Wednesday, December 12, 2007

'Most corrupt' tag: Fact or perception?

From time to time, we have to review what the meaning of news is.
This comes to light with the recent "news" that a survey among Filipinos showed Gloria Arroyo is the most corrupt President in recent history.
Is this news?
It hogged the headlines. It must be.
Anyway, Gloria Arroyo has responded to this stingy accusation by saying this is merely perception and not based on facts.
Thus, the government says it would be difficult, if not futile to respond to baseless perceptions.
But is the opinion that Mrs. Arroyo is the "most, corrupt president" not based on facts?
When the President called a Comelec Commissioner by phone-- many believe she really called Virgilio "Garci" Garciliano--- at the height of the presidential elections, and was analyzed to have said "yung dagdag, yung dagdag", is this not a fact?
As a matter of fact, the President herself went on nationwide television to say "I'm sorry."
To me, that is a fact.
Why say sorry if the politically debilitating phone-chat was not fact?
When some honorable congressmen admit receiving P500,000 cash in Malcanang, the home of the most senior official, amidst moves in the house to impeach the President, is this not a fact?
When Ed Panlilio, governor of the president's home-province, and the governor of a neighboring province admit have been given P500,000 right in Malcanang, is this not a fact?
Until now there is yet no explanation from the President or her allies convincing enough to dissuade Filipinos from thinking those were bribes.
Filipinos may not be that sophisticated, but definitely they are not dumb, much less stupid.
If these instances are not facts, then I don't know what a fact is.
In fairness to the scientifically selected samples in the survey, and with due respect to the President, I think they based their opinions on established facts, and not perceptions.

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