Vice President Jejomar Binay is convinced that Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd is one of the masterminds behind “Oplan Stop Nognog 2016,” a campaign allegedly hatched to lower Binay’s ratings and destroy his chances of winning the presidency in 2016.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Vice President said those who thought of that smear campaign are elitist and anti-poor.
“He is one of the leaders behind ‘Oplan Stop Nognog 2016.’ I won’t be surprised because first of all the word nognog is derogatory, your dark complexion is taken against you,” Binay noted.
Roxas is a member of one of the country’s richest families–Araneta–who owns most of the Cubao area in Quezon City.
“Whoever thought of nognog was clearly being insulting. Surely those who thought of that word are wealthy hacienderos, because nognog is a slur against those who are dark-skinned,” Binay said.
“They want to show that I am not fit to become President. Then they will find ways for me to be put in jail, to be impeached. They are doing all of these things to prevent me from running or becoming President of our country,” the Vice President said.
Binay also slammed Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th for calling him “kulay-mahirap” and “asal-mahirap.”
Kulay-mahirap literally means color of the poor and asal-mahirap, ways of the poor.
“This is just another proof of Mr. Trillanes’ anti-poor thinking. All of those behind the smear campaign against me think lowly of the poor and those who are dark-skinned,” he said.
“They don’t want us, the poor, to [band]together. They don’t want me to lead the fight against poverty, to have jobs. You know what nognog means, it’s a slur for small, dark-skinned people,” Binay added.
Rep. Tobias Tiangco of Navotas City also slammed Trillanes for his anti-poor remarks, saying it “revealed his color of politics that looks down on the poor with such arrogance and disdain.”
Tiangco, the interim president of the United Nationalist Alliance, called on the senator to raise the level of his politics and stop resorting to name-calling.
“The poor should be those that public servants should give priority to because they are the ones who need the government’s help. But, Sen. Trillanes, instead of coming up with laws that will improve the poor’s lot, is using them in his politicking. Sen. Trillanes’ true colors came out. His colors are those of the anti-poor,” Tiangco said.
He noted that Trillanes is so consumed by his anti-Binay agenda that he does not care whether his words would hurt people.
“The senator’s remarks are very insensitive and extremely insulting. Maligning the poor because of their skin color is not just a simple slip of the tongue, but a mindset of someone who does not really care about them. His demeanor and the way he talks say a lot about his character,” the congressman said.
Binay also accused his detractors of using the Senate as a platform to unjustly persecute him, his family and others associated with him.
Speaking at the 32nd Anniversary and the 33rd Induction Ceremonies of the Lion’s Club International District 301-D2 at the Manila Hotel on Saturday, Binay said senators who are investigating him are “blinded by political ambition that they cannot see that their recent activities and actuations are no longer in aid of legislation but in aid of political persecution.”
Instead of focusing on the many problems facing the country, the Vice President added, his detractors opted to vilify him and his family to advance their personal and political interests.
“There’s the power crisis, the continuous rise of prices of commodities, crime, hellish traffic and dangerous rides on MRT and LRT, floodings and calamities that we should prepare for. But instead of finding solutions to these problems, they chose to give priority to their personal interests by ruining my name,” he said.
Binay’s critics claim that the Vice President’s camp has a counter-plot dubbed “Oplan Maligno” or “Operation Plan Ghost” against them.
Liberal Party member and Caloocan City (Metro Manila) Rep. Edgar Erice on Saturday bared Oplan Maligno that he said is meant to divert the public’s attention from the corruption allegations being hurled at the Vice President.
The counter-plot, according to Erice, was hatched soon after Pulse Asia released its survey showing that the number of Filipinos who would vote for Binay as President in 2016 dropped from 41 percent in June to 31 percent in September.