Rep. Palatino assails PNoy’s ‘shadow cabinet’

WITH the revelation of discreet back channel talks with China in the Senate yesterday, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino assailed the Aquino administration for creating and depending on a ‘shadow cabinet full of dark knights bereft of transparency’.

“The Aquino administration claims to create a transparent and responsive government. Yet this issue unravels that not only is PNoy using an army of dark knights to perform secret deeds – it also reveals that the government is doing a lot of under-the-table talks that the public isn’t aware of,” Palatino said.

During yesterday’s session in the Senate, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV announced that he has lost confidence in Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile due to the latter’s alleged railroading of a bill creating the province of Nueva Camarines.

However, Enrile responded by demanding Trillanes to explain his role in secret bilateral talks with China over the Panatag Shoal dispute.

Trillanes confirmed that he was involved in the talks, but explained that his trips to China were sanctioned by the Palace.

“Such revelation sheds light on PNoy’s style of work: while presenting a facade of transparency, the president directs his shadow cabinet to do the dirty work behind the scenes,” Palatino said.

“PNoy is playing a very dangerous game,” he said.

“The Trillanes intrigue is just one of the shadowy deeds of the Palace. The recent whitewashing on the resignation of Interior and Local Government Secretary Rico Puno, PNoy’s shooting buddy, is another stark example,” Palatino said.

Puno, who claims to be the “eyes and ears” of Aquino in DILG, has been involved in several controversies which include anomalous gun deals and jueteng.

“Perhaps we need to keep on digging. We may unearth other staggering secrets behind the Palace’s walls. This may even be the reason why the Aquino administration is not keen on passing the Freedom of Information Bill,” Palatino said.

“PNoy must be reminded that his office should be the most transparent of all government agencies. Decision-making should be consultative and publicly known, and not done in secret trips and shooting sessions,” Palatino said.

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