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Not Senate president but SBMA chair

opinion / Latest Opinion
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Not Senate president but SBMA chair

/ 05:12 AM August 17, 2017

I refer to a letter to the editor titled “What Koko should know” and submitted by one Anton Deleon (7/7/17).

The letter makes imputations that I have been “accused of frittering away millions of pesos in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) funds for travels abroad” and engaging in “unofficial outings in restaurants and hotels in and around Subic Bay.” These imputations are clearly defamatory and, worse, are absolutely false.

I have never been accused of spending any amount of SBMA funds nor to have been in any unofficial outings in establishments in and around the SBMA. This is confirmed by lawyer Wilma T. Eisma, SBMA administrator and CEO.

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That the publication of the letter is motivated by malice and ill-will is easily discernible. I refer you to a similar, almost identical, article previously written by one Paul M. Gutierrez titled “SP Koko’s ‘disconnect’ with (SBMA) realty,” which was published in the Opinion section of Journal Online (http://www.journal.com.ph/editorial/opinion/sp-koko-s-disconnect-with-sbma-realty). How this earlier article differs from the letter you published is that it is SBMA Chair Martin Diño who was reported to be “accused of frittering away millions of pesos in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) funds for travels abroad” and engaging in “unofficial outings in restaurants and hotels in and around Subic Bay.”

Clearly, the letter published in your newspaper merely substituted the term “Senate President” in place of the name of “Diño” but is identical in all other respects to the Gutierrez article.

Deleon, the writer of the letter you published, recently sent me an email stating that he was likewise referring to SBMA Chair Martin Diño. He said “PDI editors edited and rewrote” his letter by inserting the words “Senate President” in place of the pronoun “he,” thereby making it appear that it is the undersigned that is “accused of frittering away millions of pesos in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) funds for travels abroad” and engaging in “unofficial outings in restaurants and hotels in and around Subic Bay.”

No other reason could have motivated the editors of the Inquirer to rewrite the paragraph and insert the term “Senate President” except ill-will, malice and spite.

SEN. AQUILINO “KOKO” PIMENTEL III

We apologize for the editing lapse.—ED.

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TAGS: Aquilino Pimentel III, Inquirer letters, Martin Diño, SBMA, Wilma T. Eisma
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