Binay says he does not back away from a fight
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday angrily lashed out at President Benigno Aquino 3rd as he declared his determination to run for President in 2016.
Binay, 73, a former staunch supporter of the Aquino family, accused the ruling administration of practicing “twisted justice” and of failing to improve life for the poor.
“This is what our people are seeking: a government that is the opposite of the callous and failing government that we have today,” Binay, who previously refrained from directly attacking Aquino, said.
Binay resigned from his Cabinet post on Monday as presidential adviser on overseas workers affairs and chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
His tirades comes amid efforts of the Office of the Ombudsman to charge him for corruption allegedly committed during his many years as mayor of Makati City (Metro Manila) before he became Vice President in 2010.
Binay said he is fighting for a government that would let justice and peace reign, and one that would fervently strive to create more jobs to help the needy.
He criticized the “selective justice” of the current administration, pointing out to the apparent disparity between those allied with the administration and those who are not.
There are certain privileges, Binay said, given to friends of the Aquino administration but there can be no justice for those who do not belong to the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
Morever, while he was being vilified, according to the Vice President, those allied with the ruling party who are also embroiled in controversies have gone unpunished.
Binay said that under the current administration, he was maliciously maligned, attacked and threatened with imprisonment.
He added that he believes the Aquino administration sees him as the main stumbling block to its political ambitions, especially because he is planning to run for President next year.
And while he was being persecuted, the Vice President said, the administration allowed to flourish issues such as the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the corruption at the Metro Rail Transit 3 and the Mamasapano incident.
Binay said he was not willing to let the successful pro-poor programs he implemented in Makati City be disparaged and vilified.
He added that he accepted the offer to join the Cabinet because he wanted to repay with genuine service the trust of the public that elected him.
Binay dared his critics to face him in clean and honest elections as he thanked the people for their continued trust in him despite incessant attacks against him.
“Alam nila na marami sa kanilang kandidato ang hindi mananalo sa isang malinis at patas na halalan. kaya gagamit sila ng maruruming paraan, sukdulang sila ay magsinungaling, waldasin ang pondo ng bayan, at patuloy na labagin ang batas [They know that many of their candidates would not win in clean and fair elections, that’s why they resort to dirty tactics, they’re bare-faced liars, put public funds to waste and continue to defy the law],” he said.
The Vice President thanked those who continued to support him despite the heavy political persecution.
“Sa mga kalaban ko sa pulitika, sinasabi ko sa inyo ngayon, kung ang layunin ninyo ay paatrasin ako sa pagtakbo bilang pangulo sa 2016, nagkakamali kayo. Hindi ako umaatras sa laban [To my political foes, I’m telling you now, if your objective is to make me back out from the presidential contest in 2016, you’re wrong. I do not run from a fight],” Binay said.
He described the charges against him as politically motivated to keep him from running in the 2016 presidential elections.
Despite the charges against him, surveys have shown that Binay enjoys high approval ratings and comes at or near the top of potential presidential winners in next year’s polls.
Aquino, who is barred by law from running for another term, is widely expected to endorse a successor from his own Liberal Party in 2016.
Binay is not a member of that party.
He assailed Aquino’s record, saying only a small elite of Aquino’s allies had benefited from the economic growth and policies under the President.
“This is the twisted justice of the administration today,” Binay said.
Addressing the public, he promised: “I will be with you through thick and thin but now, as the leader of the opposition.”
Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda noted that during Binay’s five years in the Aquino Cabinet, the Vice President had never criticized the administration’s policies.
“He has made the unfortunate choice to commence his presidential run with statements that he could have otherwise discussed with the President as a Cabinet member but chose not to,” Lacierda said in a statement.
He added that Binay’s speech “will define himself not only as an official but also as a person.”