Aquino stands by Roxas, slams Binay ‘illusions’
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Going into the final days of the campaign, Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is going out of his way to convince voters that his running mate is Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and not Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
A week after the launch of the “Noy-Bi” ticket endorsed by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Ang Ladlad party-list, Aquino reiterated his support for Roxas after Binay claimed that he was offered by Aquino to head the Department of Interior and Local Government should he win the elections.
“From day one, my only vice president is Mar. That will not change and nothing will change that fact,” Aquino said in a press statement.
He added that his “only partner in this fight is Mar because I am sure he will continue our plans.” He said even his sisters had made it clear to all their supporters that they were supporting only Roxas for vice president.
Aquino also slammed Binay for his “wishful thinking and grand illusions” after he claimed on a national television that he was already assured of a government post, courtesy of LP, even if he loses in the vice presidential race.
“While it is true that I did discuss with Mayor Binay the possibility of his getting the DILG portfolio when we were engaged in talks to unify the opposition, subsequent events have caused me to revisit this position. No further discussions since that one several months ago have been held,” said Aquino.
“I am no longer confident that the good mayor and I share a common vision and therefore, the past offer then is no longer valid,” he said.
Roxas said he was informed by Aquino of his talk with Binay a few months ago and that the offer was made to convince Binay to drop his bid for vice president and instead join LP as a senatorial candidate.
“It was a fallback position, if he didn’t win as senator, he would get the DILG but that was in the context that he would support our ticket. Jojo has decided that Erap (Joseph Estrada) is his president. So we have taken different paths since then. That issue is over,” said Roxas in an interview with ANC television.
“We did not promise anything. There was a discussion but there was no promise. I don’t think it’s right that we would support an opponent,” Aquino said. He added that there were no further discussions since the first one several months ago.
Roxas said that efforts to sow division between him and Aquino would probably not stop until election day to weaken their chances.
“In our culture, nobody likes the third party. The Noynoy-Mar partnership is secure, strong and solid and people try to break that, they try to make issues between Noynoy and I. I respect everybody’s right to endorse whosoever that they may want. But for me, I don’t have a “B.” Wala akong baho, wala akong bisyo, so okay lang sa akin ‘yan (I don’t have dirt, vices, so that’s okay with me),” Roxas said, referring to Escudero’s endorsement of Binay.
He said he has nothing personal against Escudero.
“He’s not even my opponent now. He’s not in the race. I don’t know what he’s doing. Nobody else knows also what will happen six years from now. Right now, we’re focused on the campaign,” he said, when asked if Escudero’s endorsement of Binay was meant to derail his candidacy because both of them would likely run for president in 2016.”