Binay gives hints Villar is Arroyo's secret bet

Binay gives hints Villar is Arroyo’s secret bet

Add vice presidential bet Jejomar Binay to the list of candidates who have taken a swipe at Senator Manuel Villar Jr. for allegedly being President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s secret candidate.

On Friday, it was Binay’s turn to hurl the long-rumored accusation at Villar, albeit indirectly this time.

Naniniwala po ako na mayroong isang kumakandidato na nagkaroon ng sikretong usapan kay Presidente Arroyo. Naniniwala po ako dun. Bakit po hindi tinutuligsa ang administrasyon? Mayroon rin po siyang kasaysayan ng baliktaran. Tinulungan siya ni Erap [former President Joseph Estrada] para maging Speaker, pero isa siya sa mga nanguna sa impeachment,” Binay told anchor Mike Enriquez during radio dzBB’s Ikaw Na Ba? The Vice Presidential Interview.

(I believe that there is a candidate who had a secret agreement with President Arroyo. Why has he [the secret candidate] not been openly criticizing the administration? Besides, he has a history of shifting allegiances. Erap helped him become Speaker, but he was among those involved in the impeachment case against Estrada.)

“On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give it a six or seven,” Binay said, referring to the truth behind allegations of Arroyo having a secret candidate in this year’s polls.

“Mayroon diyan, oposisyon daw ‘pag magsalita, pero ‘pag kumilos, parang administrasyon (There are those who say they belong to the opposition, but their actions suggest that they are for the administration),” he added.

Reached for comment, the camp of Villar challenged Binay to categorically state who the Makati mayor was referring to during the radio interview.

“We challenge him to name categorically who he was referring to. We challenge him to prove what he has been saying. Otherwise, outside of it, it’s just pure malice. I hope he has the guts to prove whatever allegations he makes rather than hide behind statements like that,” said NP senatorial candidate Gilbert Remulla, a party spokesperson.

Villar’s camp had long denied the rumor. Even administration bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr. believes the supposed alliance should be dismissed as a political gossip.

Impeachment, ouster

Binay is seeking the vice presidency with Estrada as his presidential standard bearer under the banner of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino-United Opposition (PMP-UNO).

To recall, Estrada was forced to step down from power in January 2001 following the withdrawal of support of the military and police from him. Then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was installed as president.

In late 2000, an impeachment complaint was filed against Estrada at the House of Representatives, then headed by Villar, who was a member of the ruling coalition Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (LAMMP).

Estrada was eventually impeached when Villar transmitted the complaint to the Senate, doing so by incorporating the order in his prayer amid objections by several allies of Estrada.

The impeachment trial, though, was never completed as the prosecutors walked out of the proceedings when senator-judges allied with Estrada voted not to open a second envelope purportedly containing bank records of Estrada. This led to the second EDSA uprising which culminated with Estrada’s ouster from power in January 2001.

Top spender

Also in the radio interview, Binay also criticized a national candidate’s excessive campaign expenses.

Kung pera-pera lang ang halalan, e ‘di ‘di na sana ako tumakbo pa. Ang mga botante, educated and intelligent na. Nangangailangan sila ng mga ‘di namumuhunan. ‘Yang mga gumagastos ng bilyon diyan, hindi naman pilantropo ‘yan eh. Gumagastos ‘yan dahil may nakikitang ROI (return on investment) ‘yan. Kung bilyun-bilyon ang gastos mo, natural babawiin mo ‘yan,” Binay said.

(If the election was really about money, I wouldn’t have run in the first place. I believe that voters today are educated and intelligent. They don’t want people seeking to profit from the elections. Those spending billions in campaigns are not philanthropists. They are spending that much because they’re seeing a return on investment later on.)

Binay did not identify the national candidate, records show Villar is the biggest spender among presidential candidates. [See: Over P2B worth of pol ads before campaign period]

Still, Binay vowed to cooperate with whoever presidential contender gets elected should he himself win in his bid.

“I am a team player. I was elected by the people, and I am going to render services to the president. Umasa siya na susuportahan ko siya at magtutulungan kami para iangat ang bayan (I assure him of my support in fulfilling our responsibilities to the people),” he said.

“Mr. President, you can sleep soundly as I assure you I am not going to usurp your position,” he said in Filipino. — RSJ, RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.