• The Bulatao report



    First of 2 parts
    MQ is a friend of mine whom I admiringly address in private as the Queen of All Google. MQ’s computer-aided snooping skills are so highly developed that she was once able to track down, for instance, the Ferrari supercar that some rich guy gave to Noynoy Aquino early in the latter’s term as president, to the house of a close relative of his in a pricey suburban gated community.

    But there is a story that nearly everyone has heard of that has so far eluded MQ’s most assiduous Google-powered investigations. And when on occasion we run into each other, online or off, I still rib MQ about her failure to find the video clip of actress Kris Aquino declaring that she contracted a sexually transmitted disease from her one-time boyfriend, former Parañaque City Mayor Joey Marquez.

    Unless you’ve been under sedation for the past decade or so, you would have heard of that story yourself. It’s the one where Kris, in full jilted-woman mode, tearfully relates on national television how she got chlamydia from Joey, with whom she was going through another messy breakup.

    MQ insists that while nearly all of the Philippines either saw the original video or heard about it later on, there is absolutely no trace of it online. And this is a woman who spends hours each day in front of her computer, tracking down stuff even before Facebook made Mark Zuckerberg one of the richest men on the planet.

    It’s as if Kris’ revelations about her contracting STD never happened. And because there is no longer any proof that the video exists online, maybe it never did.

    Perhaps all we have is a fake memory of Kris saying those things. After all, if some event can’t be googled, who’s to say that it actually took place?

    * * *

    I remembered MQ because of something I posted recently on Facebook and the minor fallout that it caused. While I was in between column-writing jobs, I decided to post all five pages of the so-called Bulatao report, a psychiatric evaluation conducted in 1979 on a young Ateneo de Manila college student named Benigno C. Aquino 3rd.

    It seemed like a good idea at the time. The mainstream press, after all, was full of stories about a similar psychiatric test conducted on embattled Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who had to undergo testing in order for her to qualify as a member of the nation’s high court.

    Sereno supposedly failed her psychiatric exams and got back at the clinical professionals hired by the Judicial and Bar Council by not renewing their contracts when she was already chief justice. The psychiatrists later testified about Sereno’s lack of fitness for her exalted post, in their opinion, before the House panel which was conducting impeachment proceedings against the top magistrate.

    The defenders of Sereno, already showing ominous levels of desperation, had attempted to counter the psychiatrists’ damning statements by trotting out the results of another evaluation, conducted this time on President Rodrigo Duterte when he was seeking an annulment of his marriage from his wife. This “Duterte is insane, too” strategy quickly backfired, however, when it was made clear by various legal luminaries that a) Duterte’s admission of psychological incapacity was limited to the specific purpose of seeking an annulment of marriage and to the time when the marriage was contracted, and b) one party in any annulment case routinely admits to such incapacity, regardless of its actual existence, in order for the case to prosper.

    I thought it was a good time to join the fray by dusting off the report prepared nearly four decades ago by the eminent Ateneo clinical psychiatrist Father Jaime Bulatao, SJ, on Noynoy Aquino and posting it. I pointed out that the Bulatao report was largely suppressed during the Aquino years, implying that since Aquino appointed Sereno to the high court, perhaps it was appropriate to question Noynoy’s mental fitness, as well.

    My friend and colleague RJ Nieto, more known as the popular blogger Thinking Pinoy, reposted the Bulatao report on his own FB page, thereby ensuring that it would go viral. But another blogger whom I had never heard of, who uses the name of a national hero, was not pleased.

    The blogger excoriated Nieto and me for not googling first to find out if the Bulatao report was legit. If we had, he said haughtily, we would have known that the late Jesuit psychiatrist had, in 2010, denied making the psychiatric evaluation of Noynoy that bears his name.

    Game, set and match, right? Wrong.

    What this Google-enamored blogger didn’t know was how long I had been working on the story of the Bulatao report, which I first heard of in late 2009, when Noynoy belatedly declared his intention to run for the presidency after the death of his mother Cory. And much of that work involved actual journalism, instead of just the use of online search engines.

    I will go into the actual story I tried so hard to cobble together nearly 10 years ago in the conclusion of this article tomorrow. Meanwhile, I am reprinting the Bulatao report here for you, the reader, to judge.

    (Concluded tomorrow)


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