MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay has taken in stride the criticisms made by President Benigno Aquino on the opposition United Nationalist Alliance's (UNA) alleged early election campaign.
In an interview with media upon his arrival from Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Binay said he sees nothing personal in Aquino's remarks in Cebu Wednesday.
"Okay naman iyon, at least nare-recognize na ipinararating ang mga issue sa ating mga kababayan. Malapit na mag-election, so ok lang iyon," he said.
"That’s not too personal, if I'm concerned. Si Pangulo ay opisyal ng Liberal Party, ako naman ay opisyal ng United Opposition, so okay okay lang iyon. Wala namang personalan doon eh," he added.
Binay also shrugged off Aquino's claim that UNA has to do more compared to the administration's Liberal Party.
"Okay lang. That’s according to the President," he added.
UNA secretary general Rep. Toby Tiangco, in a press statement Thursday, was in a more combative mood.
He said most of the candidates of the Liberal Party-led coalition have been airing political ads and conducting provincial sorties way before UNA.
"We believe that the President may have been grossly misinformed by his own party. As a matter of fact, it is LP that needed a boost that’s why some of their presumed candidates were among the very first ones to have their ads aired on TV. They have been making provincial rounds as early as August last year -- not us," said Tiangco.
He also said UNA was "amused" by the reference to early campaigning during a political event.
"With all due respect to the President, we find it amusing that he would take issue with our supposed early campaigning during a political event organized by the LP and attended by some of the LP coalition candidates whom he asked the public to support," he added.
Tiangco said despite this, UNA and non-LP bets are doing well in the surveys compared to LPs candidates.
"LP is facing an inconvenient truth. UNA senatorial bets, together with non-LPs, are leading in the surveys and not even one original LP candidate made it to the Magic 12," he said. "So, it's not UNA that needs to catch up and prove themselves. It is actually the Liberal Party that has more to prove."