The senator says the petitioners against the RH law have no legal standing to question it
CEBU, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay opened the campaign period on Tuesday, February 12, by launching a tirade against the administration coalition Team PNoy and the ruling Liberal Party, responding to attacks that he and his candidates are mere pretenders.
“You charge us of being pretenders? Excuse me," Binay told reporters. Here to proclaim the senatorial candidates of the coalition he founded, the United Nationalist Alliance, Binay joined his bets and supporters in a morning mass at the Cebu Cathedral. A campaign motorcade followed.
Binay was reacting to Team PNoy’s TV ad and statements alluding to people who are just riding on President Benigno Aquino III’s popularity. “Sila nga, ‘di pa nga nag-iinit ang pag-upo ng bagong Pangulo, ‘yung mga ang ingay-ingay sa pagkontra sa bagong Pangulo, andun na lahat.” (They are the ones who were noisy in opposing the President even when he was just new in office but now they are all there.)
Binay added, “’Di ba mga pretenders iyon?” (Aren’t they pretenders?)
The Vice President did not name the candidates he was referring to but took a swipe at the so-called strange bedfellows in Team PNoy.
Team PNoy is a partnership among Aquino’s ruling Liberal Party (LP), its 2010 rival the Nacionalista Party (NP) of Sen Manny Villar, and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Binay also insisted that he remains an Aquino ally despite being in the opposition. He accused LP, which is the ruling party that runs Team PNoy, of being elitist, and pointed to his history as a supporter of former President Cory Aquino, the president’s mother.
“Ang problema sa kanila (LP), inaangkin nila lahat. Bakit ako, yellow din ako ah. Nagsimula ako sa yellow at ako naglilingkod sa Kabinete ni Pangulong Noynoy. Ang hirap sa kanila, gusto nila sila lang. Bakit naman kami hindi?” (The problem with them is that they claim everything. I’m yellow too. I started yellow and I served in the Cabinet of President Noynoy. The problem with them, they want to be exclusive. Why exclude us?)
Binay again gave a different interpretation to LP officials’ statement that the election will draw the line between the two groups, and distinguish black from white.
He quipped, “Bakit ba, porque si Jojo Binay ay black, masama?” (Just because Jojo Binay is black, that’s a bad thing?)
Team PNoy has said that it was not referring to Binay’s dark skin, and UNA should focus on issues.
‘Cebu will deliver for UNA’
UNA began the day by hearing Mass at the Cebu Cathedral and holding a motorcade to visit the north and south districts of Cebu.
All of UNA’s exclusive senatorial bets are present:
1. Sen Gregorio Honasan II
2. Nancy Binay
3. Cagayan Rep Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr
4. San Juan Rep JV Ejercito Estrada
5. Former Sen Richard Gordon
6. Former Sen Ernesto Maceda
7. Resigned Sen Juan Miguel Zubiri
8. Former Tarlac Gov Tingting Cojuangco
9. Zambales Rep Mitos Magsaysay
With the candidates are local UNA allies suspended Cebu Gov Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia of the local One Cebu party, and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama of Team Rama.
Binay said that by choosing Cebu as the site of its proclamation rally, UNA showed it is not elitist.
UNA will hold its proclamation rally at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City Tuesday afternoon while Team PNoy will be at the historic Plaza Miranda in Manila.
Binay said, “Basta’t kasi sabi nitong si Mayor Rama eh kasi mahihirapan sila makakuha ng maraming dadalo kaya dun na lang muna sila sa Plaza Miranda.” (Mayor Rama said Team PNoy chose Plaza Miranda because they will have a hard time getting people to attend their event.)
Turning serious, Binay said Cebu is important to his alliance even if he lost in the province in 2010.
“Tapos na ang halalan eh. Talo ako dito pero ‘di naman ako nagdamdam. Ako ay nagpakita, lagi akong nandito. Yun siguro ang isang tatak ng UNA. Kami is always for unity.” (The elections are over. I lost here but I did not hold a grudge. I am always here. That’s the mark of UNA. We are always for unity.)
Garcia said that while she opposes her suspension, it gave her the chance to campaign hard for UNA.
In December 2012, the Office of the President suspended Garcia for 6 months for grave abuse of authority. She holed up in the provincial capitol but was padlocked out of the office two weeks ago.
UNA has made her suspension an election issue, accusing LP president-on-leave and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas of orchestrating a power grab. LP vice gubernatorial bet Agnes Magpale took over as acting governor.
Aquino and Roxas though said the decision went through due process.
Garcia said, “By doing that, too they have given me more time to go around the barangays and the towns. I’m like a turtle thrown into water. I’m going around the towns and the barangays to personally tell the people about the harassment LP is doing.”
Binay will be running for president in 2016, however. And the LP is grooming Aquino's close friend, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, as its standard bearer.
Garcia said Cebu will deliver the votes for UNA’s senatorial slate.
“I think we have proven in times past that the candidates we support, especially the senatorial slate, way back in 2007, it was only Cebu that delivered for the most number of senators for the Team Unity when they practically faced a massacre on
the national scene.” Cebu has the highest number of votes -- at around 2.5 million.
“We have the most number of mayors, the most number of local government units, incumbent officials and we remain strong,” Garcia said.
The LP held its own show of force here in January during a visit of Aquino and his slate. Aquino then criticized UNA, saying it campaigned early because it has “more to prove. - Rappler.com