MANILA, Philippines – From the Twitterverse and angry hashtags, Artist Jim Paredes brought his campaign against Vice President Jejomar Binay to the streets of the city the former mayor allegedly used to fatten his pockets.
On Wednesday, June 10, Paredes, and fellow artist and Binay critic Leah Navarro led various civil society groups and professionals in walking around Makati to call on Filipinos to stop Binay from pursuing his 2016 presidential ambitions. Organized on Twitter, the campaign is called #StopBinay.
At the rally, Paredes introduced the group of protesters as “We the people.”
“Power resides in the people, so we the people will talk,” said Paredes,
“If no one in the government is calling for his impeachment, then the people will,” added Paredes.
Meanwhile, Navarro took a swipe at people who do not speak up against Binay.
“People tend to say all sorts of things in the media, but never put their money, so to speak, where their mouth is,” said Navarro.
‘Walk the talk’
The group said the event was a way to “walk the talk” against Binay and corruption. It cited the various corruption allegations against Binay including charges that he overpriced buildings in the Makati City Hall, Ospital ng Makati and other infrastructure projects in Makati, and owns a lavish estate in Rosario, Batangas known as Hacienda Binay.
The Vice President is the subject of the longest running Senate inquiry, and investigations by the Ombudsman and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). The Court of Appeals granted the AMLC request to freeze Binay’s bank accounts for suspected “unlawful activities.”
“Mr Binay has continued to insult this nation by dodging accusations and providing misleading responses. He has worked to cover up his faults, and that of his associates. He represents the opposite of what good governance and decency mean,” the groups behind #StopBinay said in a statement on Wednesday, June 10.
Paredes launched the campaign after starting a similar #BinayResign movement on Twitter.
The organizers said that stopping Binay from becoming president is “the duty of every responsible, law-abiding citizen.”
Per Honor, a resident of Marikina, attended the rally after seeing the invite on Facebook.
“Magsi-65 na ako, wala pa akong nakikitang matino na lider. Para ito sa mga anak ng mga anak natin at apo ng apo natin,” he said. (I’m turning 65, but I have not yet seen a good leader. This is for children of our children and for the grandchildren of our grandchildren.)
Binay dismissed the event but said he tolerates it as a form of expression.
Still, he said nothing can stop him from vying to become the country’s most powerful official.
“I already said that back in 2010. So these kinds of criticism are going around now like nognog. Do you know what nognog means? It means I am short and also dark-skinned. They keep mocking me so that I back out. Oh no, I won’t. I already said that. I am a candidate in 2016,” Binay said in Filipino in a media forum in Manila on Wednesday.
Here are photos from the #StopBinay event. All photos are by Alecs Ongcal of Rappler:
– With reports from Justine Rey Hernandez and Dana Tapang/Rappler.com
Justine Rey Hernandez and Dana Tapang are Rappler interns.
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