Joker: ‘Indolent’ spokespersons put Aquino in trouble
MANILA, Philippines – The President’s spokesman used “DOM” supposedly to refer to former Senator Joker Arroyo’s tactics but obviously to also jibe at his old age.
Arroyo, however, wouldn’t take name calling that far in answering questions about the issue at hand – the misuse of discretionary funds by the executive.
"Their style is DOM — they deny, they obscure, they misdirect. That's what they do. They distract from the issue, so they are DOM," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said on Monday.
He was reacting to criticisms made by Arroyo and others (including Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, constitutionalist Father Joaquin Bernas, and former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno) that the Palace’s Disbursement Acceleration Program, which realigned items in the budget without Congress’ approval, is “illegal.”
He hit Arroyo for supposedly keeping quiet during the past administration, when the Senate was probing into corruption cases.
"When he was at the Senate, there was the fertilizer fund scam. The NBN-ZTE, many other corruption cases were tackled by the Senate blue ribbon but he was quiet,” Lacierda said.
Arroyo said on Tuesday, October 8, that if Palace officials only did some research, they would not have made those false claims about him.
"Part of the problem in Malacañang is the indolence of their spokespersons. They play things by ear and pass it on as facts," said Arroyo, who once referred to the Aquino Cabinet as a “student council” supposedly for being amateurish.
Arroyo said that as chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee in the 13th Congress, he co-authored Committee Report No. 54, "strongly condemning” the P728-million fertilizer fund scam and “recommending prosecution of the offenders from top to bottom."
He cited another committee report that recommended the indictment of top officials and persons involved in the botched national broadband project with the Chinese firm ZTE.
Arroyo said he opposed the hiring of US lobby group Venable LLP, Executive Order 464 on executive privilege, and Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of national emergency in 2006 as it curtailed freedom of assembly and the press.
He also "reported out and condemned the anomalous deals and contracts involving PIATCO, the tax credit scandal, NAPOCOR, and Masinloc biddings, and others," the former two-term senator said.
"Malacanang has an office, the PLLO (Presidential Legislative Liaison Office), right in the Senate. They can ask there for the records, but they don't, and thereby err in their statements…. Staff indolence, that's why the President gets into trouble for missteps that are not his," Arroyo said. – Rappler.com
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