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Butch Abad: I will stay July 12,2014 - 05:14 PM

FILE PHOTO. President Aquino wades into the crowd after the LP leaders meeting with the senatorial candidates in Mandaue City, Cebu, on Wednesday. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

MANILA, Philippines—Embattled Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad on Saturday said he would defer to President Benigno Aquino’s “better judgment and stay.”

“Although I was wholly prepared to relinquish my post, I am grateful for the President’s expression of his continuing trust and confidence in my leadership of the department,” said Abad, whose resignation was rejected by Aquino on Friday.

“I have thus chosen to defer to his better judgment and stay.”

Abad tendered his resignation Thursday amid calls to quit his post after the Supreme Court on July 1 ruled that Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was illegal. This discretionary fund similar to the graft-tainted “pork” barrel fund of Congress was Abad’s brainchild.

“On Thursday, I tendered my resignation from my position as DBM Secretary to the President. This was not without thought or reflection,” he said.

“In the wake of the controversy surrounding the DAP—especially after the adverse Supreme Court ruling that declared parts of the program unconstitutional—it became clear to me that I must abide by the highest standards of accountability that we in the Aquino administration hold ourselves to,” Abad said.

Aquino rejected his resignation, saying, “To accept his resignation is to assign to him a wrong and I cannot accept the notion that doing right by our people is wrong.”

Abad said he was grateful for the President’s continued trust and confidence in him.

“I am determined, as I have always been, to do justice to the President’s faith in my integrity and competence,” he said.

“I assure the people that we will proceed with a keener awareness of the standards against which our work will be measured, but also with a deeper appreciation of the great opportunities for reform ahead of us,” he added.

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