Guido Delgado

Smear tactics vs Aquino hurting Villar, rues Tamano

Smear tactics vs Aquino hurting Villar, rues Tamano
By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Unburdening himself for the first time, Nacionalista Party senatorial candidate Adel Tamano said there were “misguided people” in his party “enjoying” the black propaganda meant to smear the name of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, chief rival of NP standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar for the presidency.

“The [recent] survey result showed that negative campaigning has backfired on the Nacionalista Party,” Tamano, one of the NP’s two spokespersons, told the Inquirer by phone on Friday.

“I’m in pain … the negative campaign is backfiring and hurting our candidate,” he added.

“I don’t know for a fact if there is a dirty tricks department in our camp but I am not naïve. Different political parties do [have a black ops department]. Even if you don’t have any moral issues about it [black propaganda], is it effective?” he pointed out.

This is the first time that a senatorial candidate from the NP has criticized the perceived black propaganda used in forwarding the candidacy of Villar.

Text messages circulated on Thursday that Tamano and fellow senatorial candidate Susan “Toots” Ople were thinking of quitting the NP after a supposed falling out with other party spokesperson, Gilbert Remulla, and NP secretary general, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Ople denied the rumor while Tamano said he had no plans of resigning.

“I am not resigning because if I do, the misguided people in our party and the [misguided] supporters would continue to enjoy the black propaganda,” he told the Inquirer.

No chance to talk

Nonetheless, Tamano said he would discuss his sentiments with Villar at the NP’s campaign sortie in Bulacan on Thursday night. “I want to tell him how I feel and ask him if I still have the trust of the party. Kung wala na (if I don’t have it), then I would resign.”

Tamano told the Inquirer on Friday that he and Villar did not have a chance to talk in Bulacan.

Meanwhile, Villar’s numbers in voters’ preference surveys had been slipping, with the latest Pulse Asia result released Friday putting him in a tie with former President Joseph Estrada. Aquino had a comfortable lead.

Waging a lonely campaign against black propaganda, Tamano had been particularly outraged by NP supporter Guido Delgado’s release of an unverified psychiatric report on Aquino and publicly denounced Delgado’s move.

Focus on the vision

He had also confronted Remulla, at a press conference on the latter’s admission that he visited Maguindanao massacre suspect, Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and asked Remulla to categorically state if the call on Ampatuan was sanctioned by the NP.

Remulla had stressed that the party was not involved in his visit to the elder Ampatuan.

In stressing what appeared to be the folly of Delgado’s release of the unverified psychiatric report on Aquino, Tamano said: “Why should we frame the debates in terms of mudslinging? Wala kaming laban kay (We cannot make a dent on) Noynoy because he is protected by Ninoy and Cory. Matatalo kami(We would lose) if we keep on using that [psychiatric report]. Why don’t we just focus on the competence and vision of our presidential candidate?”

The stinging result of the Pulse Asia survey on the presidential race which had Villar neck and neck with Estrada had made Tamano all the more bullish in pushing for a “positive campaign” in the last few days before Election Day.

Focus on Villar strength

Tamano said he hoped for a “change in tone of the campaign” and in the “strategy in terms of clarifying our message.”

“We should spend the last couple of days clarifying the message in terms of the vision and accomplishment of our candidate… we should be focusing on the strength of our candidate and not the weakness of his opponent,” he said.

Tamano said he would seek out Villar during a campaign sortie scheduled in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, this weekend.

“I don’t want it said that he (Villar) has to explain to me. I just want to express my sentiments and I would like him… to show what a great leader he is now and would be for the country,” he said.

On going public with his sentiments about the negative campaigning, Tamano admitted on Thursday that there could be a faction within the NP that “doesn’t trust me anymore.”

This, however, would not make him waver in his stand, he stressed.

Doing it with integrity

“This isn’t about winning and losing. It is about doing things with integrity,” he said.

Tamano, who ranked 23rd-29th in Friday’s Pulse Asia survey on voters’ preference for senatorial candidates, is seeking to represent Filipino Muslims in the Senate just like his father, the late Sen. Mamintal Tamano.

Delgado says his wife sent e-mail in good faith

Delgado says his wife sent e-mail in good faith
By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Former National Power Corp. president Guido Delgado Thursday said Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was “lying” and was “wrong” when the Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer accused his wife of starting the e-mail chain of a psychiatric report showing Aquino was “mentally unfit” to lead the country.

“I flatly deny Senator Aquino’s accusation and demand that he retract his statement and that he apologize to my wife and my family,” Delgado said in a two-page statement sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“Senator Aquino cannot fathom the deep hurt he has caused my family because he does not have a wife or children. If he wants to hurt me, he has to hit me. He should be man enough to face me squarely and not to pick on my wife who was only going out of her way to verify the report,” Delgado added.

Delgado is a supporter of Aquino’s rival, Nacionalista Party presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Villar.

Aquino and his party said that it was Delgado’s wife, Joy, who started the e-mail chain of the first psychiatric report that cast doubts on the LP leader’s mental fitness.

Delgado said that the e-mail was sent “in confidence and good faith to Dan Songco, a close friend and Noynoy supporter.

“I have been informed that the same e-mail was forwarded to Rapa Lopa (Aquino’s cousin) to precisely verify the psychiatric report. Dan Songco informed me that he never said that it was my wife who made the report,” Delgado said.

“I would like to remind Senator Aquino again that no amount of denial and scare tactics could obfuscate from the public mind any amount of doubt the report has raised regarding Senator Aquino’s mental health. It is the duty of every voting Filipino to know the qualifications and readiness of public officials if they are fit to perform their official duties,” he said.

Delgado released the report to the media on Tuesday and admitted that he did not verify it. He claimed that the report was brought by a messenger to Villar’s volunteer office in Mandaluyong City.

Delgado said in his statement that last Tuesday, when he went public with the “unverified psychiatric report,” was his and his wife’s 25th wedding anniversary.

“She did not know what I was about to do and she was so upset and she cried because we have many friends who support Senator Aquino,” he said.

Strike 3 on psycho issue: wife denies Boston psychiatrist ever treated Noynoy

Strike 3 on psycho issue: wife denies Boston psychiatrist ever treated Noynoy
abs-cbnNEWS.com

Manila, PHILIPPINES – The wife of the late Boston psychiatrist Steve Agular denied that her husband ever treated Liberal Party presidential bet  Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

In a short statement, Dr. Rosario Agular said there is “absolutely no truth” to the claim that Aquino consulted her husband.
“Aquino was not even a patient of my husband. I condemn the use of my late husband’s name in these attempts to smear the reputation of Aquino,” Agular said in her statement.
Critics of Senator Aquino, who has been leading in the public opinion polls, have continued pressing the psych issue even after 2 alleged psych reports on his mental condition turned out to be fakes.
The latest to join the fray is a group supposedly composed of psychiatrists, pharmacists and lawyers who held a press conference on the issue on Thursday, April 29.
Represented by Philippine Star Columnist Chit Pedrosa, the group, which called themselves the Citizens for their Right to Information, claimed that Agular served as Aquino’s neurologist and psychiatrist sometime between 1981 to 1983 while the Aquino family was still living in Boston.
Pedrosa said she learned about this from a former official of the Philippine Fund.
The dentist, not the psychiatrist

Asked to react about the latest issue being hurled against him, Aquino, who was campaigning in Mindoro Oriental when the news broke, dismissed Pedrosa’s claim as mere black propaganda.
He denied ever consulting a psychiatrist.
He admitted that he knew the late Dr. Agular, but only as a family friend. The Dr. Agular that he did consult was Steven Agular’s wife, who is a dentist.
Steven Agular recently passed away, according to Aquino.
Pedrosa’s statements did not surprise him, according to Aquino, because she has never written positively about his family.
Pro-admin columnist

Pedrosa has repeatedly criticized Aquino in her columns while openly praising administration standard bearer Gilbert Teodoro. She also favored President Arroyo’s decision to run for lower office and the administration’s efforts to push charter change.
During the term of former President Fidel Ramos, she and her husband led PIRMA, which sought to extend Ramos’ term through constitutional amendment.
Pedrosa also wrote about the alleged psychiatric report that former NAPOCOR President Guido Delgado released to the media earlier. The report has been exposed as a mere forgery. – abs-cbnNEWS.com

Villar calls for ceasefire on mudslinging

Villar calls for ceasefire on mudslinging
By Roel Pareno and Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines  — Barely twelve days before elections, Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar has called for a ceasefire on mudslinging and appealed to media to focus on issues and track record to determine the candidate most suitable to run the country.

Villar issued the statement during his campaign sortie late Tuesday here, described as the “mother of all rallies,” where the streets overflowed with Villar supporters and fans of television host Willie Revillame.

He said real issues that the candidates and the country need to confront have been shelved.

Villar said his time has been consumed answering issues that seemed to have no end or direction.

“I wish we could discuss about our capabilities to run the country, focus on our track record and accomplishments,” Villar said.

Villar’s running mate Sen. Loren Legarda also appealed to the media to elevate the level of debate on issues that really matters to 40 million hungry Filipinos.

Villar and Legarda also emphasized that the next president should be physically and mentally sound to be able to confront the challenges of leading the country.

“We all know that it is everyone’s assumption that we (the candidates) are ready because you will be the one leading the country. You will be the commander in chief and it is necessary that we are physically and mentally prepared for the presidency,” the former Senate president said.

Villar said the next president should always be ready to face pressing problems that will confront him “every day, every week, every month of the year.”

His comments came following reports questioning the mental capability of his closest political opponent, Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

In another interview during the hair and makeup trends initiated by hairstyle icon Ricky Reyes at the Philtrade Center in Pasay City yesterday, Villar again claimed that he had nothing to do with the move of NP supporter Guido Delgado who released a second psychiatric report against Aquino.

“I have nothing to do with it, I have not read it,” Villar said although he admitted that Delgado was a supporter.

New questions on Aquino’s mental health cropped up Tuesday after Delgado released an alleged psychiatric evaluation of Aquino, which showed that the “patient” is “suffering from depression and melancholia.” the report, however, has been debunked by its alleged psychiatrist-author as well as the university department that supposedly conducted the evaluation.

At the same event, Reyes endorsed Villar’s bid because of his entrepreneurial spirit. Reyes said he admires Villar’s rags-to-riches story.

Meanwhile, NP senatorial candidate Adel Tamano described yesterday as a “stupid tactic” the fake psychiatric report on Aquino.

In a radio interview, Tamano said NP leaders were caught unaware by the decision of Delgado to come out with the report.  — With Jess Diaz

Villar won't sanction supporter for fake psych report

Villar won’t sanction supporter for fake psych report
abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar on Wednesday said he will not impose sanctions against former National Power Corp. President and NP supporter Guido Delgado for releasing a fake psychiatric report on Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

In an interview, Villar said Delgado is a volunteer and cannot be sanctioned by NP. He added that he has no plans to talk to Delgado or chastise him for holding a press conference to release the fake psychiatric report on Aquino.

Villar also refused to condemn Delgado’s action, saying that he plans to read the fake psychiatric report first. He said he did not order Delgado to call for a press conference.

Delgado distributed copies of the fake psychiatric 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.

Delgado said his co-volunteer in the Villar camp received the report in a packet last weekend. It had no return address.

Jesuit priest Jaime Bulatao, however, denied writing or signing such a report.

A policy adviser of Villar on Tuesday admitted to ABS-CBN News that it was the Villar camp which was behind the second document on Aquino’s mental health.

In an telephone interview on ANC’s Rundown Tuesday night, Prof. Prospero de Vera of the UP College of Public Administration said: “We received a document and a DVD purporting to be a report. We present it to the media for the media to investigate it.”

Asked if he thought it might boomerang on Villar’s campaign, de Vera said: “It is because we want the truth to come out. We don’t want to be accused again. We are avoiding the possibility that media organizations who receive the material will again accuse the Nacionalista Party of starting this whole thing. That’s why we are bringing it out in the open for the media to investigate it.”

NP spokesman and senatorial bet Adel Tamano, meanwhile, denounced the ongoing smear campaign against Aquino, which has been attributed to the NP camp. Tamano maintained Villar and the team were caught unaware by Delgado’s revelations. He called on NP members and supporters to stop the mudslinging and focus their efforts instead on positive campaigning and platforms.

“To be very honest, I am really so tired. Pinapahirapan nila yung trabaho ko. I joined the NP I was hoping I would be talking about yung vision namin for the country. That’s what I wanted to do as spokesman pero hindi. Instead of doing that I’m on your show now defending this stupid tactic na ginawa ng isang NP supporter namin. Parang nakakahinayang eh. Nakakasama ng loob to tell you the truth,” he told radio dzMM.

Strike 2: New psych report on Noynoy also fake

Strike 2: New psych report on Noynoy also fake
By Carmela Fonbuena
abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak

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.

Desperate move?

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.

Villar camp revives Noynoy mental health issue

Villar camp revives Noynoy mental health issue
abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – With only 13 days left before Filipinos choose their next president, a supporter of Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manuel Villar Jr. on Tuesday revived the mental health of Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet Benigno Aquino III as an issue in the elections.

At a press conference, former National Power Corp. (NPC) President Guido Delgado distributed copies of alleged 1979 psychiatric reports on Aquino, stressing these were not verified because “it is the media’s role to confirm its veracity.”

The report 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.

The report was allegedly signed by Jaime Bulatao, a Jesuit priest, on August 9, 1979.

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.

Fr. Bulatao, on the other hand, founded the psychology department and the central guidance bureau of AdMU in 1961. He was also the president of the Psychological Association of the Philippines from 1979 to 1981.

Serious issue

Delgado, who denied that he had anything to do with the release of the first report, said his co-volunteer in the Villar camp received the Bulatao-signed second report in a packet last weekend. It had no return address.

Delgado said he’s bringing the report out in public because of the seriousness of its contents.

In a campaign sortie in February, Aquino had used his experience of having a member of his family in jail to counter Villar’s popular ad on being poor.

“Nasubukan na ba ninyo na makulong ng Pasko at Bagong Taon para lang makapiling ang inyong mahal sa buhay na wala namang sala?” Aquino told supporters. It was an obvious twist from a line in one of Villar’s ads: “Nagpasko ka na ba ng sa gitna ng kalsada?”

Aquino added: “Nakaranas na ba kayo na mag-iyakan ang inyong buong pamilya pagsapit ng Bagong Taon sa loob ng maliit na selda samantalang nagdidiwang at nagsasaya sa labas ang buong daigdig? Nakaranas na ba kayong maging kuya at tatay sa mga kapatid na babae sa murang edad ng inyong pagbibinata.” (Read: Villar spent X’mas on streets? Noynoy has own sob story)

Mudslinging

Delgado, who was president of the NPC during the term of former President Fidel Ramos, said the psychiatric report, which was about private and confidential sessions,” is “for public consumption.”

Ironically, however, he stressed that “this election is so important that we must veer away from attack of personalities.”

Meantime, the Aquino camp dismissed the report.

Edwin Lacierda, spokesperson of Aquino’s presidential campaign, told ANC’s Dateline, “I don’t think Noynoy (Aquino) will waste a single second to deny (the report).”

He said this was “a desperate black propaganda against Sen. Noynoy (Aquino).” He said the Villar camp is “hoping that the Filipino people are stupid.”

Lacierda added, “they (Villar camp) will do everything within the next 2 weeks to throw as much dirt against Noynoy (Aquino) hoping that these will reduce our lead.”

Villar embattled

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 increased to 12 percentage points from just 9 points in March.

Villar has been hit by the Aquino camp for the veracity of the businessman-turned-politician’s claim of being extremely poor in his political ads.

A former lawyer in some of the real estate companies of Villar has also filed a labor suit, which detailed how his companies allegedly conducted business unethically. The former lawyer described alleged land-grabbing schemes in his labor suit.

Recently, the camp of former President Joseph Estrada, who is third in the surveys, has also released the minutes of a meeting of the Philippine Stock Exchange board in 2007. The document recorded the attendance of Villar in a board meeting where directors were making a decision on a listing hurdle faced by Villar’s real estate firm.