VICE President Jejomar Binay will turn the tables on the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd in his “true” State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he will deliver today in Cavite province, where he will respond “point by point” to the President’s own speech delivered a week ago.
While the Binay camp remained mum on the details of Binay’s speech, his spokesman told The Manila Times that the public can get a glimpse of the contents of the address from previous statements issued by the Vice President.
“[The] VP [Vice President] will end his barnstorming of Cavite with his true SONA. Meron namang previous reaction si Rico Quicho sa SONA ni PNoy kaya doon may pasilip na [Rico Quicho has come out with a reaction to the President’s SONA so we already have some idea [about Binay’s SONA],” said Joey Salgado, one of Binay’s authorized spokesmen.
Quicho is the Vice President’s spokesman on political affairs.
“Previous statements indicate that Monday’s speech will belie point by point PNoy’s SONA,” Salgado said.
Without directly naming Binay, Aquino took a swipe at the Vice President and his family at least twice in his SONA last week.
The President first responded to Binay’s allegation that the Aquino government is “palpak at manhid” [a failure and insensitive]and then at the middle of his speech called on Congress to pass an anti-political dynasty law.
Binay’s daughter Nancy is a senator, son Jejomar Erwin is suspended Makati City mayor and another daughter, Abby, is a member of the House of Representatives.
In Malacañang, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. challenged Binay to be as “truthful and factual” in responding to Aquino’s SONA.
“Our bosses have the right to demand from elected public officials a truthful accounting of their stewardship. Any critique of the President’s SONA must be as truthful and factual as the report the President delivered,” the Palace official said in a text message to The Manila Times.
A media advisory released by the Office of the Vice President said Binay will deliver his speech at 4 p.m. at the Cavite State University Gymnasium in Indang, Cavite.
Taking off from the previous statement of Quicho, Binay is most likely to include in his speech several damning issues that Aquino deliberately left out in his SONA.
These include corruption, selective justice, social inequalities, abuse of legislative authority and ineptitude of government agencies.
Other “pressing matters” that the President ignored, Quicho stressed, were justice for the 44 special police commandos killed by Muslim rebels in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province in January this year; distribution of Hacienda Luisita to farmer beneficiaries; corruption in the Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Agriculture and other agencies; illegal use of Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds; graft and ineptitude at the Bureau of Customs; politicization of the Office of the Ombudsman and the judiciary; and abuse of legislative authority.
“The SONA systematically downplayed and disregarded the gains of previous administrations that were used as the blueprint for [Aquino] administration projects,” Quicho said.
According to Binay, the Aquino administration failed in its mandate of protecting the people and was insensitive to their true needs and wants.
As former chief of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns, the Vice President said he had time to hear grievances of people who still wallow in poverty despite economic growth claimed by the government.