UNA to LP: Shed 'yellow immunity'
MANILA, Philippines – The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) called on the Liberal Party (LP) to be consistent in its words and actions against corruption.
On February 16, UNA campaign manager Toby Tiangco issued a statement that accused the LP of being guilty of "harboring pretenders who used to be strongly identified with the Arroyo administration."
The statement was issued in response to the speech of President Benigno Aquino III during the LP proclamation rally on February 12. During the rally, Aquino alluded to the opposition party and said it was ironic that members of UNA are against corruption yet were once associated with former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Tiangco replied the LP also has "political butterflies" in its camp who were once supporters of Arroyo. He added that some LP members have pending graft cases before the Ombudsman.
“Does LP really believe that GMA could have done it all by herself? Remember, it’s a grand conspiracy. Maraming tauhan si GMA na may mga kaso sa Ombudsman nasa Liberal ngayon, na nakabaon sa limot ang mga kaso,” said Tiangco (There are many lackeys of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who have cases in the Ombudsman and are now with the Liberal Party. The cases have since been forgotten.)
Tiangco singled out LP spokesperson Miro Quimbo. “Had it not been for these reforms which VP Binay implemented in the housing sector, the Globe Asiatique (GA) scam of Delfin Lee, which was committed during Quimbo's watch at PAGIBIG, would have never been uncovered.”
Quimbo, who was chair of the housing loan agency from 2002 to 2008, has denied involvement in the GA housing scam. Quimbo claims Lee took out the bulk of the loans after he left the agency.
Tiangco called on the LP to remove what he termed as "yellow immunity" for its members involved in anomalies. “If the administration is really serious in its anti-corruption campaign, there should be no ‘sacred cows’—kapartido ka man o hindi (partymates or otherwise).”
Tiangco, the representative of the lone district of Navotas, was also its former mayor. In the 15th Congress, Tiangco was a member of the majority bloc until he resigned in 2011 over what he called a rushed impeachment attempt against then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Tiangco eventually testified for the defense during the Corona trial. – With a report by Zak Yuson/Rappler.com