Here’s what his psychiatrist-schoolmate shared with me about Noynoy’s mental state
By Raïssa Robles
Ok, I couldn’t resist this scoop as a journalist.
But I’ve hesitated to write this for days because I did not want to be labeled a Noynoy supporter.
It pains me as a foreign correspondent, who has been trying to keep an open and dispassionate mind about the presidential candidates, to be branded as rooting for this one or that one.
But I realize, also as a journalist and Filipino citizen, that I do have the responsibility to disclose the truth no matter who benefits or gets hurt.
Ever since I wrote about Sen. Noynoy and autism on this blog last year, I’ve been receiving a stream of messages and comments on Sen. Noynoy’s mental state.
Many of them said they would never vote a lunatic to the presidency. One of them begged me to say whether Sen. Noynoy was crazy or not.
And then the first bogus psychiatric report came out, allegedly from Jesuit psychologist-priest Tito Caluag. Followed by a second bogus one, allegedly from Fr. Jaime Bulatao, whose students fondly called Fr. Bu.
A journalist’s job is to find out if such things are true. And from what I remember my best friend Tina telling me about her professor, Fr. Bu, he was better known for teaching astral projection than issuing psychiatric reports.
In between the two fake psychiatric reports, a letter allegedly from an Ateneo classmate named “Tomcat” also came out, alluding to Sen. Noynoy’s bizarre behavior in college.
When I saw that the “crazy” or “Abnoy” tag refused to die down, I thought it was time to dig out the truth. So I contacted one of those who had earlier left a comment on my blog entry on Sen. Noynoy and autism.
His name is Dr. Gary Samson and he told me he was Sen. Noynoy’s Ateneo classmate. He had commented on my blog that from his recollection, Noynoy was not autistic. Gary said he was open to being interviewed about Noynoy.
And so I e-mailed Gary last April 18,2010:
I think now the time has come for me to ask you about what you know about your old classmate, Noynoy.
You’ve probably heard about the fake psychiatric report that came out about him. Here’s another follow-up on that – written by another classmate named Tomcat.
And here’s the piece which came out in a column of Jojo Robles. Jojo is not at all related to me…
what I’d like to know is –
Who is tomcat?
Is his impression of Noynoy accurate?
If so, why was Noynoy that way, do you think?
I gather Tomcat was a classmate in college because he talks about Maam Gloria Arroyo who was a teacher in college.
What do you think of the psychiatric report on Noynoy?
P.S. I’d like to quote you by name in my blog. Pls. also tell me a little bit about yourself, your practice.
Here is Jojo Robles’ column:
Readers of this column know that I rarely surrender my space to others in the form of extensive passages quoted verbatim. But today I willingly cede my allotted quota of words, editing only for style considerations, to someone who calls himself “Tomcat,” who recently wrote the following open letter (via Facebook) to leading presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino:
We were classmates at the Ateneo and I have no doubt that you would remember me even if we were not close. Hint: I was one of those who ribbed you about the low grade that Father Kreutz gave you in math because you could never seem to get your fractions right. Remember going ballistic over that ribbing? [Reverend Wiliam “Bill” Kreutz, SJ, is a long-time Ateneo teacher from New York who founded the Jesuit Volunteers of the Philippines—JR. All subsequent bracketed phrases are mine.]
Anyway, reading the psychological report that was posted on the Internet a few days ago certainly made me remember you. I heard you say on the news that the report was fake but you did admit that there were some things in it that were true. “Part truths” I think were your exact words. It fascinated me enough to want to read the report carefully to check out which were those things that were true.
Obvious things first, those facts that any of our classmates can confirm if asked. One of these is, as the report says, you have a labile disorder. This is whole truth. Even Father Gorospe would be distracted by your drooling during our oral exams. [The late Reverend Vitaliano Gorospe, SJ, was connected for a long time with the Ateneo Theology Department.] Father Ferriols, who made a point of showing he didn’t like you, would make side comments about it that led your classmates to give you the nickname “Cooper,” a reference to Cupertino school where we would teach Catechism to retarded children. I, however, never called you Cooper. [Reverend Roque Ferriols, SJ, taught Filipino Philosophy at Ateneo.]
The report says that you have a “major depressive disorder.” Well, I honestly don’t know if that is true. What I do know is that in school you were very temperamental and had sudden mood swings. Isang minuto, nakikikain ka kay Brudda Francis, maya’t maya nagagalit ka na. Many of our classmates can attest to witnessing scenes like this.
The report said that you used to go with your mom to see Dr. Manuel Escudero. That is a whole truth. I remember seeing you at Tito Maning’s high-rise apartment on Roxas Boulevard when we were still kids. Tito Maning was a consultant with the WHO here in Manila but he was also a psychiatrist who treated only the high society people in Manila. Even Imelda Marcos was his patient. Unfortunately, so was my mom who suffered from insecurities due to my dad’s numerous infidelities.
Tito Maning’s wife, Tita Jo, was a very good artist who had a couple of exhibits of her work before they left Manila for good a few years after martial law was declared. They lived in Topeka, Kansas. After they left, I kept a correspondence for a while with their very cute daughter Nina who I am sure you remember. I had such a crush on her. Maybe you did too. She used to talk to us “little folk” in the sala of their apartment while the “big folk” would lock themselves in the room and discuss “big folk” matters. She wanted to go to ballet school or some dance school which she did, I think, and I eventually lost track of her.
About your smoking marijuana, I also can’t say if that is wholly true. What I do know is that you would try to tag along with a group of students that would hang out with Ma’am Gloria Arroyo. [Yes, President Arroyo herself.] Mga students niya sa Economics. She was always surrounded by bright and handsome students kaya hindi ka pinapansin. Pati si Ma’am Placer, she never gave you the time of day kasi people said you were “medyo weird” and your grades were mababa per her standards.
Pero, you still tried to hang out with those guys. Trying hard to belong ba. I know those guys would drink na kasama pa si Miss Rosales na pag lasing na, kumakanta ng Spanish songs in Spanish. They would drink dozens of bottles of beer at Shakey’s Katipunan because Mrs. Ramos (our Spanish teacher in case you don’t remember) owned the restaurant. This group was also known to also smoke joints in the college auditorium, up in the closed space where the spotlights were. So, if you were hanging out with them then, you were probably also smoking marijuana too.
The report said you had a flight attendant girlfriend. This is another whole truth. I will not mention her name here to protect her but she was a PAL stewardess. I found out about this because I was on a flight with Father Samson [probably Ateneo de Davao president Reverend Antonio S. Samson] once and she was the one who seated us. When she found out we were from Ateneo, she introduced herself and said she was the girl friend of an Atenean and mentioned your name. Father Samson then asked jokingly if you were a good boyfriend to her. She shrugged and said you were “okay” but she was bothered because you were “too conservative.” You didn’t even like to kiss her daw because you were saving her for the wedding night. And you insisted that she dress very conservatively. Jealous boyfriend ka daw. No wonder that relationship ended. Maybe that’s why you got so depressed over it.
About the report. I know that [Ateneo-based Jesuit psychologist Reverend] Tito Caluag is one of your best friends. His group of “friends” are some of the richest and most influential people in the country today. I know that you used to frequently visit his home. He hosts get-togethers where things that are too esoteric for me are the subjects of discussion. At one time, this group of yours even discussed the ousting of [Ateneo president] Father [Bienvenido] Nebres because Tito Caluag had his own ideas on how Ateneo should be run. Maybe your closeness to him is why he was the one you went to when you were depressed and why he was the one who handled your case and signed your psychological report. To keep things quiet.
But I confess I actually don’t know. I do know that Tito Caluag was at one time your sister Kris’ father confessor. He may not be a very trustworthy father confessor, though, because many have heard him say aloud that “walang ginawa si Kris Aquino dito sa Ateneo kundi habulin si Alvin Patrimonio at mag-emote sa quadrangle”.
Anyway, yun muna. Good luck on your presidential run. If you become president of the Philippines, that would be really something, huh? From “Cooper” to “Mr. President” when brighter and more scheming Ateneans like Mar Roxas and Dick Gordon have not been able to make it is an achievement that Ripley should feature.
Your old friend,
The next day, Gary e-mailed back.
I am an adult Psychiatrist here in Sacramento & Yuba city California. I finished my training in 1994 at the St. Vincent’s Medical Center of New York City.
Regarding the psych report, Fr. Tito Caluag does not do psychology & he himself has denied signing the report.
Regarding Jojo Robles’ column, Tomcat’s narration of Noynoy is totally not true. The only thing correct were the names of the professors but everything else was made up (ie. ‘Cooper’ or coming from Cupertino was what we would tease one another after a stupid mistake. Personally, I do not recall Noynoy drooling nor anyone calling him ‘Cooper’ in all our years together. Noynoy was a batchmate from Prep to College, 1966-1981).
Gary Samson MD
Gary must have contacted his other Ateneo schoolmates through his e-group and passed around my e-mail. He forwarded their replies to me.
And so I asked Gary:
I would like to reprint in full what you said and what I presume your classmates said. I hope that would be alright.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
And so, without comment, I’m reprinting in full what Gary and Sen. Noynoy’s other schoolmates and one former teacher said:
This one is from Gene Manalastas:
Gary…Tomcat is fictitious character. This issue has been addressed with no less than the teacher Ms. Placer writing to the columnist refuting all allegations of this tomcat character. The batch was forewarned by Rene Almendras re: black propaganda against Noy & that the batch may be used in all these.
This is one is from Tang Sison:
Is it possible to ask jojo robles the person of tomcat? His identifying tomcat could give credibility to his claims but if he refuses to give the person behind tomcat, then maybe you can tell jojo robles that these ‘personal recounts’ of tomcat are not valid. Because in our batch, we are all willing to lend our names to the testimonies because these are true testimonies.
I was a classmate of noy for 4 years in eco col’81.We were block mates for a long while but i never saw him drool or lose his temper during class. I used to have short chats with him in the bench in front of the cafeteria. But i have never experienced him losing his temper during our chats. We used to discuss many things under the sun, including the sate of the nation at that time and sometimes, but very seldom, about the situation of his dad. I asked him once about how he feels, what his dad was fighting for and how much they ( him and his
family ) had to undergo and asked him if these were all worth it? He said yes and explained to me why. Noy was always very logical and contained. Sometimes we would debate over some issues and often times, he would come out with flying colors in our chats.
This one is from Robin Tong:
tomkat is obviously a fake classmates as his email mixes innocent facts with patently false claims and insinuations. classmates’ real testimonies are the best answer. another black prop special that will backfire. latest mla std
ratings daw: noy 36 villar 22 erap 20.
This one is from Tony del Prado:
manila standard, until as late as last week, was owned by enrique razon. now you can draw your own conclusions.
This one is from Daniel Guerrero:
Very interesting bit of bitterness, it seems, from this guy who is not man enough to even state his name!
Anyway, what caught my attention is about the “stewardess” girlfriend. She happens to be my sis-in-law and knowing her how I do, it seems very far-fetched to me that she even mentioned the “intimacies” of their relationship!
Thought I’d share this w/ you. I wonder who this guy is??? Take care, man.
Gene also forwarded an e-mail from Maizie Frances SyCip-Qua, who forwarded a letter that their ex-professor, Salvacion Placer Angtuaco had sent her:
I sent this letter to Mr. Jojo A. Robles of Manila Standard Today who published a letter from somebody named “Tomcat”. Mr. T
Tomcat attributed something to me, but I never said such words. I don’t even know who Mr. Tomcat is.
I am sending this to you so you may know in case they ( Manila Standard) will not publish my letter.
For his complete column, follow the link:
http://www.manilast andardtoday. com/insideOpinio n.htm?f=2010/ april/16/ jojorobles. isx&d=2010/april/ 16
Please tell your friends about this.
To: Mr. Jojo A. Robles
Manila Standard Today:
On April 16, 2010, a Friday, you agreed to give space to somebody who hides behind a name as “Tomcat”. Why? Why did you waste your space? If Mr. Tomcat really stands by what he says, then he should have been man enough to state out his name in full and be proud of what he says.
I just wish to point out that I never talked to anybody named Tomcat. So I don’t know how Mr. Tomcat came up with a statement such as the following:
“Pati si Ma’am Placer, she never gave you the time of day kasi people said you were “medyo weird” and your grades were mababa per her standards.”
I take it that I am the “Ma’am Placer” that is being mentioned in his letter. I admit, Noynoy Aquino was my student in college but what is quoted there definitely did not come from me. I never said that Noynoy’s grades “were mababa” per my standard or that I saw him as “medyo weird”.
Let me put it on record. Noynoy Aquino was my student in college and I am very proud and happy that he was. I always mention this with pride to anybody who asks me. Noynoy was a bright and humble student. I can attest to that.
So Mr. Tomcat, whoever you are, come out in the open and don’t use other people’s name to give credence to your lies and below the belt allegations.
Mr. Robles, I hope that you will also give as much space to this letter as you gave space to somebody who hides behind an alias such as “Tomcat”. He maligns people and hides behind an alias. That is not fair at all. He also name drops to give credence to his story.
Well, I will not allow my name to be used by anybody, especially for malicious items like his letter. Please be fair.
Salvacion Placer Angtuaco (Ma’am Placer)
Associate Professor (Retired)
Ateneo de Manila University
But the story of Noynoy’s alleged lunacy does not stop there.
Carmen Navarro-Pedrosa, whose tell-all on Imelda Marcos is one of my treasured books, recently wrote on Sen. Noynoy’s alleged unstable mind. She wrote that a source told her this:
She is connecting a story many years ago when Noynoy was a young boy in Boston, not a presidential candidate but as the well-loved only son of a father frustrated that he will not be able to carry on with his legacy.
First off, Mrs Pedrosa’s source mistakes Noynoy as “a young boy” in Boston. When his family went to Boston, Noynoy was already 20 years old.
Mrs Pedrosa went on:
My source said that when she read about Tomcat’s (a classmate in Ateneo) letter and other stories about Noynoy’s mental problem her mind clicked and related it to Boston days. “Ay totoo pala yung sinabi sa akin many years ago.”
Mrs Pedrosa added:
Ninoy sought the doctor and his exact words to him were: “Tingnan niyo nga si Noynoy, walang ka-drive drive (for a young boy he was lethargic). He must have a problem.” The doctor told the story to some close friends among them, the source of this story. When Tomcat’s letter came out in Manila and with Noynoy a leading presidential candidate, she thought her story ought to be known. She is not a politician. She is not indulging in malicious rumors or black propaganda. She is recalling a story told to her and a circle of friends in Boston.
Please do not take what I’m going to say next personally, Mrs Pedrosa. If your father was awaiting execution by firing squad and he suddenly needed a delicate heart bypass, would you have the drive in life? Would you not be lethargic?
Mrs Pedrosa, Alan and I were wondering yesterday at the breakfast table why all these speculations on Noynoy’s mental health persisted. Alan pointed out that maybe, it’s because they could not find the usual mud to throw at him. Noynoy is not a womanizer, he has no hidden wealth, no shenanigans in public life that can be pinned directly on him.
Therefore, Alan said, to his political enemies he must be crazy.
Personally, I believe that anyone who seeks to be president of this benighted country must be a litte crazy.
ADDENDUM – written April 30, 2010
Today, Alcuin Papa and Gil Cabacangan wrote in the Philippine Daily Inquirer the following report:
Take psycho test, citizens group tells Aquino
By Alcuin Papa, Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 07:44:00 04/30/2010
MANILA, Philippines—A new “citizens group” led by columnist Carmen Pedrosa has called on Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to submit to a psychological exam.
In a press conference Thursday, the Citizens for Right of Information (CFRI) said “the people have a right to know” about those running for president.
“Like countless others, we strongly feel it is only fair that all presidential aspirants undergo this important evaluation. Denial is the weakest defense,” CFRI said.
Pedrosa said she found unacceptable Aquino’s recent statement that he would not reply to questions on his mental health because it is a “private matter.”
“When you present yourself as a candidate for president, the people have a right to know if you are competent to be president,” she said.
Aquino, meanwhile, yesterday admitted feeling depressed and thinking of avenging his father, the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., but it never got to the point where he needed medical help.
In view of this, I am presenting this challenge to the professors and students of Ateneo de Manila University, as well as friends, enemies and relatives of the Aquino and Cojuangco families, who have known Sen. Noynoy at one time or another.
I would like to ask you all the following questions and I am opening my blog to any of your answers, either negative or positive. I will not edit any of the answers.
- At any time, did you see Sen. Noynoy drool or act weirdly?
- Did he ever smoke marijuana or take any prohibited drug or psychotropic drug? And why?
- What anecdote or personal encounter with Sen. Noynoy do you remember that would shed light on his character?
- Knowing Sen. Noynoy then as you did, did you ever think he would run for president someday?
- Did he ever tell anyone of you what he wanted to accomplish in life? Did he ever express any dream or ambition to become president someday, seeing how his own father came so close to being one?
- You do have the responsibility to shed life on the hidden life of Noynoy.
- Thanks in advance,