Roxas on Binay’s jab: So you knew of Makati corruption?

Bea Cupin

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Roxas on Binay’s jab: So you knew of Makati corruption?
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas also tells Vice President to keep politics out of the Mamasapano issue

MANILA, Philippines – If a leader is supposed to know about everything that happens under his office, then Vice President Jejomar Binay should have been well aware about alleged corruption in Makati City.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II hit back at Binay on Wednesday, March 4, after the Vice President said in a radio interview that the bloody police operation in Maguindanao raised questions about the interior chief’s kind of leadership.

Binay and Roxas are expected to go head-to-head for the presidency in 2016.

Nakakatawa rin dahil, ibig sabihin, alam pala niya ang lahat na nangyari sa Makati. Ayon sa kanyang patakaran, dapat alam ng isang lider lahat na nangyayari sa kanyang tanggapan. Eh di dapat alam niya lahat na nangyayari na iniimbestigahan ng Senado,” Roxas said in a chance interview with reporters at Camp Crame. He was referring to an ongoing Senate probe into allegations of corruption in Makati during Binay’s stint as mayor.

(I find it funny because that means Binay knows about everything that happens in Makati. Based on his logic, a leader should know about everything that happens in his office. So that means he should know about the issues they’re investigating at the Senate.)

Binay has been the subject of a months-long Senate probe led by senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Alan Peter Cayetano. The Vice President had previously accused Roxas of being behind the “attacks” against him, a claim Roxas denied

In an interview with Bombo Radio Dagupan on Monday, March 2, Binay said “Oplan Exodus,” a January 25 operation that saw 65 individuals, including 44 elite cops killed, allowed the public to “test and see the sort of leadership Mr Roxas has to offer.”

Keep politics away

As interior secretary, Roxas is chairman of the National Police Commission, which has supervision over the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He oversees a PNP in crisis, following the effects of “Oplan Exodus,” one the worst crisis to his President Benigno Aquino III’s administration.

In Senate testimonies and in interviews, Roxas has been adamant that he was kept out of the loop in the operation.

Sacked Special Action Force (SAF) chief Police Director Getulio Napeñas later admitted he purposely kept Roxas and PNP Office-in-Charge Deputy Director General Getulio Napeñas out of the loop, under the “command” of suspended PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima.

Text messages exchanged between Roxas, Espina, and Napeñas support both Roxas and Napeñas’ statements. “Hindi ko lang alam kung merong tatayo doon sa Makati na magsasabing itinago sa kanya ang mga kaganapang ito,” added Roxas.

(I’m not sure if someone from Makati will speak up to say they kept instances of corruption from Binay.)

Roxas also called on Binay to keep politics out of the Mamasapano incident.

Kitang-kita na pulitika na lang siguro. Lahat na lang ng bagay, nakikita sa lente ng pamumulitika, pati itong kabayanihan ng SAF 44 ay gagamitin sa political discourse,” Roxas told reporters.

(Clearly this is about politics. He sees everything through a political lense – including the heroism of the SAF 44 is being used in political discourse.)

Para sa akin ay hindi ko dudungisan ang memory nitong SAF 44 by engaging in that,” he added. (I’d rather not sully the memory of the SAF 44 by engaging [in a word war against Binay.]) –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.