The Binay camp has scored the administration’s “flip-flopping” stance on the issue of poverty as Malacanang recently touted its poverty-reduction measures.
While the economy has supposedly grown steadily under the Aquino administration, economic gains have not been felt by the poor, according to Rico Quicho, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s spokesman on political concerns.
Local think tank IBON Foundation, in a recent report, said six out of ten Filipinos see themselves as poor.
Quicho reiterated the Vice President’s call for the Aquino administration to not be insensitive to the people’s needs, and urged government officials to do the rounds to see the real plight of the people.
In a statement on Monday, he challenged these officials to “ride the Metro Rail Transit 3 during rush hours without bodyguards, pass by Baseco, Escopa, Tumana and other urban-poor areas for you to see that so-called economic prosperity is not being felt by people in the lower rungs of society.”
Quicho also dared the Aquino officials “to go to job fairs where thousands are looking for employment or to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office where people, including those already sick, line up to seek medical assistance.”
According to the Binay spokesman, members of the ruling Liberal Party in the government are to blame for failing to address poverty.
He further slammed the leadership of the Department of Agriculture for also failing to revitalize the sector that most Filipinos, particularly those living in the countryside, rely on.
“The Department of Agriculture, headed by Secretary Proceso Alcala, a Liberal Party stalwart, misused some P14 billion in funds, including more than P6 billion for farm-to-market roads which were never built. Secretary Alcala has likewise been tagged in the alleged transfer of P39 million linked to Janet Lim-Napoles. COA [itself said this],” Quicho said
He also scored lack of healthcare and education services for majority of Filipinos.
Quicho cited the case of Makati City (Metro Manila) “where residents benefited from economic progress as well as from 100 percent universal PhilHealth coverage.
Now Vice President Binay was a former Makati mayor who, according to his spokesman, made possible the Ospital ng Makati that has been rendering free services and medicines to the city folk.
Meanwhile, the head of media affairs of the Office of the Vice President, also on Monday, said Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd “hould be the last person to invoke respect for rules and the rule of law.”
Roxas “willfully ignored the Court of Appeals when it issued a temporary restraining order [TRO] stopping [Makati] Mayor [Jejomar Erwin] Binay Jr.’s suspension in March. He even treated the PNP [Philippine National Police] as his private army, sending hundreds of policemen, including SAF [Special Action Force] members to surround City Hall, in clear defiance of the courts. Clearly that is not respect for the rule of law,” Joey Salgado said also in a statement..
“As his supporters are fond of saying, Secretary Roxas should walk the talk,” Salgado added.
The Interior secretary is suspected by the Binay camp as a key player in the recent ouster from City Hall of Mayor Binay, who had petitioned the courts for a TRO against takeover by an LP stalwart as acting Makati mayor.