VP Binay unfazed by priest's rejection

ABS-CBN News

 

MANILA - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay is unfazed by a report that an official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines does not want him to become president.

Speaking to ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda, lawyer JV Bautista, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim secretary general, said the Binay camp continues to respect leaders of the Catholic Church especially when it comes to spiritual matters.

However, he said the law must be followed when it comes to leadership succession and that the Vice President must take over if anything happens to the President.

"Mataas ang paggalang natin sa ating mga taong simbahan. Sinusunod natin sila lalo na sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa ating spiritual na pangangailangan at sa ating moralidad ngunit dito po sa bagay na ito dahil ito ay patungkol sa gobyerno, kailangan po susundin natin ang sistemang umiiral sa atin, ito po ay sistemang demokrasya. Paghahari ng batas," he said in the interview.

"Si VP Binay ay pinili ng taong bayan bilang susunod na pinakamataas na opisyal ng ating buong kapuluan. Kaya sa ilalim ng ating Saligang Batas, respetuhin natin ang desisyon ng taumbayan at ano ang tinatakda ng ating Saligang Batas. Kung ano man po ang mangyari sa ating pangulo, kung ito ay voluntary act or by act of god, wag naman po sana, ang ating pangalawang pangulo by force of the Constitution ang kailangang gumanap ng tungkulin ng Pangulo," he added.

Fr. Edu Gariguez, CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action executive secretary, earlier said he does not want President Aquino to resign because Binay would be a worse leader.

"I don't want to call for Aquino’s resignation because Binay will replace him. And that’s even worse, it’s scary," he said in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.

Gariguez's statement came after Binay met with CBCP leaders regarding allegations that he benefited in the alleged overpricing of the P2.2 billion Makati City Hall Building II.

This is after Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo met with seven of Binay's accusers to find out more about the allegations.

In the PDI report, Gariguez said Binay's explanations to the CBCP on the various corruption allegations against him were "unconvincing."

He also said Binay as President would be a combination of the administration of President Joseph Estrada and former First Lady Imelda Marcos "with houses as big as a palace."

Gariguez, however, clarified that this is his personal opinion and not the official stand of the CBCP.