Random Thoughts

Fake news during the campaign

By Leonardo Micua 

ONE item we missed last week was a clearance issued by the Office of the Ombudsman certifying that as of May 7, no criminal or administrative case, is pending against Governor Amado Ignacio Espino III before the graft investigation body.

The clearance issued by Graft Investigator 1 Maria Agnes Forteza by authority of the Ombudsman should have clarified the news items that came out simultaneously in some Manila dailies on April 24 or just nine days before the election about the alleged case.

We found it irregular that the news was reported without citing any complaint filed against the respondent by the alleged complainant, whom the newspapers identified as a certain Michelle Anne B. Celen. It was unfair that the story did not have the complete facts because the subject of the news was already being crucified for a non-existent case.

As usual, media was again taken for a ride by some unseen hands for political reasons.

It was obviously another dirty tactic resorted to by the former opponent of Gov. Espino that went pfft.  This tactic was similar to the posts on social media by still unidentified persons claiming that Gov. Pogi and his younger brother Jumel had been disqualified by the poll body, which, of course, was fake news.

Can mediamen and their sources be sued for fake news? Gov. Espino perhaps ought to find out if this is possible.

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Congratulations to all the 12 winners in the senatorial race recently proclaimed by the Comelec Wednesday morning. As predicted by most, nine are close allies of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The well-oiled machinery of the administration, plus the personal endorsement of President Duterte of his candidates, ensured the victory of the administration candidates.   

As predicted in a poll survey by Pulse Asia, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go landed Number 3, trailing both Senators Grace Poe and Cynthia Villar, the front runner. 

Pity that Senators JV Ejercito and Bam Aquino didn’t make it to the magic circle of 12. Senator Nancy Binay beat them to it. Even, the Bam-led Otso Diretcho failed to win one seat despite scoring well in mock polls in universities across the country.

We salute the two gentlemen who will soon be ex-senators, for their great contributions to the nation. They did their jobs well in the senate. We wish them better luck next time. Probably, the more challenging 2022 election may be the year for them.   

That could also be the end of Mar Roxas in politics as he was good only from 15th to 16th place. It was Mar’s third set back in three successive elections. Our advice is he should consider running only for a seat in Congress in his own province of Capiz instead.

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We had a long phone conversation with Nolan Sison who joined campaign sorties of Tim Orbos in the First District. He told me that Tim won in all towns, including Alaminos City, except in Bolinao where Tim’s opponent Noly Celeste, is the current mayor.

In Bolinao, he said, Tim led by 20,000 votes which were enough to wipe out whatever slim lead Tim had in other towns and city that comprise the first district.

Despite Tim’s loss, the construction of the bridge that will connect mainland Bolinao to Santiago Island will push through. Butch Velasco, the provincial information officer, said Gov. Amado Espino III will ensure that the bridge will be finished to finally end the isolation of island residents.

It was Tim and Gov. Espino who negotiated for the remnants of the Estrella Bridge in Makati to be handed over to Pangasinan, to be used for the construction of the bridge that will connect the populated Santiago Island to Bolinao town.

MMDA Chairman Danny Lim himself delivered the bridge parts to Bolinao upon the request of both Tim and Pogi. 

Recall that the remnants of the Plaridel Bridge in Carmen that collapsed during the 1990 earthquake were used for the bridge to connect Catubig in Bolinao to Anda. That happened in 1992 when the governor of Pangasinan was Rafael Colet, Tim’s father-in-law.

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