Pseudologia Fantastica

Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the April 14, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

I tell ya when I was a kid, all I knew was rejection. My yo-yo, it never came back.Rodney Dangerfield

I’m tempted to publish what I know are “photoshopped” pictures of Manny Villar with “Money Villarroyo” tattooed on his behind so I can challenge him to prove the photos are fake by dropping his trousers on prime time news. I’m sure he’ll say, “Why would you ask me to do that when you know the pictures are fake?”

But that’s exactly what he wants Noynoy Aquino to do with the bogus psychiatric report that sources from the Nationalista Party leaked to ABS-CBN News. He knows the report is bogus but he still insists that Aquino address its fake contents.

Villar’s foray into black propaganda is so crude, pathetic, and desperate it reminded me of Mike Tyson biting off the ear of Evander Holyfield.

Anyway, since Villar raised the issue, we might as well look into his mental health. Is Villar suffering from pseudologia fantastica or pathological lying?

An easy- to- understand definition of pathological liar,(let’s leave the jargon to psychiatrists), comes from Askville.com – “A pathological liar is usually defined as someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others… A pathological liar is often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused – it is done to get one’s way)…A pathological liar often comes across as being manipulative, cunning and self-centered.”

Common sense behavioral indicators associated with pathological liars can also be accessed on the internet. Here are some of them:

1. “They change their story all the time.”

2. “They ‘construct’ a reality around themselves…If you call them on a lie and they are backed into a corner, they will act very defensively and say ugly things (most likely but depends on personality), but they may eventually start to act like, ‘Well, what’s the difference? You’re making a big deal out of nothing!’ (again, to refocus the conversation to your wrongdoing instead of theirs).”

3. “Rage attacks after they realize you’re questioning their lies.”

4. “Distraction techniques, e.g. hanging up the phone when you catch them in lie, playing word games, or even just running out of the room. After using the distraction technique, or rage attack, or sometimes both, they will pretend that nothing ever happened. They re-write history, so it never did happen in their minds. Normal people do it too, but these people take it to the extreme.”

Now let’s look at just three cases over the past few months. (There are many more but this article is already too long.)

1. In an interview with Ted Failon on dzMM radio, Villar claimed he owned only two subdivisions along Daan Hari, a road he funded with his pork barrel. Failon went to Daan Hari and saw that it snaked through more than twenty subdivisions owned by Villar. (It’s on YouTube.)

2. When confronted with the fact that he did not include in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALs) the Shaw Blvd. property that he bought from the Laurels, Villar replied that Crown Asia Properties owned the property not him. Villar owns Crown Asia. (Read Lila Shahani’s blog for an excellent analysis of Villar’s SALs.)

3. After the journalists produced documents that questioned the veracity of his claim that his brother died because his family was too poor to buy medicines, Villar gave three contradictory explanations within 24 hours before flying off into a rage against the “old rich.”

“On March 30 on ANC’s Dateline program with Pia Hontiveros and Tony Velasquez, senatorial candidate and Nacionalista spokesman Gilbert Remulla said that the Villars were able to pay the hospital bills because Manuel Villar Sr. borrowed funds from an uncle. On the same day, in an ambush interview on TV Patrol, Villar himself said that his brother’s medical bills were paid for by means of a female cousin of his father, named Nelly Cruz, who lent them money. On March 31, in an 8:30 p.m. dzMM interview with Alvin Elchico and Lynda Jumilla, the story evolved further: Villar now said that his family brought his brother to FEU hospital because they had a relative who worked there as a nurse, and who could help them with discounts. Add to this Villar’s explanation that while his brother did get admitted to FEU, he was brought in as a charity ward patient.” (Read “Moving Target” by Manuel L. Quezon III)

Therefore the question, my dear friends, is not “Is Villar a pathological liar?” but rather it is “Do you want a pathological liar to become your next president?”

Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Refroms (www.aer.ph).

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