Palace, Magsaysay in word war over laptop deal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2011 10:04 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2011 07:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Wednesday lashed out at Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay for accusing the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) of irregularities in the purchase of P1.6 million worth of laptops.

The Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, in a press statement, said Magsaysay's allegation "is a lie, and reeks of malevolent intent and political machinations."

"It is a reckless statement by, of all people, a known ally of one of the most corrupt presidents this country has ever had," the Palace said.

"Mitos Magsaysay has once again shown her incompetence as a political operative with her blatant disregard for the truth," the statement added.

Magsaysay fired back on social networking site Twitter on Wednesday night, saying Malacañang's statements are "ad hominem," or personal attacks against her.

"(PCDSPO Secretary) Ricky Carandang is attacking the wrong person. He better put his money where his mouth is re attacking my person, it might backfire on him," she said.

"Why will they attack me if they [are] not guilty? As minority, a lot of info [is] given to us. I never mentioned his name last [week] in [a tweet]," she added.

The Palace statement said Magsaysay "attacked Sec. Carandang as payback for the Aquino administration's relentless pursuit of those who have eroded the people's trust in our institutions."

"Here are the facts: The PCDSPO's Bids and Awards Committee has always followed all government rules and regulations. In the case of the computers, two public biddings were conducted; these involved publication of the call for bids. The public biddings failed twice. The PCDSPO then proceeded with a negotiated purchase, as government rules stipulate," it added.

"This required corresponding resolutions by the BAC, who holds meetings with a COA auditor present. All purchases were made at market prices with a scrupulous regard for the people's money. Anyone who wishes to see the documents and receipts is welcome to do so," the statement read.

"To insinuate that the PCDSPO leadership tried to undermine processes for personal gain is an insult not only to the agency concerned, but to all those who are in government to serve and not to line their own pockets."