MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay is still smarting from the Liberal Party’s branding of him and his coalition as “black” and the ruling party as “white.”
Speaking in Cebu ahead of UNA’s proclamation rally, Binay said he felt that the “black and white” description to show the difference between the two political coalitions had been too racist.
He warned that the remark could eventually offend indigenous people, such as the Aetas.
“Napaka-racist mong magsalita ng ganun. Ito’y labanan ng black and white? Ingatan mo, ‘yung ating mga kababayang Aeta nasaktan, ’di ba (The comment is so racist. Is this a fight between black and white? They should watch their tongue, for they’re hurting the Aetas)?” he said.
“Pati nga ako, ipinagmamalaki ko itong brown race. Hindi ko nga alam sa’n nanggaling yung black and white na yan eh (I’m proud of my brown race. I have no idea where that black and white comment came from),” said Binay.
The Vice President said he was in Cambodia attending the cremation rites of the country’s former King Sihanouk during the time the issue cropped up.
The “black and white” statement came from LP acting president and Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya who was quoted in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report as saying that the difference between the two parties would be as “clear as black and white.”
“Narinig ko, ang issue, mga kababayan, ay black and white. Wow, racist. Iba ang dating, kulay sa kulay (I’ve heard it, the issue, my countrymen, is about black and white color. This is new, it’s all about color)” he said.
The LP has earlier been criticized by UNA secretary general and Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco for issuing such statement which they felt was meant to embarrass Binay.
The ruling party has been pressing UNA to choose whether it was for or against the Aquino administration instead of insisting on being fiscalizers of the government.
But Binay said that they have never been “pretenders.”
“We’ve never been pretenders. Ako, ang UNA…lumaban ako kay Pangulong Marcos ‘nun. Nagpi-pretend ba ako? ‘Yung si GMA noon, ‘di ba kasama ako ni Pangulong Cory? Kay Ninoy pa (I fought the Marcos regime. Was I pretending? Also during Arroyo’s term; Remember I was with President Cory Aquino. Also with Ninoy),” he said.