VP Binay remains Aquino ally, family friend – spokesman

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay may have harsh words against programs and officials close to President Benigno Aquino III, but he is not breaking up his friendship and alliance with the Chief Executive himself. (READ: Binay slams Aquino allies for demolition job)

“Vice President Binay remains an ally of the President. More importantly, he continues to be a real friend of the Aquino family,” said the Vice President's spokesperson, Cavite Governor Juanito Victor Remulla.

“The views he articulated during the forum with lawyers were a product of the experience and wisdom he gained as a life-long human rights advocate and as a lawyer well-versed in the constructs of our legal system,” Remulla added.

Remulla issued the statement in the wake of newspaper reports implied a possible break between the two highest officials of the land.

In a speech and chance interview with reporters on Tuesday, Binay slammed the Aquino administration's controversial spending program, as well as Aquino's allies for their orchestraded efforts to destroy Binay's chances in the 2016 elections.

In a speech before the 5th MCLE Accredited National Convention of Public Attorneys on Tuesday, October 14, the usually diplomatic Binay pulled a surprise when he openly attacked Malacañang's controversial spending program, the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

“What is their defense? The end justifies the means. That DAP was used for various things. I think it’s high time our lawyers come in where there is a violation of law,” Binay was quoted saying.

Binay also criticized Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for her "unusual interest" in investigating him for alleged corruption despite the many cases calling for her attention.

"May mga dapat ihabla sa DAP, PDAF, kung ano-ano pa. Ito naman, ako ang inuuna pa. Para bang wala nang gagawin ang Department of Justice kaya ako inuuna,” said Binay.

(There are a lot of things they need to investigate, like the Disbursement Acceleration Program, the Priority Development Assistant Fund, and so many other issues. Why are they prioritizing me? Do they have nothing better to do at the justice department?)

“These actors appear to be more interested in the fulfillment of a script rather than the obtainment of true justice for all men, as protected by the true rule of law,” the vice president added.

Binay remains the runaway winner in presidential polls although his poll numbers plummeted since the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee's probe into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II. Testimonies during the hearings have branched out to other issues, including the 350-hectare farm in Batangas that he supposedly owns. 

Although Aquino's sisters welcomed the idea of endorsing Binay for president in 2016, the President himself belongs to the same party as Binay's likely rival, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II. The Vice President's camp believes Roxas' camp to be behind the series of alleged black propaganda against the Binay.

Binay defeated Roxas in the 2010 vice presidential elections. Roxas claimed he was cheated. (READ: Mar Roxas on 2016 elections: can defeat Binay – again)

Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice recently floated the idea of filing impeachment raps against the Vice President. On Tuesday, Binay said this was something they saw coming. (READ: Nancy Binay to critics: Go ahead, impeach my dad)

“The cat is out of the bag, it is all part of the script, na talagang by all means, ang kanilang (their) operation, Operation Anybody but Binay. Nandoon sa Senado. Ngayon impeachment (Before, it was the Senate probe. Now it’s an impeachment complaint),” said Binay.

Binay also questioned why one of Aquino’s closest friends, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisimawas not facing complaints despite the barrage of accusations of amassing wealth illegally against him. Aquino himself has come to Purisima’s defense in several occasions. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com