Butch Abad and DAP: When a Lightning Rod is not a Lightning Rod

The Supreme Court ruling on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has suffered the same fate as its twin Sister the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) … it is Unconstitutional. The timing could not have been unfortunate for the Aquino Government. It has locked itself in a star fortress position waiting out the siege in the press, in social media and in public opinion. Hoping in the belief that as long as the call is not unanimous they will survive the day – something learned from its predecessor Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – you need not a majority of supporters – just a segment of society not seeing the benefits of change. BUT what is intriguing though is from a political point of view there were options available (and still available) in order to those calling for the blood of the President.

It all points to Budget Secretary Abad: The Dr. Frankenstein of DAP. He would have been the perfect scapegoat who will absorb all the blame and be sacrificed before in the desert. In this case he is the lightning rod that attracts the lightning away from the President. Yet, Malacanang does not seem inclined to sacrifice Abad before the Angry and the Disgruntled. He does not need to be fired or charged … he just needs to resign. BUT so far he has not and it seems he cannot.

This is intriguing.

Abad enjoys the most important opinion in the Philippine Government – the same singular vote that stopped actress Nora Aunor from becoming a National Artist. And that is the vote of the President. And what merits this steadfast confidence and trust of the Presidential Tenant in Malacanang.


First, Abad is an efficient administrator and did the blunder on good faith. From a desire to do good he crafted, endorsed and implemented an act that violated the Constitution. But he did the mistake in good faith.

Second, Abad who has served several administrates is an important keystone in the government. The Aquino Government would not survive without Abad and his family – who occupies different positions in the Executive branch and one seat in Congress.. His departure would doom the Aquino Government – plunge into chaos.

Third, Abad is the lynchpin of the Liberal Party inside the Government. He who was the campaign manager of Aquino is also the critical link of his party in the Executive Branch. In important piece in the Star Chamber of Malacanang. Thus it comes to no surprise that the Vice-President’s political coalition is calling for his resignation and not the President. When you get rid of Abad you lose the LPs Queen in the Malacanang Chessboard.

So why is Abad not resigning ? Why is Abad not yet dismissed or sent on leave?

Perhaps he simply cannot. The lightning rod is not a lightning rod.

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