Binay attends Sinulog, visits Gov Garcia
MANILA, Philippines - While President Benigno Aquino III seems to be "uninvited" to this year's Sinulog Festival, Vice President Jejomar Binay is in Cebu City attending the revelry as a "special guest."
"For the first time I was here in Cebu attending this affair last year (2012), and sabi ko kay Mayor Rama na hopefully, I'm praying that next year (this year, 2013) I'll be around attending," Binay told reporters.
"Maliwanag ang usapan natin, baka makulayan ito ng pulitika… nag-umpisa [ako] ng panata," he said. (I want to make it clear, this might be tainted with politics. I'm here because I started a religious vow.)
Before attending the festival however, Binay visited United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) members in the province, including suspended Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
Accompanied by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and UNA senatorial bets Ernesto Maceda and Richard Gordon, Binay visited Garcia, who is still holed up in her office in the Capitol, Bombo Radyo reported.
The Vice President said they wanted to show their support for Garcia's plan to dance at the Sinulog Grand Mardi Gras later in the day, Bombo Radyo added.
If her plan to attend the festivities pushes through, it will be the first time the embattled governor will be out of the Capitol compound since staying there in defiance of the suspension order signed by President Aquino in December.
"As far as I am concerned, this will be a day to prove my devotion and my commitment to Señor Santo Niño," Garcia said.
Binay said UNA supports Garcia's decision to stay in the Capitol to stand her ground.
This is the second visit of the UNA stalwart in Cebu since December 23.
Garcia thanked her partymates for their continued support. "We are really grateful for the continued support of such esteemed leaders in the national scene," she said.
"It's just a matter of being a human being, with filial emotions to see a friend," Enrile said.
In the 2012 Sinulog, Aquino was the guest of honor at the grand parade. He was welcomed by Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
Garcia and Rama are members of UNA. UNA is endorsing Rama for re-election after the Liberal Party chose Rep Tomas Osmena as its mayoral bet in the city. - Rappler.com