In his Manila Standard Today column, Kit Tatad wrote
- Contrary to what the nation and the rest of the world have been led to believe, President Benigno S. Aquino III spent several hours in “closed- door conversations” with Janet Lim Napoles, the suspected mastermind in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam involving selected opposition lawmakers, before showcasing to the media her formal “surrender” to “the only person she trusted,” on the evening of August 28, 2013, authoritative sources have revealed.
The revelation is certain to be denied, for obvious reasons, but it comes from highly authoritative sources whose loyalty to Aquino is exceeded only by their loyalty to the truth and who shared the story with extreme pain and sadness. They just could not bear what to them is a “grand deception,” a deliberate and cold-blooded attempt to mislead and deceive the people on Malacanang’s real role and interest in the Napoles case.
To them, it affects the whole fabric of morality in government, and ultimately Aquino’s moral fitness to remain in office.
The Palace responded calling Tatad’s allegation a “tall tale”
- From the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson
The claim of Marcos-era Public Information Minister Senator Francisco S. Tatad that the President spent several hours in “closed-door conversations” with Janet Lim Napoles on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, is pure fiction.
Tatad has asserted the following in public statements on different media:
Napoles arrived at Malacañan Palace at 10:27 a.m. accompanied by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda;
She remained in a room for the next six hours, meeting behind closed doors with the President, Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, and Lacierda; and
Other cabinet members joined the meeting, namely Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, Secretary of Budget and Management Florencio Abad, and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
This administration believes in truthful and transparent reportage, which the former Marcos-appointee may not be accustomed to. As such, we are publishing below the President’s official working schedule for that day as sent to the Malacañang Press Corps:
10:00 a.m. – 8th East Asia Conference on Competition Law and Policy
(Venue: Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila)
1:30 p.m. – 27th Apolinario Mabini Awarding Ceremony
(Venue: Heroes Hall)
3:00 PM – Meeting with ES, DBM, DOF
(Venue: Study Conference Room)
4:00 PM – Meeting with SOTC, et al
(Venue: Study Conference Room)
The storyline pushed by Tatad is an obvious fabrication. The President was at two high-profile events at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. with hundreds of attendees. At both events the President also delivered speeches, the videos of which are now collectively embedded on the President’s Day page for August 28, 2013.
Meanwhile, Secretary Abad denies having gone to the Palace at all on that day. He was at his office from 12:15 p.m. until having to leave for a 3:00 p.m. meeting in Quezon City and from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. was at the DILG to meet with some organizers and attendees of the One Million People March.
This grandiose conspiracy theory peddled by Tatad is symptomatic of the old order that has been swept away. He represents what is wrong with our politics, and over the last decade, the Filipino people have made that abundantly clear by denying his return to public office twice.
Let’s have a televised face-off between Tatad and Lacierda.