Latest Stories

Black propaganda spread via text against Aquino bets


Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Sen. Francis Escudero. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Three reelectionist senators from Team PNoy have become the first targets of the black propaganda machines revving up for combat as the campaign for the 2013 elections begins on Tuesday.

First were texts linking Sen. Francis Escudero to alleged irregularities in various government offices, the consequence of which was his supposed estrangement from a Liberal Party (LP) colleague.

Two successive messages accuse Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Loren Legarda of filing separate bills seeking to reduce the retirement benefits of various government employees.

Escudero’s attitude has been to ignore and not respond when the messages began circulating during the Christmas holidays.

Trillanes’ media office e-mailed a press statement to reporters denying the allegations.

Legarda delivered a privilege speech on Wednesday night denouncing her detractors whom she would not name.

The senator said text messages attacking her usually circulated whenever she registered as No. 1 in the candidate preference surveys.

Observers noted that the three senators are all in the ruling LP’s lineup of candidates.

At the Kapihan sa Senado on Thursday, the LP campaign manager, Sen. Frank Drilon, blamed the opposition for the low blows, which he said were “not surprising.” He said the targets of the attacks should just ignore them.

The messages were obviously “part of the propaganda machine of the opposition,” he said.

Addressing reporters, Drilon said: “I hope you as a responsible media will not give credence to this kind of black propaganda.”

He said the ruling party, which has scheduled its proclamation rally at Plaza Miranda in Manila, would sustain a campaign “on a high level” during the campaign season, starting Feb. 12.

Legarda, who has never gone “ballistic” in a privilege speech, was livid on Wednesday night.

She said “individuals with ill motives” were behind the “negative, vicious and black propaganda text messages” that she said were “spread within several government institutions.”

“This information is totally false and fabricated… No legislator will introduce such a bill which would diminish the salaries and benefits of our personnel in government institutions that provide services critical to public safety and order,” she said.

Observers also noted that it would have been impractical for Legarda or any other senator to file a bill in the final session days.

Since Congress will be on recess until June, there would be no chance for such a bill to go through the legislative process and be approved on second and third readings on the two session days of that month.

Legarda said it was ironic that political pranksters targeted her when she had filed a bill seeking to increase the combat duty pay of all enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces by 25 percent of their base pay. Legarda is a reserved officer of the Armed Forces.

Trillanes  denied the “malicious” text messages circulating in military and police camps, tagging him as a key sponsor of a bill that would substantially cut back the retirement benefits of police and military personnel through a supposed “PNP/AFP Retirement Bill.”

“This is obviously a black propaganda (sic) orchestrated by my political enemies. For the record, there is no such bill filed by this senator existing in the legislative index of the Senate or would I have advocated for such bill,” he said.

A former Navy lieutenant, Trillanes said he has always been supportive of any cause to uplift the conditions of the men and women in uniform.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 midterm elections , Antonio Trillanes IV , black propaganda , election campaign , Francis Escudero , Liberal Party , Loren Legarda , Philippine elections , Philippine politics , Team PNoy

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace