Villar to Aquino: Let’s take tests together
By Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer
NACIONALISTA PARTY (NP) PRESIDENTIAL candidate Sen. Manny Villar on Saturday challenged his main rival, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino of the Liberal Party, to undergo a psychiatric test and other medical exams to prove his sanity and fitness to become Chief Executive.
Villar said that he too was willing to take “a comprehensive physical and mental examination in order to ascertain (our) fitness to occupy the highest office of the land.”
Both the Ateneo de Manila Psychology Department and Fr. Tito Caluag, S.J., whose signature purportedly appeared on the results of a psychiatric test report (edited – Pro Pinoy) on Aquino, declared it as bogus.
But Villar said denying that the signature on an alleged psychiatric report was authentic was not enough.
If Aquino had sought the help of a psychiatrist in 1996, Villar said it was “the right of the people to know since he is running for president. Denial should not be (a) technical (defense). This is a very serious matter.”
“Noynoy cannot hide behind his claim to privacy because the mental state of anyone who aspires to be president or vice president is a matter of public concern,” said Villar.
“There’s a far more dangerous scenario than the blind leading the blind, and that is for a mentally challenged person to lead a nation of millions,” Villar added.
NP not source of report
Villar, who is lagging behind Aquino in the surveys, stressed that challenging Aquino to undergo psychological and medical tests did not mean the NP was the source of the alleged psychological report on the state of Aquino’s mental health.
The NP has “absolutely nothing to do” with the outing in public of a psychological test conducted on Aquino purportedly in 1996, said Villar.
Besides his rival’s state of mind, Villar said what was also worth looking into was Aquino’s purported use of marijuana.
Villar said it was easy to evade facts by attacking the source of the information.
“But the question is—can you (Aquino) outrightly say that you were never treated by a psychiatrist or psychologist, or never took medicines for that disease, or never smoked marijuana when you were young?”
LP answers back
Lawyer Edwin Lacierda, spokesperson for Aquino, issued a statement in response:
“Manny Villar is desperately trying to salvage his declining numbers, this time using the fake report the Nacionalista Party black propagandists have concocted, spread all over the Internet, and leaked to the media. It has been confirmed by ABS-CBN that the Nacionalista Party is the source of this black propaganda,” said Lacierda.
“By calling upon Sen. 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.”
The lawyer called on Villar to “stop trying to compensate for the failure of his black propagandists.”
To which Villar replied:
“On Father Caluag, his signature was the only one analyzed. The point is the content is more important (than the authenticity of the signature).”
The test recommended continuing psychological therapy for Aquino, citing his depression, his sexual repression that led to his breakup with his flight attendant-girlfriend, and his alleged substance abuse, particularly marijuana use.
According to the bogus report aired by ABS-CBN, the psychological test results showed the following:
On “Substance Abuse History,” the report said the patient smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, had teenage experimentation with marijuana and various pills, and is a “solitary drinker.”
“There was some difficulty in communicating due to his deep depression and melancholia. On the mental state examination, he was a lanky man of medium height who was mildly psychomotor-retarded with a latency of verbal replies, and a slowness of movement.”
The report said that Aquino had “denied being in need of medical assistance and explained his presence at the school as being due to his sister’s concerns, but did not appear suspicious of possible motives or irritated by his presence in the department.”
Didn’t accept medication
“He denied that he had any cognitive deficits. He said he required medication and dietary modification, but did not accept medication offered, in fact, requiring detailed explanation on why the medication had to be taken,” it added.
Aquino has demanded an apology from ABS-CBN for airing the report.
Regardless of the truth or falsity of this report, former Sen. Francisco Tatad proposed during a press forum in Quezon City on Saturday that all candidates in the May election voluntarily submit themselves to psychiatric testing in order to establish beyond doubt their mental and psychological fitness to hold public office.