Abad denies Suñas' claim he was a Napoles client

Budget secretary Butch Abad has issued an official statement denying the claim of whistleblower Marilyn Suñas that he was a client of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles.

"It has come to my office's attention that Ms. Suñas named me as a Napoles 'client' in her testimony before the Sandiganbayan Third Division today. This is a surprising development, because when she last mentioned my name, it was to deny that I had transacted with Napoles. If you recall, this contradicts her earlier statement that I was a 'client,' as she explicitly said in her November 2013 affidavit," Abad said Friday.

During the bail hearing of Napoles at the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division on May 8, Suñas identified the former Batanes congressman as among the public officials who had allegedly dealt with the so-called pork barrel scam queen.

According to reports, the whistleblower defined "client" as a person who had transactions with Napoles and received kickbacks. However, she said no projects pushed through after Abad had talks with Napoles.

"It appears that Ms. Suñas is prone to giving inconsistent testimony, and that alone raises serious questions on her credibility. We also find it curious that her story doesn't even match Napoles' supposed timeline," Abad said.

"It is crucial now that we establish the truth, and it's unfortunate that Ms. Suñas is doing the exact opposite. Her statements against me are untrue, and I have no doubt that this will be proven soundly in the course of the investigation," he added.