Binay hits back after Aquino’s swipe at Roxas’ poll rivals
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday hit back at the administration after President Benigno Aquino III took an apparent swipe against him during a speech in Rome.
In a statement, Binay’s spokesperson Rico Quicho said Aquino’s latest jab during his visit in Rome “can be interpreted as a signal to resume the demolition work on the Vice President.”
Without dropping names, Aquino in his speech took a jab at the presidential candidates who would compete against his anointed successor, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the 2016 elections.
He said one candidate, despite his party’s slogan “gaganda ang buhay,” is facing corruption allegations.
“Suriin po natin ang mga pagpipilian natin. Mayroon po diyan, inakusahan ng pagsasamsam ng kaban ng bayan sa pagkatagal-tagal na panahon. Kung totoo ang alegasyon at nagnanakaw nga itong taong ito, ano po kaya ang matitira para tustusan ang pagpapaganda ng buhay na ipinapangako niya?” Aquino said.
Binay was indicted for graft by the Ombudsman for allegedly rigging the procurement for the design and construction of the P2.28 billion Makati City Hall Building II, deemed the country’s priciest car park building, when he was Makati mayor.
Binay also faces four other plunder and graft complaints before the Ombudsman over the alleged anomalies involving the Makati Science High School Building, University of Makati, a Fort Bonifacio property, and over an allegedly anomalous land deal between the Alphaland and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, where Binay is long-running President.
Binay decried political harassment by his detractors who intend to derail his presidential bid.
Quicho said the President should not forget that these are still allegations and that Binay should be assumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Quicho then trained his guns against the Liberal Party standard bearer Roxas for his supposed failure as former Transportation Secretary and Interior Secretary to ease traffic woes and stamp out criminality.
Binay’s spokesperson also blamed Roxas for his failure to address the breakdowns which marred the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) operations.
“An honest appraisal of all the presidential candidates should not exclude the administration candidate. He occupied several key positions in the Cabinet for the last five years yet through his incompetence and inaction only made situations worse,” Quicho said.
“The MRT is in a worse state now. Traffic is now a daily hell for commuters and motorists. Licenses and car plates take forever. Billions in funds for local governments, water projects, developmental programs remain unreleased and trapped in a bureaucratic limbo of his own making,” he added.
“Citizens live in fear and no longer feel safe in their homes. We have rampant criminality, unsolved killings of judges and journalists, and a drug menace that has infected almost all barangays in the country,” Quicho also said.
Quicho said Roxas’ 2016 bid is only intended at continuing the current administration’s “insensitive” program of governance.
“These are concrete issues that need concrete answers from the administration candidate. He is, after all, running on a platform of continuity. For ordinary citizens, this means continuing the insensitive and inefficient governance that has failed to address poverty, hunger and unemployment,” Quicho said.
Besides Binay, Aquino also took a swipe at the other presidential bets challenging Roxas – Senator Grace Poe, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Aquino said one candidate, apparently referring to Poe, seemed too ambitious in the platform of governance but has not mentioned how she would do it.
Poe was recently disqualified by one Commission on Elections division for failing to meet the residency period for presidential candidate. She is hounded with citizenship issues, as well, because of her previous US citizenship and her status for being a foundling.
Aquino also hit one candidate – obviously Duterte – for allegation that he was a murderer. Duterte had been linked to the Davao Death Squad, a hitman’s group allegedly responsible for the summary killings of criminals in Davao city. Duterte had not denied his links to the group.
Aquino also took a swipe against Santiago who said she would rely on her clout on social media to win the elections. The feisty senator has gained a reputation online for her wit.
“Ang isa pa, dadaanin lang daw basta ang kampanya sa social media—siguro po, hindi siya mulat na hindi ka makakapagpatayo ng kalsada at makakapagpakain ng nagugutom gamit lang ang Facebook,” Aquino said of the senator, who has stage four lung cancer.
Aquino also criticized one candidate for a different position over his refusal to apologize for his father’s sins. Aquino was apparently referring to Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., whose father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, ruled the country for 21 years, nine of which (1972 to 1981) were under martial rule. Aquino’s father, then opposition senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., was assassinated under Marcos’ rule.
The younger Marcos is the vice presidential candidate of Santiago.
“Ang postura daw po niya, gagawin niya ang tama—pero hindi naman niya maamin ang mga pagkakamaling nagawa sa nakaraan. Di po ba: Kung hindi niya sinasabing mali, malamang palagay niya ay tama ito. Kung palagay niya tama, malamang din po, uulitin niya ang mga pagkakamaling ito,” Aquino said.
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