AMONG President Aquino’s propagandists, I think the Inquirer tops the field. Not only are its news stories slanted for him, but even his accompanying photos are so charitable you would suspect they may have been doctored to make him handsomer than he actually is. Those of Aquino’s political adversaries, on the other hand, are shown in their most awkward moments you would wonder why the Inquirer didn’t put horns in them to make its intent more complete.

This Sunday’s photo of Noynoy in the Inquirer’s front page shows a handsome Aquino raising his glass like an imitation of Piolo Pascual. I know sister Kris had subjected Noynoy to a thorough make over but she couldn’t have done better than the Inquirer.

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On the other hand, the Inquirer had always carried pictures of former president Gloria Macapagal in her ugliest, with protruding teeth and squinting eyes. Had Macapagal yawned before Inquirer’s news photographer, I am sure it would carry her blown-up picture on its front page. One would wonder what the Inquirer asked of her that she didn’t accommodate for this newspaper to always present her as the devil incarnate.

Or ABS-CBN for that matter. Although ABS-CBN’s naked bias is explained by the fact that it was Cory Aquino who gifted it with its heavily indebted network. I only wonder if ABS-CBN settled its foreign indebtedness which was guaranteed by the Philippine government under Marcos, the management of which Marcos took over when the network failed to pay.

And how about Meralco which ABS-CBN’s Lopez reclaimed after EDSA?

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It was easy then, and even now, to accuse Marcos of illegally confiscating the Lopez properties, as well as those of the others like Jacinto’s steel mills. But even under Martial Law, the supposed owners could have exhausted all legal options, like going to the world court. That they did not is because they knew that the Philippine government had every right to take over their properties after they failed to settle their loans with international banks which were guaranteed by and later paid for by the government.

Here in Negros, Planter’s Products is a clear example. Unable to pay its international loans, it simply folded up, leaving the government holding the empty bag. It is good that Marcos’ devious mind worded the loan contract in such a way that the government’s guarantee spoke only of a “best efforts” pledge, to the consternation of the foreign lenders.

What is appalling was that when Cory Aquino took over, she categorically committed the government to these loans. Some even suspect that this might be related to the suicide of Jimmy Ongpin, her finance secretary at that time.

The same can be said of the Sugar Restitution Law. The millions of dollars deposited by Philsucom/NASUTRA in a New York Bank was withdrawn and distributed to the sugar producers, as restitution for the industry allegedly plundered by Marcos-RSB. The sugar producers have been long paid for their sugar, although they claim that they were shortchanged by RSB. In any case, as NASUTRA was the single buying agency, it naturally dictated the price based on the fluctuating world market prices. The price rose after the producers have already been paid for their sugar. In short, the sugar already belonged to the government. Whatever price increase took place after they sold their sugar should rightfully belong to the buyer, the NASUTRA, meaning the Republic of the Philippines.

But the producers insisted that the New York bank deposit still belonged to them. A law was even passed to cloth the reclamation of that money some legality and was eventually distributed to the sugar producers.

Not one of our public officials then argued that the New York deposit of PHILSUCOM belonged to the Filipino people, as, to emphasize, it was a profit earned by the government agency resulting from price fluctuations in the international market.

And the Cory government, ingratiating itself with the landowning aristocracy, facilitated this swindle.