VICE President Maria Leonor Robredo refuses to confirm or deny persistent reports, especially in numerous Facebook posts, that she has since 2016 been having a romantic relationship with the representative of Quezon City’s third district, Jorge (“Bolet”) Banal, a married man. “It’s common knowledge in the third district, “a well-known former politician from the area claims, “and the relationship started in the 2016 election campaign.”:
Representative Banal likewise refused comment on the reports, according to our reporter who asked him on this. This paper’s reporter claimed that Robredo dismissed the report as gossip, but only as an off-the-record claim.
In media convention, or simply out of sheer rationality, a refusal to confirm or deny a report is interpreted as a confirmation, unless it is preposterously baseless, or is predicated on a falsehood.
Her refusal to comment can only bolster the allegations of her relationship with Banal. If true, he would arguably be—if President Duterte were to step down before his term expired in 2022— the most powerful man in the country, as he would be the last person Robredo would talk to at the end of each day. We do have the right to that information, don’t we?