Noynoy admits talking to a psychologist, but only about other politicians
By Aurea Calica and Delon Porcalla
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III admitted yesterday he had indeed talked with a psychologist – but about other politicians, not himself.
He recalled that in The STAR’s series of interviews with presidential candidates, he was asked if he had consulted a psychiatrist.
His reply that he spoke with a psychologist friend about the personalities of some politicians drew laughter from The STAR editors, columnists, and reporters, he said.
Aquino refused to dignify an alleged psychiatric report when he was 36 years old, saying the Ateneo de Manila University and the supposed signatory, Fr. Carmelo Caluag, had already declared it fake.
LP campaign manager Florencio “Butch” Abad and Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the revelation of ABS-CBN that the Nacionalista Party was the source of the manufactured document would show that their rivals were ready to propagate lies to get ahead in their campaign.
Abad said Villar should just answer allegations against him rather than engage in black propaganda.
“(NP presidential bet Sen. Manuel) Manny Villar is desperately trying to salvage his declining numbers, this time using the fake report Nacionalista Party black propagandists have concocted, spread all over the Internet, and leaked to the media. Unless he is feigning ignorance, Villar does not seem to know the difference between fake and authentic documents,” Lacierda said.
“By calling on Senator Noynoy Aquino to answer the fake report, Villar dignified it even as it has been debunked as a forgery by two independent sources – Fr. Tito Caluag and the Psychology Department of Ateneo de Manila University. He further troubled Fr. Caluag – who is not a trained psychologist – by calling on him to clarify the content of the fake report just because someone pasted his signature on it.”
Lacierda said the same feeble logic was applied in his approach to the documents that came out questioning his claims to poverty, which he used as the basis for his money-bloated campaign.
In this case, Villar did not answer the issues directly and just reiterated his embellished autobiography and patched it up with conflicting details.
“He never addressed the authenticity of the death certificate and the land title and merely focused on where they came from. Senator Villar erroneously refers to these documents as black propaganda, even if they were gathered by independent journalists and are confirmed certified public documents,” he said.
‘Cooking up pattern’
First the acronym “topak,” then came the alleged psychiatric problems.
LP senatorial candidate Martin Bautista said their rival Nacionalista Party (NP) seems to have cooked up a pattern where they intend to portray Aquino as someone having mental problems.
No less than veteran broadcast journalist Tina Monzon-Palma informed Aquino in Friday’s press conference in Davao City that the fake psychiatric documents came from the NP, from which news anchor Ces Orena-Drilon based her story, but which the NP disowned, he said.
Drilon had since apologized to Aquino for airing the story based on the spurious document without checking on its authenticity.
“Are you pursuing to find out what is the source? ABS-CBN said it was given to them by NP,” Palma told Aquino as she urged media to be more discerning next time around.
“Perhaps we can appeal to media. I was told perhaps it was in another age (when) you need to have attribution. I understand this came from text messages then blogs. Text messaging is really the ideal mechanism of black propaganda,” Aquino said.
Bautista said it started with NP stalwart Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who “laid the groundwork for the black operations by coining the term ‘topak’ to attack Aquino in a desperate attempt to stop Aquino’s breakaway in the homestretch of the race.”
Aquino has widened his lead by 12 points over Villar in the last two surveys conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia.
Cayetano said “topak” stands for “traditional politicians and Kamag-Anak Inc.,” referring to Aquino’s allies and relatives.
“Everyone knows what topak means – someone who is sick in the head. And this is what the NP wanted to reinforce in their attacks against Noynoy by spreading these fake psychiatric documents in cyberspace,” Bautista, a doctor by profession, said.