Meeting with Aquino about 'good old days' not probe – Binay
MANILA, Philippines – For Vice President Jejomar Binay, his recent one-on-one meeting with President Benigno Aquino III did not involve politics, probes, or hearings but just "friendly talk" about the “good old days.”
Binay made the statement on Friday, October 17, amid claims by sources close to the Chief Executive that the Vice President had "begged" Aquino to stop to Senate probe into the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.
“Alam 'nyo kasi, yung magkaibigan, walang problema. Walang pulitika. Kaibigang-kaibigan (When you’re friends, it’s not a problem. No politics. Just friendship),” Binay told reporters on the sidelines of the NCR Developers’ Forum, responding to the supposed nature of his meeting with Aquino.
The Vice President and the President met on Tuesday, October 14, hours after Binay criticized those in and out of government – allies of the President – to be “fueled more by personal ambition than a search for truth” for “prosecuting and persecuting” him.
The Binay camp's version of the meeting is different from that of a Palace source, who told Rappler that Binay had asked the President to stop the hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee on the alleged overpriced Makati building, which had branched into other allegations of corruption against him and members of his family.
Aquino, however, reportedly "rebuffed" Binay and came out of the meeting further convinced that the Vice President should not succeed him.
Binay denied this and said he and the President simply talked about their shared experience during Martial Law, “when they were together almost every day to fight against the oppressive regime,” according to a statement from the Vice President’s office.
“Tumibay ang aming pagkakaibigan. Na-miss lang namin ang aming samahan na halos araw-araw nagkikita, nagmamartsa, humaharap doon sa pulis (Our friendship strengthened. We just missed the good old days when we would see each other almost everyday, and marched and faced the police together)," Binay said.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of the senators leading the Senate probe into allegations of corruption against the Binays, had earlier dismissed the meeting between Binay and Aquino as the Vice President’s “propaganda.”
Binay’s spokesman Cavite Governor Juanito Victor Remulla on Friday, dismissed Trillanes’ statement.
“Trillanes has a habit of inventing things. There were two people in that meeting. Trillanes wasn't one of them. From what I know, the President thinks very little of Trillanes,” said Remulla.
He also urged Trillanes to “start answering questions about his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) instead of making up stories.” Binay’s camp accused Trillanes of owning 8 luxury vehicles not declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.
Trillanes, in turn, said he already explained the issue as early as 2003. – Rappler.com