MANILA, Philippines – The rejection by Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s offer to be his runningmate “saddens” the Vice President, spokesman Joey Salgado said Saturday, April 11.
Roxas told reporters Friday he would never ally himself with those on the crooked path. “Doon po ako sa daang matuwid, sa malinis, sa walang mantsa, walang bahid ng kahit anong corruption doon sa kanilang pagseserbisyo.” (I will go with those on the straight path. I will go for those who have a clean record and no trace of corruption in their service.)
He was referring to the corruption allegations against Binay that involve millions of pesos in kickbacks from city hall projects, and land and property acquisitions allegedly transacted through dummies.
Salgado said on Saturday that in making the offer to Roxas, the Vice President “simply wanted to stress the need for healing and unity.”
He added that under a Binay presidency, “there will be no room for political vendetta.” Instead they will focus “solely on improving the lives of the people.”
Salgado also said in a statement, “His administration is willing to work with all political parties, including non-allies, on a shared agenda of real inclusive growth. That was the spirit and intent of the offer which was made in all sincerity.”
He decried Roxas’ repetition of the “baseless and malicious allegations made in the Senate against the Vice President.”
The Senate blue ribbon committee has been holding hearings on the corruption allegations against Binay for the past 7 months, with testimonies being made by Binay allies-turned-rivals and documents of supposedly onerous contracts being presented.
Salgado dismissed this as a “vicious campaign of lies” made by senators against the Vice President. “They presented spurious and even fake documents and falsely presented as proof the mere say-so of local political enemies. It saddens us that the secretary has taken the same low road as the senators,” Salgado added.
Binay’s former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado has turned against him and has exposed everything he knows about his former political ally. Mercado himself has been accused of having abused the trust of Binay and had admitted to pocketing funds meant for the construction of the controversial Makati City Hall Building 2.
Salgado said the presidential elections will be about “competence, genuine compassion for the poor and readiness to lead the country.” Roxas whose partymates and allies have been linked to “several large-scale anomalies” should offer his track record at the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as the Vice President has, Salgado added.
Latest Pulse Asia survey ratings show Binay still ahead in presidential preferences with 29% and Roxas still at single digits with 4%. A plunder case was filed against Binay with the Office of the Ombudsman in July 2014. – Rappler.com