The anti-Mar Roxas dirty trick department is up and running.
Ever since the former senator and Cabinet secretary of three past administrations announced that he is offering once again his services to the country and immediately after he filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for senator, the lies, disinformation and black propaganda against him went full blast.
It is like 2016 once again.
The latest attempt to destroy his name and reputation was made by a certain Shiera Catalan-Abiera.
In a Facebook post, she claimed that Roxas “gave direct orders to Meralco et. Al. to prioritise in fixing the electricity in his ancestral home instead of prioritising the hospitals, schools, stadiums etc. where a lot of displaced people were temporarily housed.”
Catalan-Abiera further claimed that the complaint came from the “heads of people” who were trying to fix the electricity in Capiz and nearby province Iloilo.
Unfortunately for her, people from Capiz including those who were directly involved in the post-disaster relief and recovery operations and specially those who were with Roxas during that difficult and trying times refuted her unfounded and malicious averment.
In her own Facebook post, Thea Faith Reyes challenged Catalan-Abiera to present evidence that will support her claim.
“Is this backed with direct eye witness? Did you personally hear Sec Mar Roxas gave orders to MERALCO? What is your proof of your claim? OR is this just a product of fake news or hearsays. In short, kwentong kutsero sa tindahan,” Reyes wrote.
Reyes, a trusted staff of Roxas, was with him in Tacloban, Leyte when Yolanda hit the place on November 8, 2013. She said Roxas asked then President Noynoy Aquino to allow the former Secretary of Interior and Local Government to visit Capiz as news came in that the province was also badly hit by the typhoon.
Hence, Aquino did not only allow Roxas to go to Capiz but the president himself went with him to the province on November 10, 2013. Reyes said that she was present in all the meetings and discussions attended by Aquino and Roxas in Capiz with regard on how the government can help the people affected by Yolanda.
The contention of Catalan-Abiera is ridiculous in itself because in the first place Capiz is not under Meralco but the local power provider Capiz Electric Cooperative or CAPELCO. While it is true that Meralco offered and gave the much-needed help and valuable assistance to CAPELCO in fixing the power lines and restoring electricity after Yolanda struck, it came in a later date when CAPELCO had already provided power to some hospitals, ports, airports and selected government agencies providing services that are vital and necessary in relief distribution and rehabilitation.
This fact is attested no less by a former member of the Board of Directors of CAPELCO, Estephen Elson Londres.
Dr. Abundo Balgos, president of the Health Centrum Hospital in Roxas City, also affirmed that hospitals were the ones prioritized in bringing back power over the other buildings whether public or private.
Moreover, it is a known fact in Capiz that the residence of the Roxas family has a power generator which is already in existence ever since the house was built. Thus, Catalan-Abiera was either given an erroneous information or she herself made a false assumption that the house of Roxas was given preference by Meralco and CAPELCO.
“The Roxas residence in Roxas City was one of the last houses na naayos ang electrical power. And this claim can be backed with witnesses,” Reyes asserted.
But it can be worse. She may know this fact all along but chose to maliciously concoct an unfounded and preposterous story just to put Roxas in a very bad light.
The good thing is that people are standing up to fight fake news and to expose outright lies and calumnies. Just look at the comment section of Reyes’ post and see how the people specially the Capizeňos defend Roxas from this irresponsible and malicious attack to his person.
We do not know the motive of Catalan-Abiera in spreading slanderous false information against Roxas. It appears that she supported President Rodrigo Duterte as shown by her cover photo last April 6, 2016. But it does not and cannot justify the spread of fake news.
The moral of the story is that while people are entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to invent facts.