IT was business as usual for Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday as he attended the Cabinet meeting on the rehabilitation efforts of areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda, barely two days after President Benigno Aquino 3rd dared him to leave the administration if he feels that it is going wayward.
Political observers said Binay’s decision to attend somewhat sent a message that he still respects Aquino’s leadership and that he is not yet ready to burn bridges with him.
A Palace official who requested anonymity said Binay’s decision to attend in his capacity as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, which is in charge of resettlement efforts in Yolanda-hit areas, also confirmed that he was a team player.
“The Cabinet meeting is focused on the tasks at hand. All the Cabinet secretaries, including the Vice President, were attentive to the discussion,” Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters.
Binay showed up in the meeting after Aquino told him that he is free to leave his Cabinet if he no longer agrees with where the administration is headed.
Although acknowledging the Vice President’s work in the housing sector, the President said Binay, as a Cabinet member, is obligated to present solutions instead of criticisms.
Binay arrived earlier than usual on Wednesday. He was seated directly in front of the President.
The Vice President earlier questioned decisions made by the administration, and accused some of the President’s allies of launching a demolition job against him.
The Vice President plans to run for the top post in 2016, while Aquino has yet to name his anointed candidate although Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd remains the presumptive standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party.