A dead rumor resuscitated by an inept spokesman

A STORY that has been circulating in social networking sites regarding impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona’s “second family” was denied, sort of, by one of his spokespersons.

GMA NEWS’ reported the response of Corona spokesman Tranquil Salvador to the rumor,

    “We respect those who use social media as means of communication, but siguro for any information that we recieve – text, tweet, blog, or Facebook – there is always a way to verify this,” said (Tranquil) Salvador in a briefing after Wednesday’s impeachment trial.

    Rumor has it that Corona placed several of his real estate properties under the name of his alleged mistress so that they would be hard to trace in case the government investigates.

    Asked whether there was truth to the rumors, Salvador said: “Kami po ay naniniwala sa integridad ni Chief Justice.”

    “Let’s be responsible sa tinatanggap natin. Madaling sabihin ang ganito,” Salvador said, adding that the public should be more vigilant when it comes to information they get especially from the Internet.

The rumor is not convincing at all. It is too sketchy. That’s why the response of Atty. Tranquil Salvador is strange. He could have issued a flat-out denial instead of saying “kami po ay naniniwala sa integridad ni Chief Justice” which is neither here nor there as an answer as far as addressing the rumor is concerned.

Of course it’s entirely possible that the GMA report was poorly written that’s why Salvador’s denial sounds like a non-denial. Still this rumor has been going around for some time so if it had any legs at all mainstream media would have been running with it from day one. But it has not. Maybe they are still verifying the story?

One thing a spokesperson has to know is when and how to react to a story. If a story has no legs then dismiss it outright as a lie. Do it forcefully. Confront and challenge, don’t bob and weave as Salvador has done. Salvador’s response only gave life to a rumor that was DOA to begin with. Now he has the rumor-monger ROTFL.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • baycas

    It’s another thing if the rumor came from their camp (a la Tatad and Tiglao). Salvador may want the rumor to linger on…

    Pinapahaba ang lamay…