Binay gets warm welcome in Capiz
Roxas City — Vice President Jejomar Binay and his group got a warm welcome from Capiceños during his visit here and the rest of Capiz.
Accompanied by around 500 supporters, including three barangay captains of Roxas City, Binay and his group gathered at a restaurant near the Capiz provincial capitol at 6:30 a.m. yesterday for a five-minute walk to the city plaza.
With Binay were former senator Ernesto Maceda, whistle blower Joey De Venecia, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
The vice president’s supporters wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Binay para sa 2016,” a reference to Binay’s presidential aspirations. Some of them carried streamers proclaiming, “Capiz ay para kay Binay.”
Capiz is a known bailiwick of Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas, whom Binay beat in the 2010 elections. Roxas has a pending electoral protest questioning Binay’s victory.
As Binay’s group passed in front of the Roxas City Hall, his supporters shouted, “Binay sa 2016.”
Binay then proceeded to the Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion, a school located near the capitol, and delivered a short message to the students and teachers.
Speaking at a dialog with nine mayors of Capiz, businessmen and non-governmental organizations, Binay slammed anew the refusal of the city government to put up “customary welcome streamers.”
Roxas City Mayor Angel Alan Celino, who belongs to the Liberal Party, had earlier explained that a permit and fees were required to put up streamers and the like in public places. Celino said they did not receive any application from Binay’s supporters for the putting up of streamers.
Earlier, the Office of the Vice President also chided Celino for allegedly harassing vendors and stall owners at the Roxas City Public Market.
Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesperson, said, “We cannot comprehend the apparent refusal of (Celino) to recognize the fact that the second highest elected official of the country will be visiting. He has even gone to the extent of reportedly threatening vendors and market stall owners should they interact with the (Binay).”
But Celino denied the allegations. “It’s purely ‘tsimis’ or rumors. I challenge them (vendors or stall owners) to come out so that we may know who are those persons that I harassed,” he said.
During the Thursday dialog, Binay turned over two checks for P500,000 each to Mayors Lilia Castro of Dumalag and Roger Flores of Cuartero for the project of senior citizens in their respective towns.
The other mayors who attended the dialogue held at Capiz Mansyon Hotel in Roxas City were Jose Alba of Mambusao, Ethel Jinon of Jamindan, Rosemarie Gardose of Tapaz, Lesie Warren Benjamin of Dumarao, Joselito Escutin of Dao, Katherine Belo of Panitan, and Dante Bermejo of Panay. Also in attendance were former Roxas City Mayor Vicente Bermejo, former Mayor Noel Yap of Ivisan and retired Judge Roger Patricio.
At 7:30 a.m., the vice president’s group and supporters, composed of barangay officials and local residents who rode on jeepneys, went to Panitan town, about 15 km from Roxas City for a 30-minute dialog with Mayor Katherine Belo and students at the jampacked Dadivas Civic Center, which has a capacity of over 1,000.
They were greeted with streamers hanging above the roadsides starting at the boundary of Roxas City and Panitan town.
From there, Binay’s group went to Mambusao town, about 45 km from Roxas City, for another dialog with local officials led by Mayor Jose Alba and residents, including students. The dialog was held at the Villareal Lima Civic Center and attended by around 1,000 people.
Binay and his party were also greeted by elementary pupils waving small flags along the route.
Binay’s party also went to Dao for the inauguration of the Senior Citizen Center and Dumarao, both in Capiz, and San Jose, Antique, for meetings with the local leaders. Binay is scheduled to return to Manila today. /INQUIRER