Binay: Poverty, not corruption, is PH’s ‘moral problem’
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said poverty, not corruption, should be the “moral problem” that he would fight against in his presidency.
Journalist Coco Alcuaz moderated the presidential forum of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI). He asked Binay about the corruption allegations, particularly on whether or not Binay was “forthcoming” on the possible effect of the corruption allegations on the investors’ confidence.
Binay said the question seems to imply that his refusal to appear in the Senate hearings on the alleged corruption in Makati shows he was not “forthcoming” about the possible consequences of the raps on investment.
“(There is) no factual basis du’n sa allegation that I was not forthcoming ha. I did appear (in) at least five instances in press conferences, presentation of meetings.. Ang allegation (is) that I’m not forthcoming (because) I did not appear in the Senate. Hindi naman tama ‘yun… Mahirap naman ‘yun na conclusion,” Binay said.
(There is no factual basis that I was not forthcoming. I did appear in at least five instances in press conferences, presentation of meetings. They allege that I am not forthcoming because I did not appear in the Senate. That is not true. That’s quite a stretch for a conclusion.)
He said he did not appear before the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee conducting the probe on alleged corruption in Makati when he was mayor but he sent his affidavit to the panel “to show that there was no graft and corruption after all.”
Alcuaz asked Binay how he could entice investors despite corruption allegations against him.
“Investors are notorious in wait and see. How will you convince them to safely invest in the Philippines on a Binay presidency on day one, rather than wait for them to be safe after one or two years?” Alcuaz said.
Binay said the fear can only be blamed on the “intensity” of the allegations.
He said he is a victim of “demolition by perception” and that it is only customary in Filipino culture to easily smear a person’s reputation.
“I think what created a fear, if ever there was a fear, is the intensity of the allegations,” Binay said.
He described the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing “the longest political inquisition by a political institution.”
“It’s the job of the courts to say whether you are guilty or not of corruption. What they did, and this is part of Filipino culture, is madali lang manira… Basta sinabi mo magnanakaw, eh guilty ka na. Hindi naman tama ‘yun. (This is) part and parcel to demolition by perception,” Binay said.
(It’s the job of the courts to say whether you are guilty or not of corruption. What they did, and this is part of Filipino culture, was to smear my name, which was easy for them. They accused me of being guily as a thief. That is not right. This is part and parcel to demolition by perception.)
He said should he win as president, he would fight against poverty, which is the country’s “moral problem.”
“The moral problem is not corruption, the moral problem is poverty. That is what I want to face, not the fight against all these allegations, but the fight to alleviate the life of every Filipino,” Binay said.
Binay faces graft indictment before 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.
Besides the allegedly overpriced car park building, Binay faces four other plunder and graft complaints before the Ombudsman over the alleged anomalies involving the Makati Science High School Building, the 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 accusers. IDL
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