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Palace: No apology for mix-up on $10-B

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:05:00 10/17/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said it has no immediate plans to apologize for the mix-up created by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s wrong announcement that the World Bank was committing $10-billion for Southeast Asian nations to weather the global economic crisis.

“As of now, I have not heard of the next step on this,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez said, when asked if the Palace would apologize to the World Bank.

At the same time, Golez parried calls from administration critics for the Palace to sack Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, who admitted to passing the wrong information to Arroyo on the $10-billion standby fund, which, it turned out, was committed, according to him, by the International Monetary Fund.

“It’s between the President and Secretary Teves,” Golez said.

A day after Arroyo announced the $10-billion pledge in two speeches on Wednesday, the World Bank denied making such a commitment, but maintained that it was willing to help the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Arroyo made the announcement based on information from Teves, after the first round of his meetings with the World Bank in Washington, where the $10-billion proposal was brought up.

But in a second meeting, of which Arroyo was not immediately informed, the World Bank abandoned the $10-billion commitment and instead proposed a bilateral approach, which will see it dealing with ASEAN member-countries individually.

On Thursday, Teves, in a phone call to Trade Secretary Peter Favila, said that after going over his notes, he found out that it was the IMF, not the World Bank, committed the $10 billion.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-10-17T09:51:11+00:00UTC10bUTCFri, 17 Oct 2008 09:51:11 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

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