• Palace call on VP allies to quit posts ‘inquisition’

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    MalacaÑang’s call for the resignation of government officials identified with Vice President Jejomar Binay only showed that the Aquino administration is putting premium on political ties and loyalties rather than competency and professionalism.

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    Joey Salgado, Binay’s head of media affairs, on Sunday said in a statement that they are saddened by government’s continuous attacks that “underscore the Vice President’s call for governance that puts merit on performance, excellence, and professionalism.”

    Those working in the housing agencies that Binay used to head as the country’s housing czar before he resigned from President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s Cabinet last week were professionals from the private sector who gave up high-paying positions and chose to serve in government.

    “For five years they have labored quietly, instituting reforms in their agencies and fulfilling their mandate. Their accomplishments speak volumes,” Salgado said.

    “Yet they have been unjustly pilloried in the Senate hearings by their mere presence in agencies under the HUDCC [Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council]. And now, the Palace itself has joined the inquisition.”

    The heads of housing agencies are presidential appointees while board members have fixed terms of office and some with terms that end once the President leaves office.

    Binay made recommendations based on individual qualifications and willingness to serve in government.

    “Yet, the Palace is again adding up the so-called favors given to the Vice President,” Salgado said.

    He noted that Malacañang has once more looked at this issue as a favor to the Vice President, just like the fact that it allowed Binay to occupy the Coconut Palace for his office.

    Salgado said Malacañang sees everyone not a political ally or a member of the Liberal Party as its enemy.

    On the other hand, he added, friends of the administration continue to enjoy favors even amid controversies and irregularities.

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