VP tells PNoy: There's clamor for return of Binay service in Makati


'Saan na napunta ang nakilala kong Jejomar Binay noon?' asks PNoy

Vice President Jejomar Binay and President Benigno Aquino III. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday lashed back at President Benigno Aquino III for supposedly not knowing "the real Makati" when he criticized how the former mayor governed the city.

In a statement, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) communications director Joey Salgado said they find the President's statements hitting, among others, the Binays' practice of giving allegedly overpriced cakes to senior citizens "most unfortunate."

According to Salgado, the President would have known about the real Makati had he spoken directly to the residents and not just the small group of supposed "opportunists" who joined him on stage.

"Makati was buried in debt when the Vice President took over as officer-in-charge in February 1986. He was able to rebuild the city, rebuild the economy and extend to the people quality health and education that were previously accessible only to the city's rich," Salgado said.

He added that the poverty incidence in the city has decreased under the leadership of the Binays, from 3.74% in 2000 to 0.5% by 2012.

"The President unfortunately derided the services and benefits introduced by the Vice President, but apparently he was not informed that his local allies in Makati are running on a platform of continuing these same services and programs. Yet in the few months that the President's allies have run Makati, the people have experienced a rapid deterioration in the delivery of services, the return of fixers at City Hall, and local gangsterism at the barangay level," said Salgado.

"The clamor is for the return of the Binay brand of service. And not even the President's unfortunate remarks will change that."

Aquino and Binay share a rich history and a friendship that spans over two decades. The erstwhile friends, however, turned political foes ahead of the 2016 elections.

In his speech during the campaign sortie of local Liberal Party (LP) candidates at the Makati Coliseum on Friday, Aquino boasted that the city is now in better hands, under the leadership of Romulo "Kid" Peña.

Peña is running for mayor of Makati City against Binay's daughter, Abigail Binay.

The President also supports the candidacy of Carla Mercado, daughter of former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, who has hurled various allegations corruption against the Binay patriarch and his family.

The President acknowledged that he and the Vice President used to be close, recounting their days fighting the dictatorship of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

"Ang tanong, saan na kaya napunta ang nakilala kong Jejomar Binay noon?" Aquino said.

Binay, for his part, maintained that his faith in democracy rights remains as strong as ever.

"His commitment to human rights and uplifting the lives of the poor emanates from the spirit of EDSA 1986. President Cory's vision of a government that cares for the poor became a reality in Makati under Jojo Binay's leadership," Salgado said. - With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News