MANILA - First there was "Oplan Nognog." Now there is "Oplan Maligno."
Liberal Party (LP) member and Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice on Saturday bared an alleged plot -- dubbed "Oplan Maligno" -- meant to divert the public's attention from the corruption allegations being thrown against Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Erice claimed the plot was hatched by the camp of the vice president soon after Pulse Asia released its survey showing that the number of Filipinos who would vote for Binay as president dropped from 41% last June to 31% in September.
The same survey also showed a 15-percentage point drop in the vice president's approval and trust ratings.
"The political strategists of Vice President Binay were in panic mode... In desperation, they came up with the plot codenamed Oplan Maligno," Erice claimed.
The plot, which he called a "classic wag-the-dog operation," allegedly took flight after United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim secretary general JV Bautista accused the LP of masterminding a demolition campaign against Binay dubbed "Oplan Stop Nognog in 2016."
Binay himself has also directly linked Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to the supposed plot meant to derail his bid for the presidency in 2016.
"Malinaw ang misyon ng grupong ito: guluhin ang imbestigasyon ng Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee at ilayo ang pansin ng media sa mga isyu ng korupsyon laban sa pamilya Binay," Erice said.
"They picked the name Oplan Maligno since they expect the disinformation campaign to gain traction before the Halloween," he added.
The Caloocan representative said Binay has also been staging "media events" in the provinces to amplify his accusations against LP leaders.
Meanwhile, "talking heads," who he identified as Binay's political spokesman Jonvic Remulla and UNA interim president Toby Tiangco, have been assigned to issue statements designed to confuse the public and malign individuals and institutions mandated to investigate Binay's alleged involvement in corrupt practices, he said.
Members of Binay's family including Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, as well as alleged Binay bagman Gerardo Limlingan and alleged Binay dummy Antonio Tiu are also involved in the plot, Erice claimed.
Erice said he has now designated himself as the "shadow" of Binay "as I intend to speak to all the places the Vice President has gone to in order to refute his claims and explain how he is trying to fool our people."
UNA TO ERICE: IKAW ANG MALIGNO
Tiangco, meanwhile, quickly lashed back at Erice, saying that the Caloocan solon should stop looking at the mirror.
"Mr. Erice, stop looking at the mirror," Tiangco said. "I'm sure naisip nya yun nung pagtingin nya sa salamin at nakita nya sarili nya. The question he has to answer is bakit ngawa siya ng ngawa but up to now the LP is not even appointing him as spokesperson."
"He cannot even convince his party mates to appoint him as Official LP spokesperson. So sya ang malignong makapal ang mukha. Ang payo ko sa kanya, iwasan ang pag tingin sa salamin para hindi siya nakakita ng maligno," he added.
The UNA official said there is no more need to raise issues of inefficiency and ineptitude against government agencies controlled by LP members since the people already have to endure and bear with them daily.
"Palpak ang MRT na hindi inayos ni Mar Roxas noong panahon nya at hindi inaasikaso hanggang ngayon. Criminality is a big problem, kabi-kabila ang krimen na pinapabayaan ng DILG secretary," Tiangco said.