Topacio tells Valte: Elementary, my dear Abi

Posted at 02/03/2013 4:33 PM | Updated as of 02/03/2013 4:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said the compliment from former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo must have intoxicated her successor’s spokesperson so much.

In a statement, the lawyer of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo disputed deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte’s statement that President Benigno Aquino III has already surpassed the achievements of his professor, the incumbent Pampanga representative.

"This is a classic case of the student already surpassing the teacher," Valte said, when the Arroyo camp praised Aquino for the strong growth in the local economy.

Topacio said: “Since I am a lawyer, and not an economist, I must dispute her statement based on facts, reason and simple logic, something sadly deficient in the Palace at present.”

He said a quick look into the views of economists such as Ben Diokno and Solita Monsod may “save her some embarrassment.”

A report from the National Statistical Coordination Board said Arroyo posted the best average economic performance during her term. While some economists credited Aquino for a “fast” growth in economy, some find it wanting in terms of inclusive growth.

Topacio noted Arroyo showed statesmanship when she praised the country’s economy under Aquino. “Sad to say, it can be intoxicating to a high-spirited spokesperson not knowing how to respond to a simple compliment. It's a compliment, student.”

He added: “Our camp has always given credit where credit is due. Of course, we cannot praise President Aquino for any growth in his hair, there being none. But he should be credited for the present state of the economy.”