Strike 2: New psych report on Noynoy also fake
By Carmela Fonbuena
MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) – A new version of a report on Senator Benigno Aquino III’s mental health, released on Tuesday by a supporter of Nacionalista Party (NP) presidential bet Sen. Manny Villar, is also fake.
Jesuit priest Jaime Bulatao, who supposedly signed the report, denied writing or signing such a report. (Click here for Fr. Bulatao’s letter.)
The second fake report on Aquino’s mental health was distributed at a press conference by former National Power Corp. President Guido Delgado. (Click here for story.)
“It has come to my attention that an unverified ‘psychiatric evaluation’ allegedly signed by me in 1979 about the mental condition of Senator Benigno C. Aquino III is currently circulating in the news. I categorically deny having written and signed that report,” Bulatao said in the statement he signed at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Bulatao founded the Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Psychology and the Central Guidance Bureau of Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) in 1961. He was also the president of the Psychological Association of the Philippines from 1979 to 1981.
Delgado, a supporter of Nacionalista Party (NP) bet Senator Manuel Villar Jr., distributed copies of the report on Tuesday morning but he stressed that he did not verify it.
“It is the media’s role to confirm its veracity,” he said in a press conference.
Delgado said his co-volunteer in the Villar camp received the Bulatao-signed second report in a packet last weekend. It had no return address.
The report, which was supposedly signed by Fr. Bulatao on August 9, 1979, claims that Aquino, who was then only a 19-year-old student of Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), was found to be “suffering from depression and melancholia,” due partly to his father Ninoy’s incarceration under the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos.
Previously, a bogus psychiatric report from the Ateneo psychology department on Aquino was circulated. It had factual errors, including the signatory, Fr. Carmelo “Tito” Caluag, who denied it as he was never a psychologist but a high school principal in the same school.
Caluag is also a Jesuit priest.
Asked for comment, Aquino said Villar’s camp is getting desperate because their survey ratings are going down.
Aquino also said Delgado could have verified the report before taking it to the media.
He admitted he knows Fr. Bulatao, who was his former professor at Ateneo, but said he has never gone through any such kind of psychiatric examination as alleged in the report.
Aquino’s campaign spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, said they have evidence that would show that the two reports were fabricated by the NP camp.
“Delgado simply cannot give the unverified documents that fell out of the sky to media then expect them to verify while the story is circulating the airwaves,” he said.
“He cannot just go to town and tell the public it is their obligation to verify his accusations. Villar and Delgado are making fools out of the media and the public. From the start, they have made moral and intellectual dishonesty the crux of their campaign. Are these the kind of people we would want to run our country?” he added.
LP campaign manager Florencio “Butch” Abad said it shows the NP’s desperation. But he’s confident that it will backfire on Villar.
“They’ve been throwing everything at Senator Aquino including the kitchen sink…Now they’ve brought out another kitchen…These are baseless accusations meant to counter the surging numbers of Aquino in all the pre-election surveys.”
“The public can see through these dirty tricks that Villar’s campaign has put out to the point of saturation. It reflects the sort of murky politics that has kept our country from progress,” Abad said. “We are confident that come May 10, the people will do what is right for our country.”
Villar is trailing Aquino in pre-election surveys. In the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) pre-election survey conducted April 16 to 19, Aquino’s lead over Villar increased to 12 percentage points from just 9 points in March.