Binay says Berberabe could be his running mate
MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday said he was considering Pag-Ibig Fund president and chief executive officer Darlene Marie Berberabe, who has been dragged into the Senate inquiry into allegations of corruption against him, as a possible vice presidential running mate in 2016.
Binay made the statement to reporters after delivering a speech on the accomplishment report for 2014 of the Pag-Ibig Fund, or the Home Development Mutual Fund, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
But even before meeting with the reporters, Binay had already hinted at it in his speech, praising Berberabe and saying she could have a bigger future after her stint at the government housing agency.
Binay’s son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, earlier told a television program that Berberabe was one of those being considered as a possible running mate of his father.
Asked why he would consider Berberabe, Binay cited the leadership she has shown at the helm of Pag-Ibig.
He was asked why he would consider Berberabe when she had become somewhat controversial when it emerged at the Senate corruption hearings that she was the sister-in-law of Binay’s chief of staff and that the Vice President had recommended her for the top post at Pag-Ibig.
Berberabe was summoned to testify on allegations that the vice president had sought deals for favored contractors at Pag-Ibig.
She defended Binay and denied he used his power to get a Pag-Ibig contract for a security agency, Omni Security Investigation, which Binay is alleged to own through dummies.
On Thursday, Binay disagreed that Berberabe had become controversial, and reiterated his oft-repeated claim that it was his political enemies who were trying to destroy him, and now even Berberabe.
He said Filipinos were always quick to believe accusations made against government officials without waiting for an explanation.
In his speech, Binay was all praises for Berberabe who he said has received much recognition for her leadership of Pag-Ibig, such as being named Female Executive of the Year by the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
Berberabe was also recognized as one of the most influential women in the world by the Filipina Women’s Network, he said.
Meanwhile, the Binay camp on Thursday expressed alarm over a report that the Anti-Money Laundering Council had asked the Court of Appeals for authority to inspect Binay’s bank accounts as well as that of his family and friends.
“(It’s) really alarming for it would maliciously break bank confidentiality without any legitimate basis to do so,” said lawyer Rico Quicho, Binay’s political spokesperson, in a text message.
Quicho said they will wait for the decision of the CA and would “act appropriately consistent with the protection of his rights and that of his family”.’
“The vice president has time and again stated that he has nothing to hide and will fully cooperate with the proper authorities,” he said.
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