MANILA (UPDATED) - Vice President Jejomar Binay formally apologized to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) for backing out of a debate with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, which he himself proposed.
Speaking before the top level officials of the KBP, Binay said he is extending his "formal apology" to the organization for his decision not to attend the debate with Trillanes scheduled on November 27.
"Hihingi na lang ako ng dispensa. This is a formal apology to the members of KBP. I know you have prepared for this, you have prepared your members if there would be such a thing," Binay said.
Binay reiterated that he backed out of the debate because Trillanes was trying to portray himself as the underdog in the event.
"I always had that feeling, na nagkakabaliktaran pagdating ng huli," he said, in reference to Trillanes' statement saying he is relatively inexperienced compared to Binay.
The vice president said he might be accused in the end of taking advantage of Trillanes, who is not a lawyer.
"Kapag may nangyari doon sa harapan, 'Sinabi ko na sa inyo iyan ay mapagsamantala, oportunista. Alam naman niyang kawawa ako sa kanya. Pinaggigiitan na kami ay magkaharap.' So para wala na po tayong ganoong conclusion pa, ayaw ko na," he said.
Binay first challenged Trillanes to a debate after the latter accused him of corruption in connection with the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2.
For his part, Trillanes said Binay's decision only shows he has no word of honor.
Meanwhile, Binay thanked President Benigno Aquino III for asking the Senate to wrap up the hearings on the Makati City Hall Parking Building 2.
Senate President Franklin Drilon earlier confirmed that the President relayed Binay's request but said he never felt any pressure from Aquino.
Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay spokesperson for political concerns, said the vice president has no plan to attend the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearings on the alleged overpricing of the P2.2 billion Makati City Hall Building 2 since he has yet to receive another invitation.
Remulla also welcomed the Senate investigation on the Iloilo Convention Center, which involves Aquino ally Drilon. "That's good," he said.