Binay: PNoy and I have our differences

By David Dizon,

Posted at Apr 17 2012 10:30 AM | Updated as of Apr 18 2012 05:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Vice-President Jejomar Binay admitted Tuesday that he and President Benigno Aquino III have had their differences of opinion, particularly on the issue of lowering the 12% value-added tax on oil.

Speaking to ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda”, Binay said it is a reality that he and the President will not always agree on some issues.

“Hindi naman laging magkakapareho ng pag-iisip. Reality yan. Reality niyan is may pagkakataon na hindi magkakasundo,” he told UKG co-host Anthony Taberna.

“Sa VAT, hindi ba ako ay nagpahayag na kung pwede babaan yung kinukuha ng pamahalaan. Dahil sa tumataas na bilihin eh kung maaari bawasan yung VAT na yan. Nagkaiba nga kami diyan ng pamahalaan,” he added.

Aquino earlier thumbed down a proposal to lower the VAT on oil, saying it would only increase consumption with no direct benefit to motorists and the public. The call to lower VAT on oil came amid skyrocketing fuel prices.

In the interview, Binay said he is thankful that he is considered the top endorser of senatorial candidates for the 2013 election, as revealed in the latest Pulse Asia survey.

He credited President Aquino for the poll results, saying the President gave him tremendous responsibility to help overseas Filipino workers and address the country’s housing shortage.

He also praised Aquino for allocating P5 billion to the government’s housing program.

Not too early

Binay denied that he is announcing his political plans too early after confirming that his Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban party will join forces with the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino of former President Joseph Estrada.

He said he has always been a political ally of Estrada, dating back to the United Opposition ticket in the 2007 midterm election.

He said he announced the United Nationalist Alliance coalition for the purpose of recognition and accreditation with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“Hindi naman maaga. Ito’y nag-umpisang mapag-usapan kasi nagfile kami ng petition for recognition at accreditation. Hindi ka naman pwedeng maging political coalition na magtrabaho kung walang accreditation. Hinabol lang nga namin yung deadline,” he said.

Binay said he wanted to dispel the negative connotation of being part of the political opposition.

He said the UNA should be seen as offering “qualified” people who are eager to serve the Filipino people.

“Di ba napakaganda na mas marami ino-offer sa mga gusto namang maglingkod, qualified, marami pagpipilian. Pero hindi naman dahil oposisyon, kontra ng kontra. Hindi naman yun yung diwa ng oposisyon,” he said.

A 74-year-old President?

Binay said he will be 74 when he runs for president in the 2016 election. His most likely opponent, he said, will be former Senator Mar Roxas, Aquino’s running-mate in the 2010 election.

Asked if he is thinking of the 2016 poll while working for Aquino, he said: “Ayaw kong mabansagan na ipokrito. Ang iba sasabihin hindi, hindi. Ako po ay nag-aasam asam. Talagang ko ho ay mas malamang magkandidato. Pero ngayon, walang pulitika. Ang layo pa ng 2016 at marami pang mangyayari. Ang importante ay marami akong trabahong ipinagkakatiwala ni Pangulo sa akin.”

On the issue of the Scarborough Shoal standoff, Binay said the country should assert its sovereignty over the area without resorting to a military confrontation.

He also opposed the revival of the death penalty, saying law enforcers should work harder at solving crimes and enhancing intelligence gathering.

He also distanced himself from the prediction of his ally, former Sen. Ernesto Maceda, that an acquittal of Chief Justice Renato Corona in his impeachment trial would be favorable to Binay.

“As a political analyst, that’s his version. Itong nangyayari sa atin ay part of our democratic process. Pag abugado ka, binibistahan na, hindi na dapat mag-comment diyan,” he said.