MANILA, Philippines — A “ceremonial resignation” was how oppposition Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Friday described Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad’s decision to step down from his post.

President Benigno Aquino III announced Friday that Abad tendered his resignation the day before but said that he turned it down.

“It was a ceremonial resignation as it was not irrevocable. Resignation na nagpapapigil [ A resignation that wanted to be stopped],” Ejercito said in a text message to reporters.

The senator was among those who called for Abad’s resignation after the Supreme Court declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

The Aquino government defended the program, saying it was done in good faith.

“Whatever happened to Daang Matuwid? Is a violation of the highest law of the land as long as it was done in good faith acceptable now?” Ejercito asked in another text message.

“Following the logic of this administration, so pwede na palang gumawa ng mali basta’t ito ay makakatulong sa bayan?” he further asked.

(So following the logic of this administration, we can commit a mistake as long as it will help the country?)

But for administration Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the President did the right thing in not accepting the resignation.

“From a leadership perspective, it is the right thing to do. You don’t punish a subordinate for an action that you believe is right and you have adopted yourself,” Trillanes said in a separate text message.

“From a political perspective, it will cause a PR crisis. Having said this, I would have done the same,” Trillanes added.