Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday said he will deliver a “True State of the Nation” in “due time.”
In an interview after his daily morning walk at the CCP Complex where the Coconut Palace, the official residence of the Vice President, is located, Binay dismissed reports that he was to skip President Aquino’s SONA. (Binay showed up at the Batasang Pambansa, home to the House of Representatives in Quezon City, in the afternoon–Editor)
The Vice President said he would be delivering a “true” SONA, and it will depend on what the President was to present in his sixth and final address.
Binay was left out in the President’s speech as he thanked past and present Cabinet secretaries whom he said have been instrumental in his efforts to institute reforms in the government.
Binay–who has been repeatedly announcing that he will be the opposition’s standard-bearer in next year’s elections–served as the Aquino administration’s housing czar after he was appointed chairman of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, as well as presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ concerns.
The Vice President resigned from the Cabinet last month.
The President, in his SONA, gave his allies in Congress the green light to enact an anti-political dynasty law, which Binay had opposed.
Three of Binay’s children occupy elective posts in the government.
While he did not mention any names, Aquino also made a snide remark against corrupt families or individuals in power.
“Why do we have to craft a law that stops somebody from serving the public? But then I thought, there’s something wrong in giving a chance to a corrupt family or individual to wallow in the perks of power for a long time,” the President said in Filipino.
“We cannot be sure if the intentions of those who want to succeed me are clean or they just want to lord over and advance their personal interests forever. It’s time to pass the anti-dynasty law.”
The Binay camp said it did not take offense on the President’s SONA, specifically when he made a pitch for the passage of the anti-dynasty bill.
A daughter of the Vice President, House Deputy Majority Leader Mar-Len Abigail Binay of Makati City (Metro Manila) refused to comment on the push for the measure that would limit to two the allowable number of immediate family members running in the same election.
“You’re wrong in interpreting that our family is the target of the anti-dynasty measure. We are not the only political clan here. It’s hard to comment on that because whether we will be for or against, we can’t win,” Rep. Binay told reporters.
“No, we don’t feel alluded to. I don’t want to put malice into it,” she said.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito welcomed the President’s take on the anti-dynasty bill.
Ejercito is the son of deposed president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and San Juan City (Metro Manila) Mayor Guia Gomez and half-brother of Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
“I am quite happy that the President mentioned it. This will be a challenge…a major breakthrough. This is the farthest that the anti-political dynasty has gone,” the senator, an author of the bill in the Senate, said.
“It will be an uphill battle because 80 percent of legislators belong to a political dynasty, including myself, but with 100 million Filipinos I believe that political or economic power should be shared. It’s about time we give others a chance since there are those who are equally capable and credible but don’t have the means,” Ejercito added.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also on Monday said the Aquino administration has been consistent in running down the political opposition.
Marcos told reporters that there seems to be a trend in Malacanang’s anti-corruption campaign where its treatment of those who are supportive of the administration is different than that of those who are members of the opposition.
“Well, I think it has been the policy. It became really a policy to run after the political opposition, so that’s consistent,” he said.
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was sent to jail when Aquino assumed office in 2010.
Two years later, Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached and was removed after undergoing trial.
Just last year, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. were charged and ordered detained for their alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Enrile, Estrada and Revilla are just three of a number of politicians, including administration allies and government officials, implicated in the scam but the Department of Justice is yet to act on the other cases.
Meanwhile, when asked how he will rate Aquino’s performance as President, Marcos said he will give him a score of six out of 10.
He explained that the President deserves a passing score because Aquino really tried to address corruption.
Marcos, however, said the President fell short in infrastructure delivery, traffic management, power supply and income distribution.
He added that the gap between rich and poor remains huge and the economic growth being claimed by the government is not being felt by ordinary Filipinos.
“These are all the problems we are facing and there is really a lot of things that need to be done,” Marcos said.