Malacañang says gov’t has kept prices down
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Monday hit back at administration Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who had dared President Aquino to use the Malampaya Fund to provide a subsidy for electricity to consumers, thus challenging a Supreme Court ruling in the process.
“Senator Trillanes should not be so hasty in making general statements. I think he should appreciate the fact that this government has managed to keep prices down, has managed to keep prices within inflation,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
Lacierda appeared ticked off when one reporter hinted the Aquino administration was “numb” to the rising cost of power.
“You don’t give us due credit when the prices of gasoline go down. I think you forget that prices do go down. We’ve kept inflation at a very low rate, at a manageable rate,” he said, adding the government was investigating the new round of power rate adjustments.
“Your assumption, your conclusion that we do nothing, that prices go up, that is a fallacy,” he said.
Trillanes on Sunday said the Malampaya Fund could be used to soften the impact of the P4.15 per kilowatt hour increase in power rates.
Not for subsidy
But the President said he had been advised by Palace lawyers that the recent Supreme Court decision barred the government from doing so. The ruling said the fund could be used only for energy development.
“That’s just his interpretation of the ruling. It doesn’t say it’s illegal to tap it. He should go ahead with it and let the Supreme Court say it’s illegal,” Trillanes said. “As the saying goes, if you’re keen on doing something, you can think of many ways to do it. Otherwise, you offer a lot of excuses.”
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