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MANILA, Philippines – Almost two weeks into a temporary ceasefire in the probe into allegations of corruption against him, Vice President Jejomar Binay seemed to be in a good mood.
Or it could be because of recent news reports that “made his day.”
“Matutuwa ka, masisiyahan ka (You find happiness, humor) for every reason that you can imagine,” said Binay when asked about political nemesis Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as a 2016 presidential contender.
Trillanes, a member of the Nacionalista Party, is one of the party’s supposed options for 2016. He is also one of 3 senators leading the Blue Ribbon subcommittee probe into corruption allegations against Binay.
Binay himself will be gunning for the presidency in 2016, under the banner of his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
“Wala namang bawal managinip (It’s not wrong to dream). It’s a legitimate panaginip (dream). So let’s give it to him,” Binay told reporters after a morning walk with Boy Scout of the Philippines officials on Thursday, November 27
“Ako naman ‘pag sinasabihan ako (When I’m asked) ‘What’s your reaction?’ Ah, well, news like this makes my day,” the Vice President added.
Binay’s former ally and former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado has also accused the Vice President of hiding his wealth through dummies and foreign bank accounts.
First convened to investigate an allegedly overpriced Makati city hall building, the probe has since turned into a venue for whistleblowers like Mercado to expose Binay’s allegedly corrupt ways.
The most sensational of exposés so far have included Binay’s alleged ownership of a vast 350-hectare estate in Rosario, Batangas, and at least 6 condominium units in Makati city through dummies.
Binay has dismissed the probe as merely politically motivated, allegedly a plot to ruin his chances in 2016. (READ: ‘Oplan Stop Nognog 2016 figment of Binay’s imagination’)
Trillanes’ admission that he’s also preparing for a presidential run only proved his assertions, said Binay. (READ: ‘Binay’s propaganda war trivializing Senate probe’)
“[Ang] sabi [nila] ‘yong ginagawa sa amin walang kulay politika. O… ‘yan ang sinasabi ko. Tinatanong niyo ‘O, bakit po kayo maaga nag-declare?’ Kasi ayaw kong magpaka-ipokrito. ‘Yon naman ay talagang balak ko. ‘Yong mga ‘yan e tanggi ng tanggi. Mga ‘I’m not running’ pero ikot ng ikot din,” he said.
(They have been saying that what they’ve been doing is not connected to politics. I told you their motivation was political. You ask me: ‘Why did you declare early?’ It’s because I don’t want to be a hypocrite – I’ve been planning to run ever since. But the rest keep on denying. They say they’re not running but later admit they will.)
The weekly subcommittee hearings have been suspended for over two weeks now, since the Senate had to deliberate and approve the proposed 2015 budget.
In a previous interview with Rappler, Trillanes said they would try to schedule one more hearing before the year ends. – Rappler.com