Manila, Philippines –Because he did not tender an irrevocable resignation, Budget Secretary Butch Abad’s decision to step down from his post was only “ceremonial,” Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito-Estrada said yesterday.

“It was a ceremonial resignation as it was irrevocable. Resignation na nagpapapigil,” Ejercito said.

President Aquino rejected Abad’s resignation. Malacanang had earlier defended the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), saying fund releases to projects under this program was done in good faith.

But Ejercito pointed out no less than the Supreme Court (SC) has decided that the DAP is unconstitutional.

“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?” he pointed out.

“So following the logic of this administration, we can commit a mistake as long as it will help the country?” he asked.

Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV said he believes the President’s decision will cause a public uproar. “But 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.

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

Sen. Sonny Angara said the Budget secretary ’s offer of resignation only shows that “he has a sense of delicadeza” and that he is not insensitive to public opinion.

“The resignation of Secretary Abad in the wake of the SC decision striking down the DAP as unconstitutional shows he has a sense of delicadeza and is not insensitive to public opinion,” Angara said in a text message.

“As to PNoy’s rejection of such a resignation, we cannot fault the President if he feels that Secretary Abad is more of an asset than a liability serving in his Cabinet,” Angara said. (Hannah L. Torregoza)