Binay claim on SAF 44 mural a lie, says Palace
Malacañang on Thursday assailed the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay anew for allegedly dishing out another lie—that the Palace was responsible for the removal of a mural of the police’s Special Action Force (SAF) 44 from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Silang, Cavite.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma told reporters that there is no proof or truth to the allegation that the Office of the President had a hand in moving the mural even as he emphasized the need to “let the public know the truth.”
Binay’s office had issued a press release saying the Office of the President was behind the mural’s pullout from the PNPA, where it was initially unveiled.
“Chief Supt. Armand Ramolete, the PNPA director, had reported to Philippine Public Safety College president General [Ricardo] de Leon that the subject mural was pulled out from the PNPA by the owner of the Erehwon Center for the Arts which made the art piece,” Coloma said, after the owner had reportedly cited the absence of an appropriate space to store it.
Coloma, who also heads the Presidential Communications Operations Office, also disclosed that “a statue honoring the SAF 44 has been put up at the Camp Mariano Castañeda in Silang, Cavite.”
Binay’s staff brought the SAF 44 mural to the Cavite State University, where the Vice President delivered his “true” State of the Nation Address (Tsona) on Monday.
Binay spokesman Joel Salgado told reporters that the Office of the Vice President now hosts the mural after “someone higher up” ordered the PNPA to put it down.
Binay saluted the mural during and after his speech, where he repeatedly lambasted what he described as an inept Aquino administration.
The highlight of his Tsona was his roll call of the names of the slain police commandos at the end of his address.
Politicizing their heroism
Said Binay in his speech: “In Mamasapano, 44 SAF troopers laid down their lives while many were wounded. But even just for a short time, their heroism was not mentioned in the State of the Nation Address [of the President]. Even a thank you, there’s none. Good for the President’s hair stylist and fashion designer, they were part of the long list of people he thanked.”
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the administration’s standard-bearer in the 2016 elections, had slammed Binay for politicizing the heroism of the SAF 44.
“For five years, [Binay] applauded the administration he’s been part of. Now this? But worst of all, he politicized the heroism of the SAF 44. This is not right,” Roxas said in a text message to reporters.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda has repeatedly slammed Binay’s camp for “dishing out lies” about the administration.
He dared Binay’s group to “bring it on,” saying that the Vice President and his allies were attacking Aquino because they could not respond to the allegations of corruption and ill-gotten wealth against him.
“We have yet to hear a response other than ‘it’s just politics,’” Lacierda said.
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