MANILA – Vice President Jejomar Binay criticized Tuesday acting Makati Mayor Romulo Peña for suspending the release of aid to the sister cities of Makati.
Speaking to reporters in Burgos, Pangasinan, Binay said Peña should not touch existing programs of the city because he is just serving in an acting capacity.
''Baka nakakalimutan ni Vice Mayor Peña na temporary lang siya doon, acting lang 'yun. Nandoon pa 'yung usapin, hindi pa naman natatapos 'yan, reresolbahin pa naman 'yan. 'Pag acting ka may mga policies and programs hindi mo dapat pinapalitan 'yun, una,'' he said.
''Bakit namin ipagmaramot? 'Yun ang laging sinasabi namin noon, bakit kami nakaisip ng sisterhood relations kasi 'yung pinagpalang tinanggap namin sa Panginoon hindi namin dapat ipagmaramot at ibibigay din natin 'yung biyaya sa ating mga kababayan."
Peña, who assumed the post of acting mayor following the suspension of Mayor Junjun Binay, suspended the release of aid to Makati's 670 sister cities.
The acting mayor said the funds have to be audited amid allegations that the suspended mayor was using the aid to further the political interests of his father who is running for president in 2016.
Reacting to allegation that the ''sister city'' agreements were just tools to further his political interests, the vice-president said: ''Sa kanilang pananaw. Minamasama ho yata nila 'yung makatulong sa kapwa lalo na sa mga mahihirap. Malungkot."
The suspended mayor stepped down last July 1 after failing to get an immediate temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals, which instead ordered the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to comment on the petition.
The new city government recently opened the city hall to the media, highlighting the contrasting working environment of the younger Binay and Peña.
The vice-president dismissed the allegation that his son enjoyed a rather comfortable life at the city hall's 21st floor.
"Alam po ninyo, siyempre mayor naman ho 'yun. Kung anu-anong hinahanap dito. Kayo na bayan ang humusga sa mga gawain ng ganiyang mga tao," he said.