UNA appeals to LP: Stop mudslingingBy Leila B. Salaverria |Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Friday called on the Liberal Party (LP) to stop trying to destroy the relations between President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay and do away with mudslinging, saying this reflects badly on the government.
UNA campaign manager Toby Tiangco made the appeal Friday after reports came out that the LP had put out a statement quoting its member, Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, as supposedly questioning the alleged use of public funds for the Binay family’s trip to the Vatican last year.
But Gonzales reportedly denied making the statement, prompting the LP to recall it and issue another statement instead.
Binay, however, still responded to the recalled statement and explained that the Vatican trip was paid for by his children out of their own pocket and was their wedding anniversary gift to him and his wife.
He said no public funds were used for the vacation, and that the funds of his office were subject to scrutiny by the Commission on Audit.
“Well, the intent was clearly to smear the Vice President and his family. All we can say to LP: ‘Nice try!’” Tiangco said in a statement.
He said those lies reflect badly on the government.
“By all means we support the call for transparency in public service but to dangle half-baked untruths publicly in hopes of gaining publicity erodes the public’s trust for the government in general,” he noted.
Tiangco said the LP was “obviously in disarray and can’t get their act together,” given its failure to come up with a decent, factual press statement.
He said the LP was desperate to make up an issue against UNA by trying to smear its bigwig, Binay.
He said UNA would welcome any audit, but he added that LP’s own people also need to have their “political histories and government records” audited.