Palace to Binay: 'Back your claims with data'

MANILA, Philippines – Back it up.

This was Malacañang’s challenge to Vice President Jejomar Binay, following his  attack on the Aquino administration at the launch of his political party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a news briefing on Wednesday, July 1, that it is high time for Binay to use data and not generic claims in his allegations.

Coloma said there should be more to his accusations than emphatic speeches and rhetoric, as this is the “responsible” thing to do.

“Karapat dapat lang na kapag mayroong binabatong paratang o merong isinasalaysay sa mga mamamayan, di po ba karapat-dapat lang na ito ay may konkretong batayan?" he asked, adding that this would distinguish the allegations from "mere speculations or assumptions."

(Isn't it only appropriate that when you make an accusation or a public statement, this should be backed by concrete basis?)

He added: "Matalino po ang mga Pilipino, naghahanap ng konkretong batayan. Di po maaaring malinlang sa madamdaming bigkas ng mga kataga (The Filipino people are smart. They are looking for concrete proof, and cannot be fooled by dramatically delivered words)."

Binay, in his speech on Wednesday, again blasted what he calls a “failed and crooked” government, an administration he served as a Cabinet member for 5 years, as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Workers Filipinos' Concerns.

In his speech, Binay slammed the "uncaring" administration's alleged shortcomings in job generation, poverty alleviation, the fight against criminality and illegal drugs, and the delivery of basic services.

UNA a threat?

Now that Binay resigned and UNA was officially launched, the administration is faced with a clear opposition. 

Malacanang, however, seems unfazed, saying the administration can face the opposition with "objectivity and equanimity."

Coloma said that contrary to Binay’s accusations, the Aquino government is "masipag, maagap and masinop (industrious, prompt, and prudent)" in addressing public concerns.

Coloma boasted of the national government’s disaster preparedness program and its bid for inclusive growth, citing the results of independent surveys on self-rated hunger and poverty.

 “Kumonti na ‘yung mga out-of-school youth between 5 to 15 dahil po mayroon po tayong kongkretong programa katulad ‘nung K to 12, ‘yung mandatory kindergarten. At ‘yon pong programang ‘yan kaagapay niyan ‘yung 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) at CCT (conditional cash transfer),” Coloma said. 

(There are less out-of-school youth between 5 to 15 because we now have concrete programs such as the K to 12, the mandatory kindergarten. And programs like that are complemented by the 4Ps.)

The K to 12 and CCT are facing strong criticisms from senators, civil groups, and activists. (READ: 'Probe P50-M cash transfers to ghost beneficiaries') 

'He's just a spare tire'

Meanwhile, Senator Cynthia Villar said in response to questions at a media forum that she could not rate Binay's performance as vice president.

"Wala naman kasi, the Vice President is just waiting for the president to die. Para kang spare tire lang," she  said at a media forum, when asked about it on Thursday, 

(I don't have a rating for him becase the Vice President is just waiting for the President to die. You're only a spare tire.)

President Benigno Aquino III had earlier said that he had given Binay every opportunity to be active in the cabinet so that he wouldn't become a spare tire, like other vice presidents. (READ: Aquino to Binay: 'I didn't make you a 'spare tire.') 

Villar, who ran for senator under the Team PNoy coalition, had better words for Aquino.  She gave a "fair" overall ratings to Aquino. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email