16 August 2009
"It's a lie! It's far from the truth." Referring to reports that President Arroyo and her entourage spent $20,000 for a lavish dinner, this is the statement being attributed by US-based community newspaper named the Filipino Reporter to Mario Wainer, the contacts manager of Le Cirque, the French restaurant in New York where the dinner took place and which is now in the center of a controversy.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde quickly seized on the news item to say that the article "speaks for itself." And how correct Remonde is! When pressed to supply the correct amount, Wainer would just say, "We do not involve ourselves in politics!"
Any insider like Mario Wainer who denies the amount of $20,000 for the Le Cirque dinner tab, especially one who says "it's a lie!" will not get any sympathy if he has access to what he believes is the correct information and refuses to disclose it. It might have been better if he had simply kept quiet.
Or, Wainer could simply have said, for example, "The $20,000 reported dinner amount is inaccurate! The correct amount is $19,900!" There really was no need for him to use the words "lie" and "politics."
This Philippine Daily Inquirer article identifies Manny Caballero as the writer of the Filipino Reporter who interviewed Wainer for its August 14-21 issue.
More on this story in this GMA Weekend report by Mariz Umali.