Villar to Noynoy: Did you really consult a psychiatrist?


Posted at Apr 10 2010 10:57 AM | Updated as of Apr 11 2010 08:34 AM

Noynoy says fake psych report deserves no response

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manuel Villar Jr. on Saturday challenged Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to answer point-by-point the contents of a fake document that says he had been treated for a psychiatric ailment.

“First of all, that document did not come from us. But the allegations were serious. Did he really consult a doctor? At least, he denied he ever saw a psychiatrist,” Villar told radio dzMM.

He said that instead of skirting the issue by just plainly dismissing the report as black propaganda, Aquino should refute all the allegations in the document.

Villar said voters need straight answers from the candidates, and they have the right to know the state of health particularly of the presidential candidates.

“For example, did he really use marijuana? The allegations of major depressive disorder, is that true or not?” Villar added.

Noynoy’s turn to explain

Villar said that he had also been attacked by black propaganda, mostly coming from Noynoy’s political party.

“Well, I explained the issues hurled against me. I invited them to go to my house. I repeatedly answered their allegations and I did not just dismiss it as black propaganda,” the senator said referring to the LP’s release of documents showing that he is not dirt poor.

The documents were released to refute Villar’s claim that his ailing brother died because his family could not afford the cost of his treatment.

He said that to be fair, Aquino should also clearly explain the psychiatric report.

“We are both seeking a very important position,” Villar said.

Noynoy is medically fit

In a press conference in Davao City, Aquino said he would not dignify the latest black propaganda against him by coming out with a proof that he did not suffer from any psychiatric ailment.

"Then I'm practically saying that they had basis to do any of it," Aquino said, when asked if he is planning to issue a current medical record to debunk the fake report.

The LP presidential bet also cautioned the media from using stories that do not have proper attribution.

"You need to have attribution. There has to be somebody responsible for what is being said," he said.

LP senatorial candidate Martin Bautista said in the same press conference that he can vouch for Aquino's mental and physical capacity for the presidency.

"I can tell you that Senator Aquino is medically fit," Bautista said.

LP guest senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros said the latest black propaganda is a sign of the NP's "gutter level" politics.

She said the fake document should not be given even the least attention.

Not a legitimate issue

Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda earlier told that the LP presidential candidate’s opponents are resorting to black propaganda because they could not come up “with anything else” against him.

“This is not a legitimate issue. There is no mental incapacity issue. They couldn't hit Noynoy with anything else. This is pure black propaganda," Lacierda stressed.

The document with the letterhead of the Ateneo de Manila University’s (ADMU) Department of Psychology surfaced on the Internet on Thursday.

According to the “document,” Aquino underwent a psychiatric evaluation in 1996, when he was about 36 years old.

The document said Aquino was assessed as suffering from major depressive disorder and recommended continuing therapy. It added that Aquino has problems with his speech and in concentrating due to tensions related to work and separation from his flight attendant-girlfriend.

The document also alleged that Aquino has a history of smoking marijuana.

The ADMU has denied the authenticity of the document.

Father Carmelo "Tito" Caluag, who supposedly signed the document, also denied the document. He said he never worked under the ADMU psychology department.