Binay in panic mode, says Cayetano
MANILA, Philippines–Vice President Jejomar Binay, by accusing the country’s rich of waging a war against a “poor man” like himself, was now in a “panic mode,” Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said on Monday.
But contrary to his claims, Binay attended parties with the country’s rich, and count some of them as among his financial backers, Cayetano said.
“He’s in a panic mode. Like someone gasping for breath… he’s trying to read all the political books and all the strategies used by other politicians, and applying them to himself, although they do not apply,” he told reporters.
In a radio interview in Pagadian City on Friday, Binay accused his opponents of hatching a plot to remove him from office, describing it as a political war waged by the rich against the poor.
The Vice President has been fending off charges of corruption and ill-gotten wealth, from pocketing kickbacks from infrastructure deals as a Makati mayor to owning a P1.2-billion high-end farm in Batangas province.
He has dismissed the charges, which is being investigated by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, as attempts at derailing his bid to become the country’s next President in 2016.
Cayetano observed that Binay’s use of the rich vs poor card wasn’t very original. He recalled that then President Joseph Estrada also accused the country’s elite of spearheading his impeachment on charges of corruption, incompetence and inefficiency in 2000.
Part of ‘drama’
The only difference, he said, was that Estrada’s pronouncement was on the record. “He’s trying to do an Erap,” the senator said.
“Whether you believe President Erap’s statement or not, that’s on the record. As for Vice President Binay, he’s known to party officially or unofficially with the richest of the rich of the country,” he said.
Fewer than five percent of the rich do not know Binay or have problems with him, Cayetano said. “But most have either told him that they will support him or are very close to him for the longest time. That’s why we wonder who are the rich he’s talking about that are against him,” he added.
This strategy by Binay is all part of a “drama” to endear himself to the poor, Cayetano said.
The subcommittee is to meet Wednesday to decide whether to hold in contempt Hilmarc’s chair Efren Canlas and president Robert Henson for repeatedly snubbing the hearing on Makati’s allegedly overpriced carpark.
“There will be a review if the contempt is justified,” said Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, chair of the subcommittee who moved to cite the pair in contempt.
But Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday withdrew his recommendation that Canlas and Henson be cited in contempt for failing to appear in an earlier hearing of the subcommittee despite being summoned.
Hilmarc’s built the P2.28 billion Makati City Hall II.
Trillanes said the two executives had showed up in a subsequent hearing of the subcommittee, and this remedied the situation.
“Hence, the contempt recommendation was withdrawn,” he said.
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