MANILA - Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday castigated anew the Aquino administration, saying there will be no true prosperity if the country's leaders have never experienced poverty and hunger and are insensitive to the needs of the people.
In his own version of the State of the Nation Address, Binay accused the government of failing to provide jobs for majority of Filipinos and for failing to address the needs of Filipinos struck by man-made and natural disasters such as supertyphoon Yolanda, the Luneta hostage crisis, the Zamboanga siege and even the Mamasapano tragedy.
He particularly singled out President Aquino's campaign slogan: "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap."
"Pagkaraan ng limang taon, marami pa ring mahihirap at wagas ang pangungurakot...kahit kailanman, hindi isang slogan ang mag-aangat ng sambayanan. Hindi makakamit ang tunay na ginhawa sa biyaheng tuwid na daan na manhid at palpak naman," he said.
"Lalong maghihirap ang masang Pilipino kung magpapatuloy ang pamumuno ng mga di nakakaunawa sa kapwa Pilipino, kung ang mamumuno ay ni minsan sa buhay nila hindi naranasan ang gutom at mahiga sa matigas na sahig," he added.
Binay's speech is his strongest criticism yet of the Aquino government after he quit the Cabinet last June 22.
The vice president has come under fire for various corruption allegations, including alleged rigging of biddings for infrastructure projects in Makati and the purchase of huge tracts of land in Rosario, Batangas.
In his kontra-SONA, Binay used President Aquino's own words to point out his faults.
He said that during the Yolanda tragedy, Aquino looked at people who were tired, hungry and needing help and told them: "Buhay pa naman kayo, hindi ba?"
He noted that 20 months after the onslaught of the super storm, there are more than 1,000 residents still living in bunkhouses and tent cities despite a P167 billion fund for the comprehensive recovery of storm-hit areas.
He said the same neglect could be seen in Zamboanga where families had to leave their homes during the siege of Moro rebels in 2013.
Most of all, he said the President failed to even thank the 44 Special Action Force troopers who gave up their lives to neutralize international terrorist Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
He then recited the names of all 44 fallen troopers. He also had a tarpaulin showing the faces of the Fallen 44.
"Kahit TY wala. Mabuti pa ang hairstylist at fashion designer kasama sa mahabang listahan na pinasalamatan," he said.
Other failures of the Aquino administration pointed out by Binay include the deterioration of the Metro Rail Transit, the alleged revival of pork barrel funds through insertions and special purpose funds, the reduction of funds for state university and colleges, alleged rice smuggling, VIP treatment of prisoners inside the New Bilibid Prison, and missing container vans at Customs.
Binay said that while the economic numbers improved under the Aquino administration, the growth did not trickle down to the poorest sector.
"Ito ang tunay na kalagayan ng ating bansa: dumami ang mahirap, walang trabaho, nagugutom. Kulang-kulang ang serbisyo," he said.