Lacson doing his job as Yolanda rehab chief, Palace says


Posted at May 17 2014 04:14 PM | Updated as of May 18 2014 07:23 PM

MANILA - Malacañang said former Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson remains focused on his job as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (PARR) of areas devastated by super typhoon "Yolanda."

"You know, from what I understand si Secretary Ping eats Yolanda plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to him," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told radio dzRB on Saturday.

"I think, just because merong particular statement si Secretary Lacson sa isang isyu na pinag-uusapan, hindi naman po siguro ibig sabihin hindi na ho niya ginagawa yung iba ho niyang tungkulin pa," she added, pertaining to the pork barrel scam issue.

Lacson was one of the personalities who received a list of alleged pork barrel scam beneficiaries from the camp of Janet Lim Napoles.

The others were Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, and Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines President Sandra Cam.

Lacson's Napoles list contains 11 senators and 69 congressmen, both incumbent and former, and other individuals allegedly involved in the anomaly.

Lacson has since been criticized for supposedly busying himself with the whole pork barrel scam issue instead of focusing on his job as rehabilitation chief.

When asked to comment on calls for the resignation of Lacson, Valte kept mum and said the former senator should be the one to answer.

"I'm quite sure that Secretary Lacson will have something to say about that," she said.

PNoy not protecting Cabinet men

Meanwhile, Valte dismissed criticisms that President Benigno Aquino III is protecting the three Cabinet secretaries included in the Napoles list.

They are Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Budget Secretary Butch Abad, and TESDA chief Joel Villanueva.

Valte said the President just wants them to be given due process. Aquino won't fire officials unless there is sufficient evidence of involvement in the anomaly, she added.

"Hindi naman ho pinoprotektahan ng Pangulo kung sino ho yung may ginawang mali. Obviously, lagi ngang sinasabi ng Pangulo, 'imbestigahan at siguraduhin na merong ebidensiya,'" she said.