AS expected, Malacañang as well as administration allies on Monday scoffed at Vice President Jejomar Binay’s version of the state of the nation.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Binay was part of the government he is now criticizing.
“Limang taon kang pumapalakpak noon sa mga sinasabi mong palpak ngayon [For five years, you applauded things that you’re now describing as ineffective],” he told reporters who sought Malacanang’s reaction to Binay’s speech in Cavite.
Despite being in the opposition, Binay was named as President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s adviser on OFW (overseas Filipino worker) concerns and chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council. He resigned in June.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd–who is expected to go head to head with Binay in next year’s elections–criticized the Vice President for politicizing the killing of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen in the infamous Mamasapano incident.
“He politicized the heroism of the SAF 44,” Roxas said. “Hindi ito tama [This is not right].”
Binay in his speech took the President to task for not mentioning the gallantry of the slain police commandos who were killed in a law enforcement mission against an international terror suspect in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in January this year.
A mural honoring the so-called SAF 44 served as Binay’s backdrop as he delivered his speech.
He ended his speech by calling on the names of each of the 44 police commandos.
Earlier, Roxas dismissively replied: “E di, wow [What else, but wow]!” when reporters asked him to comment on Binay’s version of the State of the Nation Address (SONA). The President also used street lingo in his SONA last July 27.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, meanwhile, said Binay’s so-called True State of the Nation Address (Tsona) is nothing more than an attempt to cover up his own corruption issues, which the Vice President himself, the senator added, could not answer.
Cayetano said there is nothing new with the issues raised by Binay in his speech because these issues had been reported extensively by the media.
“All he [Binay] did was to repeat what the media already reported so that is not Tsona but a replay,” he added.
Cayetano clarified that he was not defending those being accused of corruption by the Vice President but at least they have the courage to answer allegations against them.
“The bottomline, I think, is the Vice President needs to look at the mirror and the question he should answer is if he is against corruption,” he said.
Cayetano, however, added that he agrees with the Vice President raising the need to address problems hounding Metro Rail Transit 3 and Light Rail Transit 1 and LRT 2.
He cited the Senate having done its part by investigating the problems and coming up with recommendations.
Congressmen also sneered at Binay’s speech.
“Now that is has been clear that he is not the anointed one, he has no choice but to take potshots. He has been quiet for the last four to five years…has been a part of the good things that happened. Maybe that’s why his ratings were also high at the time,” House Deputy Majority Floor Leader Jose Christopher Belmonte of Quezon City said.
House Deputy Minority Leader Carol Lopez of You Against Corruption party-list was not impressed with Binay’s tirades.
“He has been a part of the administration while all those things were happening? Did he do something?” Lopez asked.
House Deputy Majority Leader Bolet Banal, also of Quezon City, expressed confidence that the people would know who is telling the truth between the President and the Vice President.
“That is the Vice President’s opinion, so let us let him be. Let our people be the judge,” Banal said.
Rep. Edgar Erice of Caloocan City (Metro Manila), a staunch Binay critic and an author of the anti-dynasty bill, slammed Binay for having the gall to criticize after benefiting from Aquino’s political capital.
“He is just trying to reinjure an old wound that is already healing in the first place,” Erice said.