Binay to pursue cases vs allies in 'pork' scam

By Jose Rodel Clapano, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 07 2014 02:47 AM | Updated as of Mar 07 2014 10:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines - If given a chance to serve in a higher office, Vice President Jejomar Binay will pursue cases against those involved in the congressional pork-barrel scam even if they are his allies, United Nationalist Alliance secretary-general Toby Tiangco said yesterday.

“Vice President Binay is a human rights lawyer. We assure you that once he becomes president, even his allies who will be found guilty in court involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam or any wrongdoings will be punished,” said Tiangco.

He reiterated that Binay is resolved to reform the bureaucracy and is fully supportive of President Aquino’s reform agenda in reducing corruption and improving governance.

Saying justice is “color-blind,” Tiangco said whoever committed a crime could not expect any favor or refuge from Binay. “The rule of law must always prevail and must be applied to all,” he said.

Not sick

Contrary to persistent rumors, Binay reiterated that he is not sick.

In Wednesday’s interview with TV-5, Binay said reports that he is undergoing dialysis due to diabetes is being peddled by his political foes who want to be in the news.

“I am inviting you to join me in walking and let’s exercise. Let’s brisk walk for one and a half hours,” he said.

“Look at my arms and forearm, it must have some cylinder marks if I am indeed undergoing dialysis. You will see none because I am not undergoing dialysis,” he added.

Binay said he and his family have expected their detractors to subject them to attacks since he declared his intention to run for president in 2016.

He said his detractors are only “recycling” issues against them, citing the case filed against his wife, former Makati mayor Elenita Binay, which was dismissed 10 years ago.

“I don’t want to be a hypocrite. So, when I was consistently asked by our friends in media if I have plans for 2016, I readily admitted and declared that I am going to run for president in 2016,” Binay said.

“We are not new in politics, we are not new candidates who ran and won,” he said.

Verbal tussle

Meanwhile, Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian said the early positioning of those aspiring to run for president in 2016 has turned into an ugly verbal tussle.

He said those who want to grab the headlines are resorting to mudslinging and character assassination.

“We should explain to the people our accomplishments and programs instead of destroying one’s reputation. Our people are tired of mudslinging and character assassination. They would rather listen to how you will help them, empower them,” he said.

Gatchalian said that the Filipino people do not deserve trash-talk politics as the country is still rebuilding from calamities.

“This is not the time for politics. We have many countrymen who are suffering from poverty and who came from calamities. We must show to them that we are united,” he said.