Truth Telling And Lie Peddling: Sen. Loren Legarda And The Bernardita Inocencio Story (Retitled, Updated)
It was just a week or two ago that NP vice presidential standard bearer Loren Legarda called for a ceasefire on mudslinging, underlining the noble sounding appeal with the avowal that positive political stumping focusing on vital issues should be adhered to BY ALL THE CANDIDATES.
This writer quietly applauded.
But my positive feeling totally died out yesterday:
Surfacing at the plush Tony’s Bar And Grill on Mindanao Avenue was 31 year old Bernadita Inocencio.
Here’s what transpired:
Inocencio appeared with lawyerJunel Anthony D. Ama who said he was helping Inocencio pro bono because “there is a threat to have her arrested any time.”
“Kaya nga humarap kami ngayon para di yun matuloy.”
Journalists sent to cover the news conference said their “understanding was Senator Loren Legarda would be present.”
The sound system was set up by JBD Media Productions. One waiter told reporters that they were sort of expecting Loren Legarda to show up, having heard from JBD crew members that Legarda was the one who contracted their services. But they refused to say anymore in front of TV cameras.
This was Inocencio’s statement as distributed to reporters:
AKO ANG BIKTIMA, AKO PA ANG NAKASUHAN
“Pagkatapos akong saktan at pagbantaan ni Korina at kanyang dating boyfriend, Pol Aquino, noong December 21, 2001, sa kanilang Bel-Air apartment, Makati, ako ay kanyang tinakot at pinagbantaan ng masama. Nagtago ako nang mahigit na siyam na taon sa Cebu. Kamakailan, nakatanggap ako ng balita na mga tao naghahanap sa akin para i-serve ang warrant of arrest na nag-ugat daw sa kasong isinampa sa akin ni Korina. Kaya ako lumutang upang humingi ng hustisya at harapin ang kasong isinampa ni Korina.”
This writer decided to check news archives:
The Philippine Star reported on May 25, 2002:
The Makati Fiscal’s Office has upheld the defense team’s argument for its client, broadcaster Korina Sanchez, against charges of alleged infliction of physical injuries by one Bernadita Inocencio, Sanchez’s former househelp of less than three months.
In a resolution, Makati City Prosecutor Alberto Kalalo said it is safe to assume that the injuries alleged to have been caused by respondents Sanchez and (Paul) Aquino are not compatible with the injuries sustained by complainant.”
“Injuries sustained by the complainant were the result of her act of throwing herself on the floor with her arms and feet swinging and flailing,” the resolution stated.
Reporters at yesterday’s news conference wondered why it took Inocencio her nine years to decide to publicize her appeal for justice.
She and her lawyer could not even say where the cases were filed by Korina – except that one was for qualified theft and the other for grave threats.
Also distributed to reporters were printouts of an inquirer.net story that came out on December 24, 2001. It was by written by Christian V. Esguerra and Leah Salterio.
Curiously, the same piece, unattributed, came out in a blog -
There is also a 4-part posting on YouTube showing Inocencio talking to an off screen interviewer.
The postings are maliciously tagged as “Korina Sanchez-Roxas Sex Scandal”.
Your Midfielder called JBD Media Productions and a staffer confirmed that the technical production set-up, complete with a large screen projector for Inocencio “was booked by a senior aide of a politician”
Here’s how ABS-CBN recapped the Tony’s Bar and Grill ‘event’.
Taking all there together, only one conclusion emerges: BLACK PROPAGANDA.
Manila Standard Today is now reporting:
THE battle for the vice presidency between Senators Manuel Roxas II and Loren Legarda has degenerated into a fight over a maid who claims that she was abused by Roxas’ wife, Korina Sanchez, Legarda’s former media colleague in ABS-CBN.
In a press conference at Tony’s Grill on Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City Wednesday night, Bernadita Inocencio said that Sanchez, then single, used her influence to get the city prosecutor’s office in Makati to dismiss the cases that she filed against the broadcaster in 2002.
But shortly afterward, Roxas accused Legarda of spending P54,000 for the press conference, P27,000 to rent the function room, P15,000 for food, and P12,000 for facilities used in the audio-visual presentation.
Roxas did not address Inocencio’s accusations, but urged Legarda to spare his wife and direct the smear campaign at him instead.
“I am the candidate, so I should be the target of your smear campaign,” Roxas told Legarda in a statement issued Thursday.
In 2002, Assistant City Prosecutor Albert Kalalo dismissed three cases filed by Inocencio against Sanchez.
Liberal Party director general Chito Gascon chided Legarda for using Sanchez to get at Roxas.
“Legarda should be ashamed that it was the media covering the Inocencio press conference that discovered that she was footing the bill for this black propaganda campaign,” Gascon said.
Gascon said restaurant staff interviewed by reporters said they were dismayed that Legarda did not show up during the press conference, adding it would have been an opportunity to have their pictures taken with the senator.
Legarda started criticizing Roxas after consistently landing a far second behind him in all surveys conducted by independent polling companies, Gascon said.
The Manila Standard tried but failed to reach Legarda for comment.