Posted by akosistella on April 5, 2010
THE LONG VIEW
By Manuel L. Quezon III
THE response of Presidential candidate Manuel Villar Jr. and friends to questions raised about some of his claims has been instructive, to say the least. The questions raised have been pretty straightforward. The first concerns the tragic loss of one of Villar’s brothers, who died as a small boy. Villar in his ads said his brother died because their family couldn’t afford medicines. A death certificate, on the other hand, revealed that the tragedy was due to complications arising from leukemia after the child’s admission to the FEU hospital. The mortuary services were provided by La Funeraria Paz. The second concerns Villar’s claims of poverty not just at the start, but throughout, his childhood and adolescence. After living in Tondo, the Villars (his father was a budget officer in the government and his mother was not a retail fish vendor but a wholesale dealer) moved to San Rafael Village in Navotas, where the family had a 560-square-meter property with a proper home. Lito Banayo has written most thoroughly on the proper context of all these lifestyle attributes circa the 1950s and 1960s: solidly bourgeois, in a word.
The third predates the first two and was only recently raised: To what extent is Villar’s pride in being a self-made man tarnished either by exaggeration or the outright use of official connections to give himself undue advantage?
Like I said, in terms of the recent questions (he maneuvered to dodge scrutiny on the older questions concerning his ethics as an official) his response has been extremely illuminating.
On March 30 on ANC’s “Dateline” program with Pia Hontiveros and Tony Velasquez, senatorial candidate and Nacionalista spokesman Gilbert Remulla said that the Villars were able to pay the hospital bills because Manuel Villar Sr. borrowed funds from an uncle. On the same day, in an ambush interview on “TV Patrol,” Villar himself said that his brother’s medical bills were paid for by means of a female cousin of his father, named Nelly Cruz, who lent them money. On March 31, in an 8:30 p.m. dzMM interview with Alvin Elchico and Lynda Jumilla, the story evolved further: Villar now said that his family brought his brother to FEU hospital because they had a relative who worked there as a nurse, and who could help them with discounts. Add to this Villar’s explanation that while his brother did get admitted to FEU, he was brought in as a charity ward patient.
Click Manolo Quezon.