Binay camp: Roxas gets 'undue advantage' from gov't machinery
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) leader and Vice President Jejomar Binay on Sunday, August 2, hit President Benigno Aquino III's administration and his chosen 2016 presidential bet for “using government machinery to give undue advantage to its preferred candidate.”
“Malacañang must think that the people can be easily fooled by their false assurances,” Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, lawyer Rico Quicho, said in a statement.
Quicho was reacting to Malacañang’s assurances that government funds will not be used to further the political dreams of Aquino's candidate of choice, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
“The denials of the Palace about the use of government funds for the President's choice have been profuse and even indignant. However, it remains evasive on persistent calls for Cabinet members, including Sec. Roxas, who are running in the next election to immediately resign,” said Quicho.
Roxas announced his bid for the presidency on July 31, Friday, the same day Aquino endorsed him for the upcoming 2016 polls.
Despite his announcement, Roxas will not step down as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government just yet. “I think you should just wait for the next [developments]. The President and I have talked about that. The details will come out in the next few days,” Roxas said in a chance interview on Saturday, August 1.
Presidential spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda earlier explained to Rappler that Roxas won’t be stepping down immediately since he wants to properly transition the department’s programs to his successor.
Among those programs is the distribution of brand new police patrol jeeps all over the country.
Roxas’ mouthpieces too?
Quicho criticized the Palace's spokespersons, singling out Lacierda and Palace spokesperson Undersecretary Abigail Valte for allegedly being Roxas’ spokepersons as well.
“What is apparent is that Malacañang spokespersons who are supposed to speak only for the President are now also the spokespersons for Sec. Roxas. No surprises there since these spokespersons are known supporters of Roxas,” said Quicho.
He added, “This political inbreeding has at least been exposed to the public. But if this isn't using government machinery to give undue advantage to its preferred candidate, we don't know what is.”
In a tweet posted also on Sunday, Lacierda said: "The problem with VP Binay and his spokespersons in issuing press statements is that they simply do not have the elegance of truth with them."
Lacierda and Valte, both lawyers, are associated with the so-called “Balay” faction in the Palace, or those who are closely allied with the ruling Liberal Party.
"Two of the Palace spokespersons are lawyers. They are supposed to know the difference between an allegation, a complaint, and a case. Yet they use these terms interchangeably when referring to the Vice President. This is a sad day for lawyers, and even law students," said Quicho of the two.
The other apparent faction, the “Samar” group, are Aquino’s appointees who are associated with Binay. Malacañang's 3rd spokesperson, Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., is associated with the "Samar" group.
The “Balay” and “Samar” factions trace their roots to the 2010 elections, where Aquino’s supporters were supposedly divided between those who supported Roxas, Aquino’s running mate, and Binay, who was then former president Erap Estrada’s running mate.
“While the administration candidate has been tapping government resources to the hilt, the Vice President will rely on the people who continue to support and believe in his track record to rally and fight for better lives for the poor,” said Quicho of Binay.
The Vice President is set to deliver what he calls the “true” State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, August 3, a week after Aquino’s final SONA. – Rappler.com
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