Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday declared that nothing will stop him from pursuing his bid for the presidency in 2016 even if one of his possible running mates will decide to run under the administration party.
”I will definitely push my candidacy whoever is my opponent,” Binay said in a radio interview when asked to comment on reports that some members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) are considering Sen. Grace Poe as its standard-bearer.
Binay admitted that Poe is one of those being considered as his running mate.
”That is possible. [But] It needs careful study and the question is, can I convince her [Poe]?” he said.
Binay added that there are many who want to be his running mate but “I will choose who has experience and capability.”
Despite his 6-percentage point drop in the latest Pulse Asia survey, the Vice President still leads the potential candidates for President in the 2016 polls with 26 percent.
Ahead of those elections, Binay said he is bracing himself for more attacks as he revealed on Monday that former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado tried but failed to convince their common friends in the United States to turn against him.
“Yong complainant namin nagpunta sa Amerika. Alam na namin kung ano ‘yong mga pinagpupuntahan niya. Pinagpipilitan niyang tumestigo at gumawa ng istorya [The one complaining against us went to the United States. We already know what places he went to. He was pressuring people in those places to testify and make up stories against us],” he added in a statement over the weekend in Pampanga, referring to Mercado.
“Ngayon, ‘yong mga gusto nilang tumestigo, pinupuntahan nila na magsisinungaling, na tumanggap ako sa kanila kahit na wala naman ‘yon. …Pinuntahan si gano’n. ‘Sabihin mo na lang si Binay, bati-bati na tayo. Hindi ka na namin pahihirapan sa Senate [They visited those people they want to testify and persuaded them to lie. They told them ‘just implicate Binay, and you’ll be okay at the Senate’],” according to the Vice President.
He said Mercado and his companions took photos of some pieces of property in the US that he will use when he appears before the Senate.
According to the Vice President, he expects Mercado to show the photos when the Senate blue ribbon committee resumes its investigation of allegations of wrongdoing while he was the mayor of Makati City (Metro Manila).
“Eto [si Mercado]kukuha ng litrato. [Tapos sasabihin,] ‘(p)roperty ito niya, property ni Binay ito.’ Siya ang may-ari niyan [Mercado will take pictures, Then he will say this property is owned by Binay. Binay owns it],” the Vice President said.
“Ngayon, [property sa]Beverly [Hills naman]. Hindi ko nga alam kung saan sa Amerika ‘yong Beverly [Hills] na ‘yon [Now, Beverly Hills property. I don’t even know where in the United States this Beverly Hills is],” he added.
“Inumpisahan na ‘yon kay [Tony] Tiu. Pero again, perception naman ang tubos. So, intensity ng media at frequency, ‘yon ang labanan natin dito [They tried it on Tiu. But it was a matter of perception. So, intense media and frequency. This is the fight here],” Binay said.
At the same time, the Vice President welcomed the statement of Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes that there are no documents to show that Binay owns the Sunchamp property in Rosario, Batangas, as claimed by his political detractors.
Tiu has claimed to be the owner of the property.
“Meron akong lupa sa Bauan, Batangas, mana ko sa tatay ko ‘yon. Pero pinag-uusapan [Rosario], ‘di ba ang may-ari ng lupa ro’n si Tony Tiu? ‘Yon ‘yong no’ng nagsimula na ‘yong mga kasinungalingan laban sa’kin [I have a piece of land in Bauan, Batangas, I inherited it from my father. We’re talking about the Rosario property that is owned by Tony Tiu. That was the start of the lies against me],” the Vice President said.
“(S)a papeles po natin, ay wala[ng]ebidensya na si Vice President ang may-ari]. Pagka’t ang Sunchamp po ang nagsasabi na sila ang may-ari. Ang tangi pong nalipat sa kumpanya na Agrifortuna, ay ilang CLOA (Certificate of Land Ownership Award) na kung saan incorporator si Vice President Binay, pero ito po ay kanya na ring sinabi no’n, at iyon naman ay ni-lease ng Sunchamp [In documents that we have, there is no evidence that the Rosario property is owned by the Vice President.
Sunchamp says it is the owner of the property. What were transferred to Agrifortyna are a few CLOA where it is shown that the Vice President is an incorporator, but he already stated this in the past, and that property is leased by Sunchamp],” delos Reyes said in a television interview last week.
“Hindi ho ako naniniwala [I don’t believe so],” he replied when pressed if he believed that the Vice President owned the Rosario property.
But Binay said he expects more attacks against him.
“Talagang gobyerno na ang kalaban mo rito. Inimbestigahan kami ng NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), ng [Office of the] Ombudsman, ng AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council). So, more to come [The government is your opponent here. The NBI, Office of the Ombudsman and the Anti-Money Laundering Council are investigating us],” he added.
Binay said the blue ribbon investigation, which is supposed to be in aid of legislation, has strayed from the original intent of the resolution that started it.
According to him, the Senate investigation is being prolonged to influence the public’s perception of him.
“This, basically, is a perception game. Definitely, there is no end game, in so far as the law is concerned. And what is the end game? Conviction,” he said.