VP Binay: I won't give up being opposition

Posted at 06/24/14 4:38 PM

MANILA - Vice-President Jejomar Binay is not giving up his position in the political opposition even if he is invited by the Aquino administration to be its anointed candidate in the 2016 presidential race.

Speaking to reporters, Binay set the record straight on former president Joseph Estrada's statement that he will consider running for president again if Binay becomes the administration candidate.

"Parang mali ‘yung sequence nu’n. Kung ako ay tatakbo under sa administration, administration ang sumasama sa opposition. Hindi pabaliktad. Hindi ko naman igi-give up ang pagka-opposition ko. This is a coalition," Binay said.

Binay said a political opposition is important in a democracy. "Otherwise, this will be a Totalitarian government," he said.

Asked if he is open to a coalition with the Aquino administration, he said: "In politics, everything is possible.

Binay has made no secret of his plan to run for president in the next election.

However, his rumored running-mate, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, is currently detained on plunder and graft charges for his alleged link to the P10 billion "pork barrel" scam of Janet Lim Napoles.

The other lawmakers accused in the pork scam are Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the founders of the United Nationalist Alliance and an ally of Binay, and Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.

Binay said the pork scam trials are the "first of its kind" since it will be the first time that incumbent senators will face trial before the Sandiganbayan.

He also reacted to the lawmakers' defense that they could not be held liable in the scam because it is the implementing agencies that check on the legitimacy of non-government organizations implementing the projects.

The three senators are accused of appropriating millions of pesos in their pork barrel funds to fake NGOs of Mrs. Napoles in exchange for hefty kickbacks.

"Ayon sa depensa, pagkatapos ma-appropriate, ibibigay sa department. Cut na du’n ‘yun. ‘Yung regular department ang mag-iimplement at maghahanap ng NGO and corporations to implement it. If at all, ‘yung cut na ‘yun ay hindi mapuputol, may conspiracy. Kasi kung hindi na-cut, may mga taga-Congress na dumudugtong pa sa transaction na ‘yun. If ever, magiging liable sila du’n dahil sa conspiracy," he said.

The Vice-President urged Filipinos to pray that the rule of law will prevail and that the anti-graft court's decision will be based on evidence.