Numbers do not lie

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

There was an American humorist, journalist, novelist and travel writer who carried the nom de plume Mark Twain. Also, there was an unverified story that Mark Twain worked in a steamship and Mark Twain was called out by a boat hand when the sounding depth was 2 fathoms, or 12 feet, the shallowest water in which most steamships could then operate at full power, noting that twain is reputedly an old English word for 2. Mark Twain wrote the famous novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” among other works. His real name wasSamuel Langhorne Clemens.

One of Mark Twain’s more famous quotes was “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” That quotation reportedly became a crux of many public discussions of his time. Out of it sprang another quote “Men lie, women lie, numbers don't” which itself accordingly gave birth to a more famous expression “Numbers don’t lie.”

The internet says that “Numbers don't lie” is an expression which is designed to make people think that statistics cannot be argued with. At its core, if the numbers are accurate, it is a truth. Numerical data or mathematical computations related to something show the incontestable truth about the situation. We should take note that the operating words are “incontestable truth.”

There is a report that Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio saw her satisfaction ratings dip again in the latest survey conducted by OCTA Research. Duterte-Carpio had a double-digit negative slide in her satisfaction rating. It was 12 percent lower than her rating in July. The vice president’s rating across all geographic regions went down — by 16 percentage points in the Visayas and 12 percentage points in Balance Luzon — and socioeconomic classes (22-percentage-point drop among Class E and 19-percentage-point drop among Class ABC).

The survey was done around the same time Duterte-Carpio was in the spotlight following reports that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) spent P125 million in confidential funds in 2022 within 11 days, or 19 days as peddled by some quarters reportedly linked to the OVP. The survey period accordingly took place with Congress deciding to scrap the confidential funds of the OVP and the Department of Education.

Numbers do not lie. The number in issue is P125 million and it is true that out of that fund, Vice President Duterte-Carpio spent more than P10 million EVERY DAY in less than two weeks! She pronounced her admission publicly. Coming from her mouth, it must be the truth. Her claim however that it was an augmentation of her confidential is the one that can be treated as a big lie. Treating the millions of peoples’ money as augmentation violated our constitution. To me, it was an impeachable offense. That is the truth. Duterte-Carpio, (and in fact, President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr.,) should be impeached from office.

The numbers reportedly shown by the OCTA survey do not lie. The double digit slippage shows that a huge number of our people believe in the truth that spending P125 million in a short period of time is, at the very least, a violation of peoples’ trust. Most of us may not fully understand the legal nitty gritty why it is an impeachable offense, but we know that her refusal to liquidate the amount wraps the expense as inexplicably corrupt.

The numbers indicating that the ratings of the vice president have dropped tremendously do not lie. They can be taken to mean that many of her supporters may have been disheartened by her seeming obsession to get hold of the millions of confidential funds and they are so turned off by her act that they may not anymore oppose the filing of impeachment articles against Duterte-Carpio.

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