ Abad being mobbed by activists at the University of the Philippines School of Economics building in Diliman, Quezon City last night.
In the video, youths loudly chanted, among other phrases, “Noynoy Patalsikin!” and then heckled Abad as he left the building and boarded his vehicle.
In a statement posted on his Facebook profile, Vencer Crisostomo, chairman of Leftist group Anakbayan and a former chairman of the militant League of Filipino Students (LFS), referred to the protesters as “mga Iskolar ng Bayan” (“scholars of the nation”) seemingly implying that they represented the overall student body of the University of the Philippines. Crisostomo also wrote…
[Abad] was pale and looked like the guilty criminal that he is. Once he got in his SUV, it hurriedly exited the campus like a grand theft auto.
Abad is widely-regarded as the architect of the notorious Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which was allegedly used as a mechanism to channel funds illegally to the pet projects (and, allegedly too, into the bank accounts) of Senators and House Representatives in exchange for their “cooperation” in Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III’s personal campaign to impeach then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
Malacanang condemned the “attack” and implied that the the crowd that gathered to heckle Abad presented a threat to his safety. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte reiterated the government’s respect for freedom of expression and urged the protesters not to resort to violence.
“Mahirap pong makipag-usap kung sumisigaw lamang at hindi nakikinig,” (“It’s difficult to have a discussion with people who only shout but don’t listen”), Valte said.
President BS Aquino 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.”
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