Binay: I’ll bring ‘competence’ to Malacañang

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Binay: I’ll bring ‘competence’ to Malacañang
'I sincerely believe that the issue in this coming election – for the presidency particularly – is experience and competence'

MANILA, Philippines – Despite what he calls “baseless attacks” against him, Vice President Jejomar Binay expressed anew his resolve to be the next Philippine President in order “to bring experience and competence” to Malacañang.

“I sincerely believe that the issue in this coming election – for the presidency particularly – is experience and competence,” he said in a statement on Sunday, May 17.

“We have undergone and are still undergoing so many things that could not have been serious problems were it not for the fact that one does not have experience and competence,” he added.

The veteran politician did not flesh out the national problems he said was “besetting the country today” because of inexperienced leaders, but regarded it “risky to entrust the next government” to such leaders.

Binay is on his first term as vice president but served as Makati Mayor for a total of two decades. Besides Binay, among those reportedly eyeing the presidency in 2016 is Senator Grace Poe, a neophyte politician who said that her inexperience makes her reluctant to run for higher office. 

Amid multiple allegations of corruption, Binay remains the top contender for the 2016 presidential race based on recent political surveys.

The vice president is accused of approving questionable government deals under his watch as Makati’s chief executive. He faces plunder and graft complaints for an allegedly overpriced construction of a Makati car park building and a public high school building.

There is likewise an ongoing probe into bank accounts under his name over suspicions of money laundering in relation to corruption complaints. The Court of Appeals issued on May 11 a freeze order on the bank accounts of Binay, his relatives, and his alleged dummies. 

Target: Lower poverty incidence

Binay’s statement comes two days after a speech he delivered before Philippine business owners stressing the need for leaders with the political will to implement growth-driving economic policies.

As an example, Binay said the relatively comprehensive provision of basic social services to Makati residents during his time as mayor served as “instruments of growth.”

“The not-so-good news is that our poverty incidence in the first half of 2014 was still a dismal 25.8 %, even worse than the 24.6% rate we registered in the first half of the previous year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). One out of 4 Filipinos is living below the poverty line. What went wrong?” Binay questioned then.

“Why weren’t we able to reduce our poverty rate despite our growth?” he questioned further. “We can’t blame Typhoon Yolanda for the increase, because PSA deliberately excluded Leyte from its survey sampling last year.”

“If we don’t arrest this downward drift, we may become a nation of mendicants before we know it,” Binay said.

The administration of President Benigno Aquino III has pledged to lower the country’s poverty incidence to at least 18% by 2016, still above the 16.6% target under the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. –

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