to: Isagani Yambot
Philippine Daily Inquirer
After reading Belinda Olivares-Cunanan’s 10 December 2009 “Political Tidbits” column in the PDI, I was very alarmed to see that Mrs. Cunanan stated as a “fact” that Former President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Andal Ampatuan Sr. as OIC of Maganoy in 1986.
As an avid reader of the PDI, I am disappointed to see such an irresponsible statement printed, whether or not it is attributable to poor research or polluted sources.
What is perhaps more disturbing is that this malicious historical error has been refuted over and over by credible sources even from within your paper.
Furthermore, Fr. Eliseo “Jun” Mercado, OMI, has publicly corrected the outright lie that President Aquino appointed Andal Ampatuan Sr. as OIC.
The truth is that Ampatuan Sr. was already OIC of Maganoy (now Shariff Aguak) and was appointed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, when President Aquino came to power. In fact, President Aquino *removed* the Ampatuan patriarch and replaced him with a non-political member of the Ampatuan clan, Datu Bodhi Ampatuan, who served as Chief of Police in Maguindanao.
Fr. Mercado, who was then parish priest and NAMFREL Chairman of Maguindanao, personally told Ampatuan Sr. that the latter was being replaced by President Aquino.
Seeing how volatile the situation is now, the said statement is very disparaging of the memory of our beloved Tita Cory. Ethics dictate that such statements should be made with extreme caution, and should be founded on good, solid facts from unimpeachable sources.
In the interest of balanced views and fairness, I hope my letter finds its way into publication if only to correct the blatant falsity perpetuated by Mrs. Cunanan’s statement on the matter.
Abigail dela Fuente-Valte