07 August 2005

Witnesses for Sale

The battle for public opinion took another turn last night when former Assistant Secretary Ahmad Bayam disowned former officemate Michaelangelo Zuce.
Bayam....whose name and signature appear prominently in the documents Zuce used to support his claims that he was an accomplice to President Arroyo's purported scheme to rig the presidential election....says Zuce's claims were "completely false."
So what else is new? It seems for every "witness" one side comes up with, the other side will have a counter witness to deny the allegation.
In his press conference yesterday Bayam said he was contacted by representatives of Atty Liway Chato and Makati Mayor Jojo Binay and offered money in exchange for testimony corroborating Zuce's claims.
Offers which he claims he refused.
Last night I spoke to Chato who said that she did indeed exchange calls and text messages with Bayam. Yes, she did ask Bayam to corroborate Zuce's testimony. And yes, there was talk of some sort of financial compensation.
But here's where their stories diverge.
Chato says it was Bayam who asked for money in exchange for his testimony. To be exact, P700,000. Chato said she didn't have that kind of money to give away and so she refused. She says Bayam was also in touch with Mayor Binay who may have given him around P50,000; an amount far short of what he wanted. After which Chato says she lost contact with him.
Suddenly, yesterday, Bayam comes out and claims the exact opposite of what he told Chato he would say.
Is Chato telling the truth? Did Bayam ask for and receive compensation from the other side in exchange for his testimony?
Chato claims to have saved the text messages from Bayam. A check of the phone number will see if that was indeed Bayam's number.
Zuce's documents also contain a memo from Bayam to Joey Rufino with a signature....presumably from Bayam. A comparison of signatures could be made to see if they match.
The Zuce-Bayam claims come closely on the heels of Richard Garcia's rambling, often incoherent press conference in which he apologized to President Arroyo for dragging her family's name into the jueteng allegations but insisted that his testimony was the truth. Huh? Garcia also talked about how he was being set up by the opposition and how it was getting hard for him and his family to deal with the aftermath of his testimony before the senate.
By the way, Garcia was quickly denounced by Boy Mayor and Sandra Cam, who they say abandoned him. Mayor and Cam's public rebuttal of Garcia came one or two days after Garcia's reversal while Bayam's rebuttal of Zuce came after almost a week.
Is it possible that some enterprising minds are taking advantage of the battle for public opinion by selling their testimony to the highest bidder?
Both sides should be careful. Buying witnesses, whether it be done by Malcanang or its detractors, will not help them win the public. In this day when testimony can apparently be bought, the public tends not to believe anyone unless thay have evidence to back them up.


At 1:47 PM, Anonymous edwin lacierda said...


Congratulations for starting your own blogsite. What time and space cannot allow you over the airwaves, you can do it here over the internet. So, keep up the blogs. Were it not for Manolo, I would not have known you set up one already.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger jove said...

invite RG, Karen Bayhon and the other ANC people to join the fray too. More Power!

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Punzi said...

I second the motion!

BTW, are you related to Rafa Carangdang? He was my college batchmate. Because you look alike...

At 4:24 PM, Blogger ester said...

congratz! it's nice to know that you're reaching beyond through your blog.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Jdavies said...

excellent points made ricky. i completely agree. got here thanks to manolo. more power!

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic. You are my number 1 favorite on ANC. Next to Karmina. :)

Welcome to the blogosphere.
will drop by often.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger ria said...

The truth is scarce nowadays.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger digitalfilipino said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! Look forward in reading your blog!

At 8:30 AM, Blogger carlosceldran said...

Ya. I linked to you via manolo.

Great start.

Read ya soon.


At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ricky, I'm a regular viewer of ANC.I will never forget what Joker Arroyo said many years ago about Congressmen and Senators....... "they are the best reasons for birth control! Imagine if the parents of these politicians had access to condoms, then they probably wouldn't be around today"! He said that over 15 years ago. But i think it still holds true today! Good luck to you Ricky!


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