A personal commentary
By Raissa Robles
In his Philippine Daily Inquirer column today, Rigoberto Tiglao wrote that “the real fraud in the 2004 elections was the attempt itself of a celebrity, FPJ, to be president.”
By writing this, Rigoberto Tiglao justified the massive cheating instigated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her cohorts that apparently included Rigoberto Tiglao. [UPDATE: JULY 31, 2014 – To read Tiglao’s piece on this, click on this link. ]
It wasn’t cheating, Rigoberto Tiglao said, because it was meant to combat “the real fraud” – the fielding of “Ang Panday” action movie hero Fernando Poe Jr. as the presidential candidate by the political opposition. This, says Rigoberto Tiglao, was the real “conspiracy to cheat democracy.”
He writes today:
Worried that he would spend the rest of his life in prison if Arroyo won, former President Joseph Estrada exploited the postmodern phenomenon of celebrity politics created by movies to subvert democracy by deploying FPJ, for whom people would vote not for his qualifications, but because they confused fantasy with reality, and hallucinated that they were voting for “Panday” even if the ballots would be for Ronald Poe. FPJ could have rejected this conspiracy to cheat democracy by engaging his rivals in a debate, and to be truthful to voters to say that he was not “Panday” but simply a loyal friend who just wanted to see his buddy released from prison. He didn’t.
Now I want to explain why I am so enraged as a Filipino citizen and as a journalist by what Rigoberto Tiglao has just written.
For a long time now, I had imposed on myself this silence about Rigoberto Tiglao. When I wrote last month this piece – Why I believe Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cheated in the 2004 elections – I did not name him as the close aide of Arroyo whom I had asked what the Hello Garci tapes were all about and who had replied to me: “You want Fernando Poe Jr. to be President?”
I did not name Rigoberto Tiglao, not because he had put what he said off the record. Not because he had asked me not to attribute him as the source. But I guess just out of friendship dating back to the good old Business Day newspaper days when he was a senior reporter and I was a newbie.
Today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer opinion column by Rigoberto Tiglao now puts all in proper context his reply on what the Garci Tapes were all about – “You want Fernando Poe Jr. to be President?”
A closed-in circle around Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo felt justified in 2004 to cheat Fernando Poe Jr. at any cost because by running for President, Fernando Poe Jr. was committing a fraudulent act against democracy.
Democracy had to be saved even if in the process, it was warped beyond imagination.
Democracy had to be saved from the ignorant masses.
Rigoberto Tiglao, you should be ashamed of yourself. You think you’re still a journalist but you’re not. You’re just a hack.
I heard you once e-mailed an online local publication and berated the editor about a story questioning your ambassadorial activities in Greece. The clueless editor pulled the story, which turned out to be correct.
You can no longer bully people around on the basis of your journalism credentials because you no longer have any. You’re just a hack. And a has-been at that.