President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday said he saved Vice President Jejomar Binay from being a spare tire.
“We gave him the opportunity to maintain his popularity ratings although we were not allies during the elections,” Aquino told reporters in Filipino after delivering his speech in an agriculture exposition in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
The President said he could not understand why Binay criticized his administration a day after he handed over his resignation letter when he treated the Vice President as a member of his official family.
Binay resigned his position as presidential adviser on overseas workers affairs and chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council with a one-sentence letter on Monday. He then held a news conference at the Vice President’s Residence at the Coconut Palace on Wednesday where he called the Aquino administration as “callous” and “insensitive.”
“Maybe he thought that he could not get our endorsement so now he has to show to the public that he does not need it or he can do better,” Aquino said.
The President added that when Binay resigned, he did not even clarify what needs to be put in order in his administration when he asked him for his reasons for the abrupt resignation.
Aquino questioned Binay on his ideas on how to run the government better as he keeps them close to his chest.
“If you can contribute to the betterment of the people whom you pledged to serve, why would you not help?” the President said.
Meanwhile, Aquino reiterated that his priorities right now do not include politics concerning the 2016 elections.
The President ended with a tirade against Binay, saying, “I think it is clear among the public who is saying the truth and who is saying lies.”
Aquino said he and his Cabinet members will answer Binay’s accusations point by point.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima also on Thursday said she believes that Binay resigned “out of political expediency, not because of his intention to run for President.”
“It has become evident that he also had to resign in order to go full blast in condemning this administration, which he was a part of for five years, and which he now faults for his own troubles with the law insofar as his graft cases are involved,” de Lima told reporters.
The Justice secretary noted that if Binay’s presidential run in 2016 was the reason for him to leave the Cabinet, then he should have resigned as early as five years ago.
Commenting on Binay’s allegation that the Aquino administration was engaged in selective justice, de Lima said he was just “feeling the long arm of the law.”
“Just because high officials and big fish like him are feeling the long arm of the law does not mean there is selective justice.
“Apparently the [Vice President] has not heard of the saying that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. He should first put his own affairs in order, especially the corruption cases against him and members of his family,” she also told reporters.
Binay, his son and Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. and several others are facing charges over alleged overpricing in the construction of Makati City Hall Building 2
Binay’s political affairs spokesman said de Lima misses the point “completely.”
“The manner and method with which she uses her office to oppress the political opposition while allowing LP [Liberal Party] allies to go unpunished highlights her performance. Worse, she is too titillated by the allure of politics that she neglects her job. Under her watch, we have seen the prison scandal in the New Bilibid Prisons, bribery in the Bureau of Immigration to fund BBL [Bangsamoro Basic Law] lobbying and the snail’s pace prosecution of other PDAF [Priority Development Assistance Fund] actors. She has failed to provide justice for the families of the SAF [Special Action Force] fallen 44.
“Lady justice is blind but Secretary De Lima appears to be blinded by her own ambitions and her vow to protect the Liberal Party and its allies. Sadly, at the expense of ensuring equal justice for all the people,” lawyer Rico Quicho said in a statement.