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Ateneo priest denies conducting psych evaluation on Noynoy


(Updated 7:37 p.m.) Less than a month after a fabricated medical document on Sen. Benigno Aquino III's mental health circulated, another fake psychiatric report came out on Tuesday claiming the Liberal Party standard-bearer suffered from depression in 1979. The latest fake document, released on Tuesday by a man claiming to be Sen. Manuel Villar Jr.'s supporter, indicated that Fr. Jaime Bulatao, SJ of the Ateneo de Manila University's Psychology Department, conducted a psychiatric evaluation on Aquino. But Bulatao, currently a professor at the department, denied writing and signing the counterfeit report. "It has come to my attention that an unverified 'psychiatric evaluation' allegedly signed by me in 1979 about the mental condition of Senator Benigno C. Aquino III is currently circulating in the news. I categorically deny having written and signed the report," he said in a statement posted on the Ateneo's website.
Bulatao's denial posted on the Ateneo's website
On Tuesday afternoon, former National Power Corp. (Napocor) president Guido Delgado held a press conference and furnished reporters copies of the unverified report, which indicated that Aquino suffered from depression and melancholia. Delgado claimed he is a supporter of Villar, Aquino's chief rival in the May 10 polls. Desperate rivals In an interview with reporters in Leyte where he is currently campaigning, Aquino said although he studied in Ateneo from 1977 to 1981, he never underwent psychiatric evaluation from Fr. Bulatao. He also said he only encountered the priest when they see each other in the hallways of the university. Aquino said the release of the fake document only showed the desperation of his rivals. “Wala na hong sense, wala ng rhyme, wala ng reason. Puwede naman ho sana tinalakay na lang naming mga platforms po naming kung meron po sila (They should’ve focused on our platforms instead of this nonsense)," he said. The Liberal Party quickly said the document was another move to discredit its standard bearer. "How many Jesuit priests is Senator Villar going to use against Senator Aquino in their black propaganda?" Aquino's spokesman Edwin Lacierda told GMANews.TV in a phone interview, noting that the first fake psychiatric document about Aquino's mental health was supposedly signed by another Jesuit priest, Fr. Carmelo Caluag. The Ateneo Psychology Department and Caluag have both rejected the authenticity of the first report, which made rounds online last April 8.
However, Villar's Nacionalista Party on Tuesday denied having any knowledge of Delgado's press briefing. "I don't know about that," NP senatorial bet and spokesperson Gilbert Remulla told GMANews.TV by phone. In a separate phone interview with GMANews.TV, NP senatorial bet Adel Tamano also said the party has nothing to do with the fake report. "Personally, I don't want to comment. I want to engage in positive campaigning and talk about track records and candidates' competence," he said. Meanwhile, Malacañang told Aquino and other presidential candidates to come clean about their mental health. Press Undersecretary and deputy presidential spokerson Rogelio Peyuan said presidential voters need to know everything about their future leaders. "I suppose that the Palace would believe that everyone must come clean, and the matter brain health of course is a concern," Peyuan said. - with Johanna Camille Sisante, Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV
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