Aquino to Binay: If you think we’re wrong, you’re free to go
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay is free to leave the Cabinet if he thinks the administration is on a wrong path, President Benigno Aquino III said on Monday.
Aquino, in a televised ambush interview with media, said Binay should present solutions instead of just criticizing his administration.
“If he thinks we have shortcomings, he is a member of the Cabinet so he should tell us. If not, tell us how to improve the system. And that is not a choice for him to make but an obligation as a member of the Cabinet,” he said.
“If he thinks we are on a wrong direction, he is free not to join us,” he added.
Aquino’s remark came amid calls for Binay to resign from the Cabinet as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and as Presidential Adviser on OFW (overseas Filipino workers) Affairs.
Although Binay has close ties with the Aquino family and is part of the Cabinet, he is an opposition leader and the United Nationalist Alliance’s standard bearer for the 2016 elections.
Binay has repeatedly criticized the administration but denied that he was referring to Aquino.
Aquino, on the other hand, said that the Vice President could have criticisms but he should also be constructive by presenting solutions.
“If he has solutions, I have yet to hear about it during our Cabinet meetings,” he said.
Aquino admitted that he has yet to read the article mentioning Binay’s criticisms against his administration.
But he pointed out that as a member of the government and the second highest official of the country, Binay has the obligation to share his knowledge and proposed solutions.
Nevertheless, Aquino maintained that Binay has achieved a lot as head of the HUDCC.
Asked if he continued to trust Binay amid the corruption allegations, the President said the issues “happened before his role in the Cabinet” and that he enjoyed a “presumption of innocence until proven guilty.”
He reiterated his stand that he had no right to advice Binay on what to do since the Vice President is a senior statesman. He said it was wrong to give unsolicited advice.
He also said the administration deserved credit for investigating top government officials like Binay, “no matter what your status is.” With a report from Christian Esguerra, PDI
Originally posted at 12:18 pm | Monday, November 3, 2014
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