Binay to refute Aquino's claims in 'True SONA'
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Vice President Jejomar Binay will speak about the "True State of the Nation," his office announced Sunday, August 2.
The leader of the opposition party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) is set to deliver his speech at the Cavite State University Gymnasium in Indang, Cavite, at 4 pm on Monday, August 3, the Office of the Vice President announced.
Binay's "True State of the Nation Address" is expected to hit hard at the Aquino administration and cast doubt – through data and numbers – on its "Daang Matuwid" theme on good governance.
This comes a week after President Benigno Aquino III's 6th and final State of the Nation Address, where he took a swipe at his second-in-command at least 3 times.
It also comes days after Aquino endorsed Binay's arch political rival, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, as the standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party in the 2016 presidential race.
Binay said Roxas's candidacy will boost his own, noting that voters know he's more competent than Aquino's ally.
Faced with charges he pocketed public funds and enriched his family, the Vice President resigned from the Aquino Cabinet on June 22 and officially declared his 2016 presidential bid on July 1. In that event, he called the Aquino government lazy and indecisive.
Aquino shot back in his final SONA, thanking top government officials and employees – including his barber and cook – but not Binay.
After the SONA, Binay evaded questions from the media regarding Aquino's statements, only telling reporters: "In due time. In due time."
The President said he sticks by his SONA and called on Binay to "honor his pledge to serve the people" by giving accurate information in his counter-SONA.
"Wala akong palagay ko tradisyon o record na nagsisinungaling kaninuman. So iyon na, I stand by what we said," Aquino told reporters on Monday, August 3.
(I don't think I have any track record of lying to anyone. So that's it, I stand by what we said.)
Aquino and Binay were former allies. Binay was the first OIC mayor appointed by Aquino's mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, after the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.
Some of Aquino's key campaign supporters in 2010 in fact backed Binay's vice presidential bid, causing a rift within the Aquino campaign team that was supposed to be solid behind the Aquino-Roxas tandem at the time.
After their victory in 2010, Aquino appointed Binay as the country's housing czar and in charge of OFW concerns.
Following his resignation from these two posts, however, Binay has repeatedly blasted the government's economic gains, saying these have not trickled down to the poor majority. He also accused Aquino of practising "selective justice" toward political opponents.
Two of Binay's party mates - Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada – are in jail for plunder charges in relation to the pork barrel scam. – with a report from Camille Elemia/Rappler.com