March 11, 2007
THE ILOCOS TIMES - NEWS

Koko goes north
Pimentel: Figures can’t be eaten

STRESSING that statistical figures cannot be eaten, senatorial candidate Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on March 4 that the real measure of economic success should be felt in local households.

The young Pimentel, who wants to be identified as “Version 2.0i” of his father, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., was on a personal trip to this northern part of Luzon to meet with local officials, supporters and the tri-media in preparation for the May 2007 polls.

The bar topnotcher, running under the slate of the Genuine Opposition (GO), initiated the public debate with Team Unity during his proclamation speech at Plaza Miranda as he pointed out that the administration slate’s pronouncements that the economy has improved tremendously as manifested by the increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) and other macroeconomics element should not be the prime bases in telling the world that quality of live in the Philippines has improved.

“We can’t confirm figures. Figures are simply figures. Assuming the figure is true and accurate, can we eat the figures? My analogy is that: Nasa market ka, Manang, magkano ang galunggong? Sasabihin P80 per kilo. Manang, sabi sa diyaryo eh P65 lang. Tapos sasabihin ng tindera, eh di bumili ka sa diyaryo!’ Ganun ‘yun! Ang ganda raw ng ekonomiya sabi ng figure—5.5% growth, sabi ng figure. Makakain ba ‘yun?” Pimentel asked as he explained that what should be important today is more than macroeconomics.

“It should be microeconomics—economics at the level of the household, not at the level of the country,” he added as he stressed that GO is ready for the debate.

Meanwhile, in a phone interview with GO spokesman Atty. Adel Tamano, he said that the public debate between the two camps has been set on March 12.

“GO is ready for the public debate on March 12. The debate that we want in response to Joey Salceda’s challenge is mukhang medyo natatakot sila ayaw nilang pag-usapan ‘yung Joc-joc Bolante, fertilizer scam, Hello Garci at dapat businessmen lang daw ang dapat mag-attend. Sa panig ng oposisyon, tayo’y handa at kung sa kanila ay hindi handa, ibig sabihin lang n’un na ang ekonomiya natin ay hindi maganda,” Tamano said.

Earlier, GO chided Malacañang for wanting to limit the debate on economic issues.

Other issues expected to be included in the debate are the issues on hunger, poverty, criminality, corruption and the lack of employment opportunities, Tamano said.

Leilanie G. Adriano

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