Palace calls Aquino camp's attention to incorrect data

June 11, 2010 8:28 pm 

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, June 11 – Malacanang is disputing some information President-elect Benigno Aquino III's camp is providing him, saying the correct data is available for his reference.

"People briefing President-elect Aquino should take better care of the facts," read a text message forwarded by Philippines News Agency general manager Vittorio Vitug, citing presidential spokesperson Ricardo Saludo as such statement's source.

The message clarified there's no P300-billion budget allocation for the armed forces' modernization.

Neither is there only 1,000 government vacancies to be filled up by President-elect Aquino since the correct count covers 4,301 posts as the administration's transition team earlier reported to its counterpart.

"Independence Day will be celebrated tomorrow [June 12] – only the non-working day is moved to Monday as mandated by law," the message continued.

This message assured the present administration's preparedness to provide data on government's state of affairs so President-elect Aquino can be guided accordingly.

"We in government are ready to provide facts and figures needed by the incoming administration," the message said.

During his maiden press conference after being proclaimed as the incoming Chief Executive, President-elect Aquino expressed skepticism over accuracy of some government data the present administration cited to quantify its accomplishments.

The present administration is standing by its report, however.

During a Palace briefing earlier, Saludo maintained this report is credible since government career professionals – honed by decades of experience in gathering, processing and analyzing data – generated the data Malacanang used in accounting for the administration's accomplishments.

"We do believe we have a sound basis when citing the numbers," he said.

He noted even international organizations recognized and used government-generated data in making economic projections for the country.

These organizations' overall finding is such data can be relied upon, he said. (PNA) RMA/CJT/utb

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