MANILA, Philippines— Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone should “shut up” and stop “sowing intrigue” now that President Benigno Aquino III dismissed any possible rift with his vice president, an official of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said on Monday.
UNA secretary general and Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco said that Aquino’s dismissal of a possible rift between him and Vice President Jejomar Binay should be enough to stop efforts to pit the two highest state officials against each other.
“The President himself said there is no rift between him and the Vice President and that he is satisfied with the VP’s performance as Cabinet member. With this candid statement, Rep. Evardone should shut up and instead help his newly-acquired partymates but not by sowing intrigue, which is the usual weapon of the insecure and the desperate,” Tiangco said in a statement.
He was reacting to a statement by Evardone, a stalwart of the Liberal Party (LP), last week, asking UNA to decide whether it would side with the Aquino administration or run against the ruling party as opposition in the midterm polls.
“UNA has always been a constructive opposition. We support and commend programs that benefit the people but will bring up shortcomings and misguided policies of the government,” Tiangco he said.
The UNA official also urged Evardone to stop asking the Binay-led coalition to choose between supporting all of the administration’s programs or being what Tiangco called “the traditional opposition” which would likely oppose every action of the administration.
“(UNA) is not the traditional opposition that Evardone wants to paint it to be,” Tiangco argued.
Tiangco hit back at Evardone, whom he said had a “tainted political background,” citing the latter’s links to the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino in 2004, the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led Lakas-CMD-Kampi back in 2007, and Kampi in 2008.
Evardone, he said, was also known for was “sipsipolitics.”
“Always (saying) ‘yes’ kung sino nakaupo,” the UNA official said.
The Aquino administration’s reform agenda would suffer because of this ‘sipsipolitics” but
this was the “price” that the Liberal Party, had to pay , he said, for opening its doors “to just about anyone.”
“It is these pseudo reformists, not UNA, who will undermine the President’s reform agenda,” said Tiangco.
But Evardone, in a phone interview, brushed aside Tiangco’s accusations, saying that the UNA secretary general was taking things “too personal.”
“Huwag nang patulan yan, they’re just muddling the issue,” said Evardone, quoting Aquino’s words in LP’s television and radio advertisements: “Sa daang matuwid, Marami and gustong sumali. Pero mayroon ding nagpapanggap lamang.”
Evardone then reiterated his challenge to UNA to define itself as either a supporter or an opposition to the Aquino administration.
“Ang UNA, gusto lang nilang magpanggap,” Evardone said.
Originally posted at 11:27 am | Monday, January 28, 2013