Thank goodness for the brilliant technology of Google News! Barely two days after the venerable Philippine Daily Inquirer let loose a doozey of a front page in its 14th March 2012 issue where “unflattering” photos of Demetrio Vicente, a character witness called by the defense team in the trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, were exhibited, Brenda Flake a member of our Get Real Philippines Community Facebook group shared a Google News link to the Lifestyle section of the 7th April 2000 edition of the Inquirer. Flake also included the following message on her post:
[Philippine Daily Inquirer] what are you thinking? Here is the proof that you have featured the house of Mr. Demetrio Vicente in your Lifestyle section complete with pictures and yet this time you made a mockery of him through you pictures and DID NOT APOLOGIZE directly to him.
Lo and behold on that page is a feature article on Vicente’s award-winning bonsai garden that he maintains on the very property quibbled over in the 13th March session of Corona’s trial.
The main source of contention surrounding Vicente’s property — which, even in the trial, he had asserted he maintained said bonsai garden on — was whether or not he did in fact reside in it. Looks like the 2000 Inquirer article settles that matter — ironic considering the paper, long criticised for its unabashedly biased news reporting in favour of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan is suspected of deliberately portraying Vicente’s facial contortions (which can be attributed to a stroke he previously suffered) to humiliate him.
According to the Inquirer feature, one of Vicente’s plants, a beautiful Mulawing aso tree had garnered several awards before being included in the “Best 100 Bonsai” at a World Conference in Kyoto that was sponsored by Japan Airlines (presumably also in 2000).
Fortunately, Senator Sergio OsmeÃ±a III, an “ally” of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, also confirmed both Vicente’s residency in the Marikina City property and his being an avid bonsai enthusiast…
[…] I confirmed with certain people if he lived there, and they said â€˜yes.â€™ They have visited him there (in Marikina City),â€ said Senator Sergio OsmeÃ±a III.
The senator, a gardening aficionado, also joked that Vicenteâ€™s credibility was strengthened by the fact that â€œhe likes bonsai and I like bonsai.â€
â€œAs a matter of fact, (Vicente) has one of the largest collections of bonsai. Thatâ€™s why he has a big lotâ€”3,400 square meters,â€ OsmeÃ±a added.
And so Vicente goes down in history as yet another contributor to Corona’s defense that had endeared himself to the Filipino public.
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