Tatad’s tale-A A +A
Thursday, September 19, 2013
I AM sad to hear that Ricardo Cardinal Vidal was rushed to a local hospital Tuesday morning after he complained of slurred speech, apparently the victim of a stroke. I have always looked up to Vidal because of his humility and sense of humor even if I sometimes disagreed with his decisions especially those concerning misbehaving priests.
A source in the Archbishop’s Residence described the 83-year-old prelate’s condition as stable. The cardinal, who retired a few years ago, has a history of cardiovascular problems. He has had angioplasty and a heart bypass. He is also fitted with a pacemaker. But all these have not deterred him from doing his duties as prince of the Church.
We continue to pray for his swift and full recovery.
So many things have happened since the day Janet Lim-Napoles surrendered to President Noynoy Aquino in Malacañang on August 28. She is now detained inside a heavily-guarded camp; her relative, Benhur Luy has bared the sordid details of her “re-discounting operations” before the Senate; and the Justice secretary has filed charges for plunder and/or malversation of public funds against Napoles and many others, including three senators and two former congressmen with the Ombudsman.
Questions about the circumstances of her surrender, however, continue to circulate until now. It seems that the President’s bashers have not given up on their attempt to tie Aquino to Napoles.
First, they released a photograph of Aquino with Napoles’s high-profile daughter and when that didn’t work, former president Ferdinand Marcos propagandist Francisco “Kit” Tatad claimed that Aquino was closeted with Napoles for six hours in Malacañang on the day that she showed up after two weeks of hiding.
Because Tatad’s story is replete with details (that, he claims, come from “highly authoritative sources whose loyalty to Aquino is exceeded only by their loyalty to the truth and who shared with the story with extreme pain and sadness”), it is immediately convincing.
But that it is also its single biggest undoing. The details are easy to verify.
Tatad’s mistake was that he failed to consider that this is the 21st century, not 1972, when you can, for example, falsely claim that your fellow Cabinet member was ambushed and not worry that the truth may be discovered. Facebook and Twitter were unheard during those days and because only the government had access to recording equipment and facilities, videotapes of events were practically non-existent.
These days, everybody who has a mobile phone is capacitated to record history; everyone with a video can upload it on YouTube and almost everyone can maintain or have access to a website.
Tatad wrote that Napoles arrived in Malacañang at 10:30 in the morning of August 28, was immediately whisked to the Music Room or the Ready Room where she was closeted with the President, Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda for the next six hours.
But Malacañang says it has videos of Aquino speaking at the 8th East Asia Conference on Competition Law and Policy at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila at 10 a.m. of that day and at the 27th Apolinario Mabini Awarding Ceremony later at 1:30 p.m. Unless the videos were manufactured or their dates and time have been tampered, it is difficult to see how Tatad could have been telling the truth when he spoke about the six-hour meeting between Napoles and Aquino.
Some people change. Some don’t.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 19, 2013.