MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday, June 29, denied the allegations of Vice President Jejomar Binay that the administration intends to remove government officials identified with him.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda called it an “inaccurate conclusion,” saying there was “no such call from the Palace.”
“Had VP diligently read the transcript of Usec Valte and not merely rely on his minions to spin, he would not have arrived at his inaccurate conclusion,” Lacierda said in a text message to reporters.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on June 27 that it was customary for the team brought in by any Cabinet secretary to vacate their posts after their leader resigns.
“My understanding is that it is the norm that in any time – I’m not referring only to the Vice President – any time a Cabinet secretary resigns from a position, it is conventional for the team he brought in to tender their courtesy resignations to the President,” Valte said on state-run dzRB radio.
It has been a week since Binay resigned as head of the agency in charge of mass housing and as presidential adviser for Overseas Filipino Workers. He said he left a “crooked, failed” Aquino administration.
On Wednesday, July 1, Binay is scheduled to formally launch his presidential bid. He and his allies have shifted the tone of their messages, this time directly hitting the Aquino administration. (READ: Binay must be his own spokesman)
Lacierda took the occasion Monday to question Binay’s criticism of the administration.
“On bad governance, he was with us for almost 5 years, where were his proposed solutions as a Cabinet member? Bad governance?… So, who continues to tell lies? The Vice President then or the Vice President now?,” Lacierda said.
“So we say to his camp in dishing out lies against the President: ‘Bring it on,’” Lacierda said.
Binay and his family have been the subject of numerous Senate investigations and plunder complaints since 2013. Binay has dismissed them as mere products of politicking.
Lacierda said Binay should address the issues head-on and stop using his blanket excuse that it’s all about the 2016 presidential race.
On Sunday, June 28, Joey Salgado, one of Binay’s spokespersons and the head of media affairs of the Office of the Vice President, cited instances indicating that Malacañang was getting back at Binay.
“Sinusumbatan na naman ang Vice President sa usaping ito. Nagsimula sa Coconut Palace na inuupahan lamang ng OVP, at ngayon naman sa mga government officials sa housing agencies. Apparently, the administration continues to put premium on political ties and loyalities rather than competence and professionalism,” Salgado said (They’re trying to question his office at the Coconut Palace and the government officials in housing agencies.) – Rappler.com