Binay to talk transparency in UPLB

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay will be the speaker on Tuesday, September 15, at a forum on good governance and transparency even as he evades a yearlong Senate inquiry into corruption allegations against his family.

Binay is guest speaker at 2 pm at an event called “Forum on Governance, Transparency, and Social Transformation,” which was organized by political science students of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB).

Netizens poked fun at the announcement that Binay will speak at a forum, finding the topic of transparency to be ironic. 

The Vice President's political rivals filed multiple plunder complaints against the former Makati mayor over allegedly overpriced infrastructure projects in the city, supposed bid rigging and ghost beneficiaries of programs, and his family's reported acquisition of ill-gotten wealth. 

The Senate repeatedly asked Binay to appear in the hearings, but the Vice President snubbed the invitations. He said he preferred to respond in court, where he sued critical senators, and whistleblowers for libel. 

A photo of a poster of the event has been circulating on social media since last week, inviting the public to attend. 

On Twitter, the response to the announcement ranged from curiosity, surprise, hilarity to mockery.  

Youth vote? 

Binay has been addressing students at state colleges and universities in a bid to appeal to the youth, a segment of the population where his allies admit he is weak. In these events, he often decries the cut in the budget of public universities. 

In August, the Vice President chose the Cavite State University as the venue of his so-called “True State of the Nation Address,” a scathing speech meant to rebut President Benigno Aquino III's final address to Congress. 

Binay is running for president under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Long the front-runner in the presidential race, his campaign suffered in June as he refused to directly address corruption allegations against him. 

The Vice President has dismissed the graft allegations as politically motivated. 

In a controversial statement, he vowed in June to continue the Aquino administration's anti-corruption campaign if he wins.  

Commenting on Aquino's “daang matuwid” (straight path) slogan, Binay said: “Napakaganda niyan (That is a very good campaign)." – Rappler.com