Go or no-show? Where will Binay be in PNoy's last SONA

By Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2015 11:52 AM | Updated as of Jul 22 2015 07:59 PM

TAYABAS, Quezon - Vice-President Jejomar Binay may have become critical of the Aquino administration but he assured that he will attend the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III on July 27.

Speaking to reporters at the celebration of the 200th birth anniversary of Apolinario dela Cruz, Binay said he will still sit inside Congress to listen to the President's SONA.

He said he does not mind sharing the room with political opponents like Alan Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, potential 2016 rival Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, and Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice.

"So what? Sabi ko nga, I suppose, tulad ng lahat ng dadalo, ay sumasagot sa lahat ng imbitasyon na sila ay dumalo at makinig sa Pangulo" said Binay.

Binay ramped up his criticisms against the Aquino administration after launching his political party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). He recently filed a P200 million damage suit against several political opponents for supposedly tarnishing his name and reputation.

In his speech during the celebration of the birth anniversary of ''Hermano Pule,'' Binay lambasted anew the administration by citing the supposed inadequacy of jobs in the country which prompted many to find livelihood in foreign lands, widespread poverty which denied some 7 million Filipinos to have a decent toilet, unfinished infrastructure projects which hamper the ability of farmers to bring their produce to the market, and the lack of classrooms and teachers in the country.


In his speech, Binay also said, ''Sabi po ng administrasyong ito, mahal nila ang mga Pilipino, pero ang sinususuportahan po nila ay isang taong minsan nang tumalikod sa ating bansa" said Binay.

When asked if he was alluding to Senator Poe in his statement, Binay merely shrugged and smiled.

Poe had acquired US citizenship, but she denounced her dual citizenship before holding an appointive government position. The neophyte senator once chaired the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board before becoming a lawmaker in 2013.

The administration is currently in talks with Poe and her ally, Senator Francis Escudero. Some administration allies want a united administration ticket for 2016 in order to have a bigger chance of defeating the opposition led by Binay.

However, the administration is having a hard time reaching a consensus on who will carry the banner of the Liberal Party, as some in the ruling party want Roxas as standard bearer and Poe his running-mate.

While Roxas continues to lag in popularity surveys, Poe is currently the most popular choice to succeed Aquino, but she wants to run as an independent candidate alongside Escudero. She has yet to announce her plans.

Asked for his reaction on rumors that Senator Poe will be President Aquino's anointed one for 2016, Binay said, ''problema na nila iyun."

Binay also said he still has no running-mate for the 2016 polls.

"Wala pa. Nandun pa sa search committee," he said.

He also denied claims by Senator Jinggoy Estrada that he offered Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to become his running-mate.

"Hindi nga kami nagkakausap paano ko i-offer sa kanya," said Binay.