Fact-checking Vidal’s retraction
by Raïssa Robles
The breaking news social networking site Twitter is now abuzz with reports that Cebu Archbishop Cardinal Ricardo Vidal has retracted his earlier statement calling for President Benigno Aquino’s resignation.
Miriam Grace Go of Rappler explained that “Vidal wants Aquino held accountable for Mamasapano, but not calling for his resignation.”
Gigi Go then posted on her Facebook page:
To readers who are asking why Cebu Archbishop Vidal is “retreating” from his supposed previous call for President Aquino to resign, and why Rappler’s article was “protecting” Aquino, here’s the story:
Members of the NTC visited the Cebu cardinal last Friday with a prepared, strongly-worded statement, calling for the President to resign. Copies of it and a press release were distributed to Manila journalists beforehand. When Vidal saw the statement he was being asked to read, he had it revised and he omitted the line calling for Aquino’s resignation. He instead just said that the President should be held accountable for the Mamasapano incident.
Rappler reporter Dale Israel was in the room — in Cebu — while all this was going on. He and other Cebu journalists saw how NTC PR people tried to steer the press conference when Vidal didn’t take the group’s hardline position. These Cebu journalists, hindi sila nag-“cover” lang ng press release sa Maynila.
If that is what had happened, how do you now account for the YouTube video posted by ABS-CBNews.com over the weekend. It has Vidal saying out loud:
“Various assemblies convened by the National Transformation Council NTC has strongly advocated that the President should step down.
Recent developments have made this call even more urgent and imperative.”
That very much sounds like a demand from Cardinal Vidal for Aquino to step down.
The same report identified him as the chairman of the National Transformation Council – which he is also denying. If he is not the NTC chair, why then did he read aloud the report?
Please watch the YouTube video below which was pointed out to me by one of my Twitter friends @rejtatel, who is also a long-time member of Cyber Plaza Miranda –
I wonder what had happened to make Cardinal Vidal backtrack.