From the blog of Boy Mejorada
Just this morning, I heard Nacionalista Party standard bearer Manny Villar speak before a nation-wide audience over the Bombo Radyo Philippines network in a lame effort to deflect evidence that he was never poor, that his life story as depicted in his campaign jingle that he “swam in a sea of garbage, and had a kid brother die because they were too poor to pay for the hospital bills” was a big fraud. The way Villar talked, one can sense that his whole world is spinning out of control. It was filled with inconsistencies, and he tried to cover one lie with another lie. The thin ice is cracking under his feet.
It was inevitable that Villar had to confront the issue that came out in the articles written by Winnie Monsod and Billy Esposo in the leading periodicals, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star. These articles presented documentary proof to disprove the story that the Villars were a poor family in Tondo as the NP presidential candidate has been trying to project, and that the death of a three-year old brother was a consequence of their poverty. The most damning evidence consisted of a land title which Villar’s father had used to borrow money from GSIS to build a house and the medical certificate from FEU hospital where his brother died on Oct. 13, 1962. You can’t just pretend these issues don’t exist once Monsod and Esposo take them up in their columns.
Villar didn’t dispute the authenticity of the documents. He admitted they lived on Bernardo St., San Rafael Village in Tondo which, as pointed out by Monsod and Esposo, were upper-middle class neighborhoods of Tondo in the 60s. Villar also acknoweldged the truth that his brother died at the FEU Hospital in 1962. But he insisted they were poor, and they indeed slept — all nine of them — on a single mat. It was true, he said, that he had swam in a sea of garbage. The only reason his brother was admitted to the FEU Hospital is that his father had a cousin who worked as a nurse there, and facilitated the patient’s confinement in the charity ward.
This is where the cracks in the story start to break wider.
Villar told his Bombo Radyo audience that his brother was regularly examined by the “family doctor” as there were almost no specialists as we know them today at the time. This is a critical inconsistency that tears Villar’s story apart further. Poor families then, as it remains to be the case now, had barely enough money to see a doctor. For a family like the Villars to have a “family doctor” shatters the myth about their being poor. It is easy for Villar to claim that his brother died as a charity ward patient, but one thing is clear — his brother didn’t die because his parents had no money to buy his medicines. Leukemia had no known treatment then, and even to this day, it is still a leading cause of deaths.
Now that the authenticity of these documents are no longer being disputed, Villar’s assertion that all nine siblings slept on a single mat is also shattered. He is the second of nine children. If his departed brother is number three or number four, by 1962 the family would already have been living in San Rafael Village. How can all the nine siblings sleep on a single mat when by 1962, not all children have been born? It’s simple logic. And besides, no one will believe Villar if he says they still slept on a single mat in San Rafael. Lies, lies, and lies.
Villar’s father was a government bureaucrat. As a salaried employee, he was able to bring food to the family table, clothes and education for the children, and a decent home over their heads. Villar should stop desecrating the memory of his hard-working father who endeavored the provide the best for his children. And the amount of loan from GSIS speaks volumes about the salary level of his father. GSIS members can borrow money to build homes based on their monthly salaries. If he managed to borrow P16,000, then he must have been occupying a supervisory position. Even today, a regular government clerk earns enough to keep body and soul above the poverty level.
By Villar’s own candid admission, the house was a two-bedroom house, which is the usual size for starter homes. It was a bigger house than his standard housing units in his subdivisions. Hence, Manuel Villar Sr. was earning a good pay from the government. Not exactly the kind of person who would qualify as poor.
Villar’s fraudulent life story is now shattered. He spun a web of fiction to project himself as champion of the poor because he came from the poor. The truth is coming out, and not even Villar can now disprove the facts that are rushing to the surface of the sea.