Enrile hits ‘patent lie, PDI bias’
We write in behalf of our client, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, in reference to the front-page story of the Inquirer headlined “JPE, Jinggoy: Not even a cent from pork” (2/4/2014).
We wish to call your attention to a patent lie carried in the second paragraph of the story written by TJ Burgonio, in particular the portion highlighted hereafter, and we quote: “Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile are not willing to give what they insist they did not have—notwithstanding testimony from whistle-blowers that the lawmakers pocketed hefty kickbacks from their pork barrel.”
The clear but mistaken implication sought to be created by this malicious wording is that one of the lawmakers referred to is Senator Enrile. A quick check of the facts will demonstrate the exact opposite and will manifest how by clever juxtaposition your writer has libeled Senator Enrile.
It is true that the whistle-blowers have said that (some) lawmakers have pocketed hefty kickbacks. However, in the case of Senator Enrile, they, as the prosecution’s own witnesses, have testified under oath the exact opposite, that unlike other legislators, Senator Enrile is not one they have ever met, nor do they have personal knowledge of any transactions with him. The records of the Senate, National Bureau of Investigation and Ombudsman proceedings bear this out.
We cannot help concluding that this story demonstrates yet again a continuing pattern of malice by your paper. While you have been quick to draw conclusions about Senator Enrile’s guilt and attacked him for not presenting his side, when he issued his counteraffidavit and outlined in detail his reply to the charges, you did not even deign to put his reply in the comics pages but chose to ignore entirely the story headlined by other newspapers.
In the hope—maybe forlorn—that justice and fairness are more than mere platitudes to be whipped out when convenient by the individuals who work behind the Inquirer name, we most respectfully request and require you to rectify the story and to print this letter in an equally prominent and full manner.
Like anybody, you are indeed entitled to your own opinion, but, in the felicitous phrase of US Sen. Pat Moynihan, “you are not entitled to your own facts.”
—PONCE ENRILE REYES & MANALASTAS
(By: JOSEPH B. SAGANDOY JR.,
EDWARDSON L. ONG, ERWIN G. MATIB,
KAY ANGELA R. PEÑAFLORIDA)
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