Palace: Ex-treasurer deceiving public over statement vs proposed budget

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

MALACANANG assuaged on Saturday fears that the proposed P2.606-trillion budget for next year would be used for the 2016 elections.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte made the assurance following the warning of former National Treasurer Leonor Briones that the administration candidates might use the national budget for next year as a political tool as she noted that almost half of the proposed budget could be considered as lump sums.

"Alam niyo mas mabuti pong tingnan natin iyong mismong budget kasi makikita po natin diyan, and this is where you should hold us accountable because all the agencies and all the departments have put targets," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

She noted that the proposed national budget that was submitted to Congress was contained in six books, much more than the previous years, because all the details of where the money would be spent are written there.

"So 'pag binuklat niyo po iyong mga librong iyan, makikita niyo iyong tina-target ng bawat ahensiya at bawat department. Ang nangyayari po diyan 'pag hindi po namin naabot iyan, puwede niyo po kaming tawagan at sabihin, 'Bakit? Anong nangyari? Bakit ganito? Bakit ganyan?'," Valte said.

With that, she said the Aquino administration could be held accountable.

"That's why we put out the information," she stressed, adding that Briones' statement was "meant to cultivate fear in others.

"So how do you counter that fear? You have to go to the information and discern for yourselves. Kaya nga po natin nilalabas iyong mga ganitong impormasyon para makita po ng taumbayan kung saan po natin ginugugol iyong pera ng bayan," she said.

Brinones' allegation that almost half of the proposed budget was discretionary lump sum under the Office of the President was an "absurd claim," she said.

"Iyong katulad ho ng mga bagay na iyong contingency fund na under Special Purpose Fund, sinasabi na dahil lump sum daw ho baka saan na dalhin. Contingency fund nga ho iyan e. Iyong calamity fund ganoon din ho. I think the use of these funds in the last few years will show you that the funds are being spent well and that they are being allocated for the purposes for which the law intends them to be spent," she added.

Valte asked critics not to confuse the public by throwing allegations, which are either half-truth or just being crafted to deceive the public. (SDR/Sunnex)

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