HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK...

BINAY WANTS TO ACCEPT SENATE BLUE RIBBON 'MOTHER' COMMITTEE'S INVITE TO HEARING ON THURSDAY, UNA PERSUADING HIM NOT TO 

NOV 4 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay is planning to attend Thursday's Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the corruption allegations leveled against him, his ally said on Tuesday. Speaking to ANC's Headstart, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said Binay wants to appear at the Senate and answer the accusations that he pocketed kickbacks from various government projects in Makati. "As of last night, he is going. But I am still trying to convince him [not to attend the Senate hearing]," said Tiangco, interim-president of Binay's United Nationalist Alliance political party. "Kagabi, sabi niya, pabayaan niyo na akong pumunta," he added. Tiangco said he will still try to persuade Binay to snub the hearing. "Kung hindi namin makukumbinsi hanggang bukas nang gabi, then, anong magagawa namin?" Tiangco said.

The opposition lawmaker also maintained that Binay is not backing out of a proposed debate with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. Tiangco, however, does not want the debate to push through, believing that Binay has nothing to gain from it. Binay is being investigated in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building and his purported 350-hectare property in Rosario town, Batangas. His camp reportedly said that he will only attend the Senate hearings if he is invited by the Blue Ribbon mother committee, not the sub-committee currently conducting the inquiry. The committee issued a formal invitation to Binay last week with an assurance that it will "extend courtesies befitting the Office of the Vice President." Binay has criticized the sub-committee probe for supposedly masquerading as in aid of legislation, saying it is only aimed at derailing his presidential bid. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Binay attends Aquino's Cabinet Meeting on Yolanda rehab implementation

NOV 5 ---PHOTO: President Benigno S. Aquino III presides over the Special Cabinet Meeting on Typhoon Yolanda updates at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (November 05, 2014). Also in photo are Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima; Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje; Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda; Presidential Management Staff head Julia Andrea Abad; and Vice President Jejomar Binay. GIL NARTEA/Malacañang Photo Bureau)MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III led a “special Cabinet meeting” that was also attended by Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday on the implementation of the “Yolanda” Comprehensive Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan (CRRP). “The President will get updates on CRRP implementation as of 31 October from OPARR (Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery) Secretary (Panfilo) Lacson and heads of concerned clusters,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

‎‎A video of the meeting as it started showed Aquino sitting across Binay, who is also the head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). The HUDCC was recently appointed as the lead agency, together with the National Housing Authority, that will implement Administrative Order 44, which provides for the fast-tracking of resettlement projects through a one-stop-shop. The meeting was the first time the two top officials appeared in public together after the President told Binay that he was free to leave the Cabinet if he feels that they are going in the wrong direction. Although acknowledging the Vice President’s work in the housing sector, Aquino said Binay, as a Cabinet member, is obligated to present solutions instead of just criticisms. Binay had been criticizing the administration amid a Senate probe spearheaded by Aquino’s allies on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall parking building II. The Senators accuse Binay of receiving kickbacks and using his ill-gotten wealth to develop a large estate in Batangas.

Despite Aquino’s strong words, Binay said he had high respects for the President and would continue to be a team player. Other Cabinet clusters invited to the meeting were on infrastructure (Department of Public Works and Highways), social services (Department of Social Works and Development), livelihood (Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Labor and Employment) and support (Department of Budget and Management and National Economic and Development Authority). “The priority programs and projects of 2015 will be presented,” Coloma said. Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II was also at the meeting although he arrived late. There has been a lot of speculation on the relationship of the three officials because of Binay’s decision to run for president in 2016 under the opposition. Binay has close ties with the Aquinos but the President is said to favor Roxas, who is also a Liberal Party official, as his successor.

Aquino ally tells Binay: Don’t be a ‘two-timer’ by staying in Cabinet while criticizing gov’t 

NOV 5 --PHOTO: Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice and Vice President Jejomar Binay (inset). INQUIRER FILE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay’s criticisms against the Aquino administration has incurred the ire of an ally of President Benigno Aquino III at the House of Representatives who urged him not to be a “two-timer” for continuing to stay in the Cabinet if he thought the government was going in the wrong direction. In a statement Tuesday, Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice even quoted a neophytes’ pledge by Binay’s college fraternity, the Alpha Phi Omega, from a poem by Elbert Hubbard: “If you work for a man, in heaven’s name work for him. Speak well of him and stand by the institution he represents. Remember an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you growl, condemn and eternally find fault, resign your position. And when you are outside, damn to your hearts’ content. But for as long as you are part of the institution, do not condemn it. If you do, the first high wind that comes along will blow you away, and you will probably never know why,” said Erice quoting the poem.

Erice said: “If Binay cannot abide by Hubbard’s advice, then the logical thing to do is quit his Cabinet post, as what I have asked him to do. There is no sense and acting as a team player one minute only to blast the Aquino government in the next minute.”  Erice’s call came a day after the President challenged Binay to resign from his Cabinet if he thought that his administration was not pursuing the straight path (tuwid na daan). Erice, a partymate of Aquino at the Liberal Party but not a member of the APO fraternity, slammed Binay for allegedly failing to control his allies who have persistently criticized the administration. Erice said Binay should resign from the Cabinet instead of being a “two-timer.” Amid a Senate investigation looking into allegations of corruption in Makati City when he was mayor, Binay was forced to lash back against the administration. Binay had criticized the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), parts of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Binay also slammed the administration for going soft on Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima despite allegations of false declarations of wealth and plunder, as well as for being harsh on former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is under hospital detention for plunder. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) No representatives, gatecrashers: Only Binay will be accommodated by Senate body 

NOV 4 --Only Vice President Jejomar Binay, and not his spokesmen or any representatives, would be entertained by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee when it convenes on Thursday, its chairman, Senator Teofisto Guingona III, said on Tuesday. Guingona pointed out that the committee would only convene to accommodate Binay, who had repeatedly turned down the invitation of its subcommittee investigating the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall 2 parking building. Asked if the committee would accept should Binay decide to send his representative to the hearing, the senator said: “Ay hindi (No). The invitation is personal, to the person.”  “It’s for the Vice President to attend, that’s it. No one else. This session is an invitation to the Vice President, no one else,” Guingona stressed.

“Kung sasabihin (If he will say) he will not be coming anymore, I’ll just cancel (the hearing),” the senator added. Until now, however, the committee has not received any official word yet from Binay himself if he would attend the hearing or not. Guignona reiterated that the Vice President would be given due courtesy, fair treatment, and enough time to answer all allegations being hurled at him should he decide to appear before the committee. Binay has been accused, among others, of receiving kickbacks when he was still the mayor of Makati City and for allegedly using dummies to hide his alleged unexplained wealth. He has repeatedly denied the allegations. Guingona said the Vice President may also invoke his constitutional rights if he wishes to. “Anybody can invoke their constitutional rights even a private citizen,” said the senator. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: ‘Binay wants to face Senate’; Met with bishops   

NOV 4 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay wants to face the Senate tomorrow to answer accusations that he amassed illegal wealth even as his allies are trying to dissuade him from doing so, Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco said yesterday. Tiangco, who is interim president of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), also told ANC News that Binay is not quitting his Cabinet job despite President Aquino’s statement that the Vice President is free to leave if he does not like the way the government is being run. “He is not quitting. He cannot turn his back on people who expect help from him, like those who need housing,” Tiangco said. In Boy Scout uniform, Binay met yesterday afternoon with Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo and other religious leaders at the Arzobispado in Intramuros but made no public statement after the meeting. Binay is in charge of the administration’s housing and overseas workers’ concerns.

Liberal Party (LP) lawmakers have accused him of straddling both sides of the political fence by criticizing the Aquino administration yet hanging on to his Cabinet post. Asked about Binay’s attendance in the Senate probe, Tiangco said: “As of last night when we parted ways, he is attending, although we have been dissuading him from going there.” He said the Vice President was raring to answer the illegal wealth allegations against him as well as the alleged overpricing of the Makati parking building that was constructed during his time as mayor. “I am scheduled to meet with him again today to convince him to change his mind. We have been telling him that he should not be making decisions, and like in the United States, he should let his campaign team make the decisions for him,” Tiangco added. When reminded that the beleaguered Vice President had told the media that he would attend the Senate investigation only upon invitation from the mother Blue Ribbon Committee, Tiangco said, “I think he did not say that.” It is the mother committee which has invited Binay to its hearing tomorrow. Tiangco revealed that he and his team have been telling their principal not to answer the allegations aired against him in the Senate by former Makati officials led by former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado and by Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV. * READ  MORE...

(ALSO) Binay: I’m being 'crucified'; VP briefs bishops on Senate inquiry

NOV 5 ---POLITICAL ‘HUNGER GAMES’ Vice President Jejomar Binay flashes the Boy Scout salute at the opening ceremony of the Philippine Scouting Centennial Jamboree for Luzon at the Boys Town Complex in Marikina City. At right, a Boy Scout shows a T-shirt bearing the face of Binay, president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines for 20 years now. LYN RILLON
MANILA, Philippines–Amid allegations of corruption against him, Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday asked Boy Scouts to treat him as an ordinary citizen and not as someone being crucified on the cross by his political enemies.

“And I hope you do not treat me as one Jojo Binay, our country’s Vice President, who is being forcibly crucified and punished for sins made up by detractors and deceivers,” he said, referring to corruption allegations against him which he has dismissed as lies and politically motivated. (Jejomar is taken from the names Jesus, Joseph and Mary.) A day after President Aquino told him to give him solutions instead of criticisms, Binay, Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP) president, said he did not want to talk about politics. Speaking before BSP delegates at the Boys Town complex in Marikina City, Binay said he wanted “to act, think and talk just like an ordinary citizen” with fellow Boy Scouts. Talking politics “I wish I could renounce politics,” Binay said. He told his listeners that he wanted them to treat him instead as a fellow Boy Scout serving the country. Later in the day, Binay talked politics when he met with Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo to defend himself against the corruption allegations. * READ MORE...

ALSO Tribune Commentary: Polarize! Binay’s only way  

In an arrogant jab at his erstwhile “guardian” back when he, as an Armalite-toting teenager, was on the lookout for coup plotters against his sainted mother, BS Aquino retorted to a plaintive expression of frustration from beleaguered Vice President Jejomar Binay with this dare: “You are free to leave the Cabinet.” Bedeviled by charges of corruption and ownership of unimaginable illicit wealth, the VP has seen his popularity ratings slide from the unprecedented high of any potential candidate, amid threats of even more lethal attacks as the 2016 election year nears. A subsequent appeal to his “ward” apparently fell on deaf ears; hence, the present falling out.

BS Aquino was reacting to what some press reports described as “a barely veiled attack on (his) administration” by Vice President Jejomar Binay two Saturdays ago at a Lions’ district meeting at the Manila Hotel, where the latter enumerated complaints of the public, to wit: “There is a power crisis, (together with) the rising prices of oil and other commodities, the rampant crimes plaguing the country, the hellish traffic jams, unsafe MRT and LRT, the recurrent flooding and the wrath of nature that we must all prepare for… But instead of giving all their time and thoughts to achieve solutions to these problems, they chose to advance their own interests by destroying my name and those of my loved ones…” At that speech the electrical charge that would have polarized the nation’s pressing problems into genuine people’s issues against the public utilities privatization price abuse, alongside national government incompetence versus the triviality of the corruption issue, flashed for a moment. Having initiated that charge, it would have been ideal if Binay had waged thereon an unrelenting, fight-to-the-finish polarization to serve as a turning point in a long political war, where he has suffered constant reversals due to very nature of the political system he is in. * READ MORE...

 


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

Binay wants to attend Senate hearing on Thursday - UNA exec


Vice President Jejomar Binay gestures while denying allegations of corruption during a televised press conference at the PICC in Pasay City. ERNIE PENAREDONDO

MANILA, NOVEMBER 10, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Louis Bacani -  Vice President Jejomar Binay is planning to attend Thursday's Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the corruption allegations leveled against him, his ally said on Tuesday.

Speaking to ANC's Headstart, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said Binay wants to appear at the Senate and answer the accusations that he pocketed kickbacks from various government projects in Makati.

"As of last night, he is going. But I am still trying to convince him [not to attend the Senate hearing]," said Tiangco, interim-president of Binay's United Nationalist Alliance political party.

"Kagabi, sabi niya, pabayaan niyo na akong pumunta," he added.

Tiangco said he will still try to persuade Binay to snub the hearing.

"Kung hindi namin makukumbinsi hanggang bukas nang gabi, then, anong magagawa namin?" Tiangco said.

The opposition lawmaker also maintained that Binay is not backing out of a proposed debate with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Tiangco, however, does not want the debate to push through, believing that Binay has nothing to gain from it.

Binay is being investigated in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building and his purported 350-hectare property in Rosario town, Batangas.

His camp reportedly said that he will only attend the Senate hearings if he is invited by the Blue Ribbon mother committee, not the sub-committee currently conducting the inquiry.

The committee issued a formal invitation to Binay last week with an assurance that it will "extend courtesies befitting the Office of the Vice President."

Binay has criticized the sub-committee probe for supposedly masquerading as in aid of legislation, saying it is only aimed at derailing his presidential bid.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino meets Binay; Binay attends Cabinet Meeting on Yolanda rehab implementation Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 1:49 PM | Wednesday, November 5th, 2014


President Benigno S. Aquino III presides over the Special Cabinet Meeting on Typhoon Yolanda updates at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (November 05, 2014). Also in photo are Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima; Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje; Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda; Presidential Management Staff head Julia Andrea Abad; and Vice President Jejomar Binay. GIL NARTEA/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III led a “special Cabinet meeting” that was also attended by Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday on the implementation of the “Yolanda” Comprehensive Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan (CRRP).

“The President will get updates on CRRP implementation as of 31 October from OPARR (Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery) Secretary (Panfilo) Lacson and heads of concerned clusters,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

‎‎A video of the meeting as it started showed Aquino sitting across Binay, who is also the head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

The HUDCC was recently appointed as the lead agency, together with the National Housing Authority, that will implement Administrative Order 44, which provides for the fast-tracking of resettlement projects through a one-stop-shop.

The meeting was the first time the two top officials appeared in public together after the President told Binay that he was free to leave the Cabinet if he feels that they are going in the wrong direction.

Although acknowledging the Vice President’s work in the housing sector, Aquino said Binay, as a Cabinet member, is obligated to present solutions instead of just criticisms.

Binay had been criticizing the administration amid a Senate probe spearheaded by Aquino’s allies on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall parking building II. The Senators accuse Binay of receiving kickbacks and using his ill-gotten wealth to develop a large estate in Batangas.

Despite Aquino’s strong words, Binay said he had high respects for the President and would continue to be a team player.

Other Cabinet clusters invited to the meeting were on infrastructure (Department of Public Works and Highways), social services (Department of Social Works and Development), livelihood (Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Labor and Employment) and support (Department of Budget and Management and National Economic and Development Authority).

“The priority programs and projects of 2015 will be presented,” Coloma said.

Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II was also at the meeting although he arrived late.

There has been a lot of speculation on the relationship of the three officials because of Binay’s decision to run for president in 2016 under the opposition.

Binay has close ties with the Aquinos but the President is said to favor Roxas, who is also a Liberal Party official, as his successor.

Aquino ally tells Binay: Don’t be a ‘two-timer’ by staying in Cabinet while criticizing gov’t Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 5:24 PM | Tuesday, November 4th, 2014


Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice and Vice President Jejomar Binay (inset). INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay’s criticisms against the Aquino administration has incurred the ire of an ally of President Benigno Aquino III at the House of Representatives who urged him not to be a “two-timer” for continuing to stay in the Cabinet if he thought the government was going in the wrong direction.

In a statement Tuesday, Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice even quoted a neophytes’ pledge by Binay’s college fraternity, the Alpha Phi Omega, from a poem by Elbert Hubbard***:

“If you work for a man, in heaven’s name work for him. Speak well of him and stand by the institution he represents. Remember an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you growl, condemn and eternally find fault, resign your position. And when you are outside, damn to your hearts’ content. But for as long as you are part of the institution, do not condemn it. If you do, the first high wind that comes along will blow you away, and you will probably never know why,” said Erice quoting the poem.

Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice and Vice President Jejomar Binay (inset). INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Erice said: “If Binay cannot abide by Hubbard’s advice, then the logical thing to do is quit his Cabinet post, as what I have asked him to do. There is no sense and acting as a team player one minute only to blast the Aquino government in the next minute.”

Erice’s call came a day after the President challenged Binay to resign from his Cabinet if he thought that his administration was not pursuing the straight path (tuwid na daan).

Erice, a partymate of Aquino at the Liberal Party but not a member of the APO fraternity, slammed Binay for allegedly failing to control his allies who have persistently criticized the administration.

Erice said Binay should resign from the Cabinet instead of being a “two-timer.”

Amid a Senate investigation looking into allegations of corruption in Makati City when he was mayor, Binay was forced to lash back against the administration.

Binay had criticized the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), parts of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Binay also slammed the administration for going soft on Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima despite allegations of false declarations of wealth and plunder, as well as for being harsh on former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is under hospital detention for plunder.

* Instead of being critical, Erice urged Binay “to be true to himself, to others and to Alpha Phi Omega.”

“If he cannot be firm in loyalty and could never be faithful and ever striving for the Aquino administration, then the morally correct action to take is to resign,” Erice said.

Like other Cabinet officials, Binay is being subjected to a “performance audit” as presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers and head of the Housing and Urban Development and Coordinating Council.

Aquino had said Binay was “free to leave… if he thinks we’re going in the wrong direction.” He added that he hasn’t heard the Vice President give solutions during Cabinet meetings.

“The President himself has said that Binay, like other Cabinet members, is free to resign his post. There is no sense pretending that you are loyal to the President and the administration when you want to earn political brownie points by attacking the government that Mr. Aquino heads,” Erice stressed.

Erice has been critical of Binay and his party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), and has been engaged in a debate about the vice president with UNA interim president Toby Tiangco in the lower chamber’s plenary.

Erice also floated the idea of filing an impeachment complaint against Binay.

***Elbert Green Hubbard (June 19, 1856 – May 7, 1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. Raised in Hudson, Illinois, he met early success as a traveling salesman with the Larkin Soap Company. Today Hubbard is mostly known as the founder of the Roycroft artisan community in East Aurora, Hubbard described himself as an anarchist and a socialist. He believed in social, economic, domestic, political, mental and spiritual freedom. In 'A Message to Garcia and Thirteen Other Things' (1901), Hubbard explained his Credo by writing "I believe John Ruskin, William Morris, Henry Thoreau, Walt Whitman and Leo Tolstoy to be Prophets of God, and they should rank in mental reach and spiritual insight with Elijah, Hosea, Ezekiel and Isaiah." Hubbard wrote a critique of war, law and government in the booklet Jesus Was An Anarchist (1910).

No representatives, gatecrashers: Only Binay will be accommodated by Senate body Maila Ager @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 3:52 PM | Tuesday, November 4th, 2014


Senator Teofisto Guingona III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Only Vice President Jejomar Binay, and not his spokesmen or any representatives, would be entertained by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee when it convenes on Thursday, its chairman, Senator Teofisto Guingona III, said on Tuesday.

Guingona pointed out that the committee would only convene to accommodate Binay, who had repeatedly turned down the invitation of its subcommittee investigating the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall 2 parking building.

Asked if the committee would accept should Binay decide to send his representative to the hearing, the senator said: “Ay hindi (No). The invitation is personal, to the person.”

“It’s for the Vice President to attend, that’s it. No one else. This session is an invitation to the Vice President, no one else,” Guingona stressed.

“Kung sasabihin (If he will say) he will not be coming anymore, I’ll just cancel (the hearing),” the senator added.

Until now, however, the committee has not received any official word yet from Binay himself if he would attend the hearing or not.

Guignona reiterated that the Vice President would be given due courtesy, fair treatment, and enough time to answer all allegations being hurled at him should he decide to appear before the committee.

Binay has been accused, among others, of receiving kickbacks when he was still the mayor of Makati City and for allegedly using dummies to hide his alleged unexplained wealth. He has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Guingona said the Vice President may also invoke his constitutional rights if he wishes to.

“Anybody can invoke their constitutional rights even a private citizen,” said the senator.

FROM PHILSTAR

‘Binay wants to face Senate’; Met with Bishops By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 5, 2014 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay wants to face the Senate tomorrow to answer accusations that he amassed illegal wealth even as his allies are trying to dissuade him from doing so, Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco said yesterday.

Tiangco, who is interim president of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), also told ANC News that Binay is not quitting his Cabinet job despite President Aquino’s statement that the Vice President is free to leave if he does not like the way the government is being run.

“He is not quitting. He cannot turn his back on people who expect help from him, like those who need housing,” Tiangco said.

In Boy Scout uniform, Binay met yesterday afternoon with Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo and other religious leaders at the Arzobispado in Intramuros but made no public statement after the meeting.

Binay is in charge of the administration’s housing and overseas workers’ concerns. Liberal Party (LP) lawmakers have accused him of straddling both sides of the political fence by criticizing the Aquino administration yet hanging on to his Cabinet post.

Asked about Binay’s attendance in the Senate probe, Tiangco said: “As of last night when we parted ways, he is attending, although we have been dissuading him from going there.”

He said the Vice President was raring to answer the illegal wealth allegations against him as well as the alleged overpricing of the Makati parking building that was constructed during his time as mayor.

“I am scheduled to meet with him again today to convince him to change his mind. We have been telling him that he should not be making decisions, and like in the United States, he should let his campaign team make the decisions for him,” Tiangco added.

When reminded that the beleaguered Vice President had told the media that he would attend the Senate investigation only upon invitation from the mother Blue Ribbon Committee, Tiangco said, “I think he did not say that.”

It is the mother committee which has invited Binay to its hearing tomorrow.

Tiangco revealed that he and his team have been telling their principal not to answer the allegations aired against him in the Senate by former Makati officials led by former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado and by Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.

* “I was against that press conference VP Binay held at the Coconut Palace, where he first responded to those accusations,” he said.

He was referring to a media gathering organized by the Vice President’s handlers, where Binay read a prepared statement but refused to answer questions.

“I told him that if we started responding, there would be no end to it. The elections in 2016 will be over and we are still explaining,” Tiangco said.

Instead of explaining himself, he said the Vice President should tell the people his accomplishments.

He pointed out that in one of their meetings, he cited the example of defeated senatorial candidate Jack Enrile, who was initially among the 12 frontrunners but later fell in the surveys and failed to recover.

“In Jack’s case, he wasted his time explaining his side in a case that took place 30 years ago,” he said.

He said Binay would gain nothing if he attends tomorrow’s Senate investigation and if he makes good his challenge to debate with Trillanes.

He said people who don’t want to believe the Vice President would not believe him whatever he says, while his supporters would stick it out with him.

He said they hope to convince more voters to support Binay by harping on his accomplishments.

“If we lose voters, it’s not because we did not respond to bad news. It’s because we failed to present more good news,” he added.

No word from VP himself

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee is willing to wait until today for the Vice President to confirm his attendance tomorrow, committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III said. He said the committee sent its official invitation to Binay last Oct.29.

“Still waiting for word, official word. Unless I get official word, I don’t want to say anything,” Guingona told reporters yesterday.

* If the Vice President fails to respond to the invitation today, Guingona said the hearing would no longer push through.

But the Blue Ribbon sub-committee’s scheduled hearing on the allegedly overpriced Makati City parking building would definitely push through if Binay snubs the mother committee.

Guingona reiterated his assurance to the Vice President that he would be extended courtesy befitting his office and that he would be given all the time he needs to say his piece if ever he decides to attend tomorrow’s hearing.

He promised to ensure that proper decorum is observed, especially by his colleagues accused by the Binay camp of bullying its resource persons.

But Guingona said the Vice President would have to answer questions from the members of the Blue Ribbon Committee and not simply read a prepared statement.

He said that this would be a good opportunity for the Vice President to air his side on allegations raised against him.

Meeting with bishops

Neither Binay’s camp nor the bishops gave details of their two-and-a-half-hour meeting yesterday but a source said the Vice President discussed the government’s housing projects and provided the prelates with a five-page statement explaining the allegations of corruption against him.

Wearing a Boy Scout uniform, Binay arrived at the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros, Manila at around 2:10 p.m. It was Binay who had requested for an audience with Pabillo.

Prior to the meeting, Binay attended an event of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines-Luzon Jamboree in Marikina City. Binay is the national president of the BSP.

Pabillo, chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, was with an unnamed priest and members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines during the meeting with Binay.

The Vice President, during the meeting, was said to have decried the Senate investigation into his alleged ill-gotten wealth, which he said was meant to malign his name.

Binay also defended his decision to snub the sub-committee hearings, saying he does not want to dignify such kind of proceedings.

The Office of the Vice President on Monday sent to the media an advisory about Binay’s meeting with members of the CBCP. Pabillo had wanted to keep the meeting secret.

But after the meeting, the Vice President immediately got into his SUV and left with a convoy without speaking to reporters who were waiting for him outside the Arzobispado de Manila.

Last Oct.24, Pabillo also had a closed door meeting with some former Makati officials, including former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, who accused Binay of amassing ill-gotten wealth during his stint as Makati City mayor.

Meanwhile, Binay spokesman Joey Salgado said Trillanes’ setting a deadline for Binay to confirm his readiness to debate with him was the senator’s way of avoiding such confrontation.

“A debate has ground rules. A debate is a forum to inform, not to harass or intimidate. It is a forum for a sober presentation of arguments, not a bully pulpit. It is not a one-sided political circus like the on-going Senate witch-hunt being conducted by Senator Trillanes,” Salgado said.

“He knows full well that given a forum for sober, calm and informed discourse, he will never win the debate,” Salgado said.

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) hopes to push through with the debate within the month but has not yet named the venue or the date.

KBP president Herman Basbaño said the original date of Nov. 10 was scrapped due to conflict in schedule.

Trillanes on Monday gave Binay until Nov. 22 to set the date of the debate, saying it would be exactly one month since the Vice President challenged him to a verbal duel. With Helen Flores, Evelyn Macairan, Marvin Sy

FROM THE INQUIRER

Binay: I’m being 'crucified'; VP briefs bishops on Senate inquiry Christine O. Avendaño, Nikko Dizon, Tina G. Santos | Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:10 AM | Wednesday, November 5th, 2014


POLITICAL ‘HUNGER GAMES’ Vice President Jejomar Binay flashes the Boy Scout salute at the opening ceremony of the Philippine Scouting Centennial Jamboree for Luzon at the Boys Town Complex in Marikina City. At right, a Boy Scout shows a T-shirt bearing the face of Binay, president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines for 20 years now. LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippines–Amid allegations of corruption against him, Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday asked Boy Scouts to treat him as an ordinary citizen and not as someone being crucified on the cross by his political enemies.

“And I hope you do not treat me as one Jojo Binay, our country’s Vice President, who is being forcibly crucified and punished for sins made up by detractors and deceivers,” he said, referring to corruption allegations against him which he has dismissed as lies and politically motivated. (Jejomar is taken from the names Jesus, Joseph and Mary.)

A day after President Aquino told him to give him solutions instead of criticisms, Binay, Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP) president, said he did not want to talk about politics.

Speaking before BSP delegates at the Boys Town complex in Marikina City, Binay said he wanted “to act, think and talk just like an ordinary citizen” with fellow Boy Scouts.

Talking politics

“I wish I could renounce politics,” Binay said. He told his listeners that he wanted them to treat him instead as a fellow Boy Scout serving the country.

Later in the day, Binay talked politics when he met with Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo to defend himself against the corruption allegations.

* Still wearing a Boy Scout’s uniform, Binay arrived a little past 2 p.m. at Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) headquarters, where his closed-door meeting with Pabillo took place.

Pabillo would have wanted to keep the meeting a secret but it was apparently Binay’s camp that informed the media about it.

No media interview

The Vice President declined to be interviewed by the media after his speech at the BSP gathering.

Binay also ignored the media as he stepped out from a two-hour meeting with Pabillo, despite an assurance earlier in the day that he would answer reporters’ questions.

Pabillo neither gave any interview to the media.

A source, who requested anonymity for he was not authorized to divulge information to the media, said Binay “clarified issues hurled against him.”

“Bishop Pabillo and the others present during the meeting only listened to him,” the source said.

The ‘truth’ on Senate probe

He said Binay also gave Pabillo a paper titled “The Truth about the Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee Hearing,” belying all the allegations against him.

“He said it was politically motivated,” the source said.

The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee has been investigating allegations that Binay pocketed kickbacks from infrastructure projects and other deals awarded to favored contractors during his watch as Makati City mayor.

He is also accused of owning a P1.2-billion, 350-hectare high-end farm in Rosario town, Batangas, by using dummies.

Spirit of fairness

The source refused to say if the explanation of the Vice President managed to satisfy Pabillo, head of the public affairs office of the CBCP, and the others present during the meeting.

Apart from Pabillo, also present were two priests and members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines.

The source said Pabillo met with Binay in the spirit of fairness.

Pabillo earlier said that the door was open for the Vice President and others to give their side of the story after he met with seven whistle-blowers, who have accused Binay of graft.

The prelate earlier met with former Makati City officials who have accused the Vice President of enriching himself from kickbacks in the city government’s infrastructure projects, including the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, now the subject of the blue ribbon subcommittee probe.

The former city officials, led by former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, also alleged that Binay, through dummy corporations, owned a 350-hectare property dubbed Hacienda Binay.

Binay has denied the allegations, saying these were all political noises aimed at destroying his bid for the presidency in 2016.

The Manila auxiliary bishop also took the opportunity to discuss with Binay the housing issue since the Vice President handles the administration’s housing concerns.

Debate over debate

While Binay opted not to delve into politics at the BSP event, his camp was not as quiet.

Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado took on Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for bullying the Vice President and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) into accepting that their public debate take place on Nov. 22.

“A debate has ground rules. A debate is a forum to inform, not to harass or intimidate. It is a forum for a sober presentation of arguments, not a bully pulpit. It is not a one-sided political circus like the ongoing Senate witch-hunt being conducted by Senator Trillanes,” Salgado said in a statement.

“But we do suspect that by imposing a deadline on the Vice President and the KBP, Senator Trillanes is laying the predicate for backing out of the debate. He knows fully well that given a forum for sober, calm and informed discourse, he will never win the debate,” he said.

Long list

Trillanes said that there was still a long list of anomalies that Binay had to answer for.

“He was mayor for 21 years then he passed on the practices to his wife and son. They have had a stranglehold on Makati for the last 28 years,” Trillanes said.

He earlier said he wanted Binay investigated for five other allegedly overpriced Makati City government buildings—the Makati High School Science building, Ospital ng Makati, Makati Friendship Suites, Makati City Hall One and the nursing building of the University of Makati.

Ghost employees, cakes

Another anomaly, according to Trillanes, was the alleged hiring of several “ghost employees” when Binay was mayor of Makati.

Trillanes said it was likely that the Senate investigation would revisit the allegedly overpriced birthday cakes for Makati’s senior citizens.

He said there was no deliberate attempt by senators to stretch the hearings until the campaign season of 2016. Binay is among those expected to run for President.

But the list of anomalies was simply too long, Trillanes said. “That is one thing I guarantee him (Binay), there will be more to come,” Trillanes said, adding that the Senate probe of the anomalies would likely continue even beyond April next year.

TRIBUNE OPINION

Polarize: Binay’s only way Written by Herman Tiu Laurel Wednesday, 05 November 2014 00:00

In an arrogant jab at his erstwhile “guardian” back when he, as an Armalite-toting teenager, was on the lookout for coup plotters against his sainted mother, BS Aquino retorted to a plaintive expression of frustration from beleaguered Vice President Jejomar Binay with this dare: “You are free to leave the Cabinet.”

Bedeviled by charges of corruption and ownership of unimaginable illicit wealth, the VP has seen his popularity ratings slide from the unprecedented high of any potential candidate, amid threats of even more lethal attacks as the 2016 election year nears.

A subsequent appeal to his “ward” apparently fell on deaf ears; hence, the present falling out.

BS Aquino was reacting to what some press reports described as “a barely veiled attack on (his) administration” by Vice President Jejomar Binay two Saturdays ago at a Lions’ district meeting at the Manila Hotel, where the latter enumerated complaints of the public, to wit: “There is a power crisis, (together with) the rising prices of oil and other commodities, the rampant crimes plaguing the country, the hellish traffic jams, unsafe MRT and LRT, the recurrent flooding and the wrath of nature that we must all prepare for… But instead of giving all their time and thoughts to achieve solutions to these problems, they chose to advance their own interests by destroying my name and those of my loved ones…”

At that speech the electrical charge that would have polarized the nation’s pressing problems into genuine people’s issues against the public utilities privatization price abuse, alongside national government incompetence versus the triviality of the corruption issue, flashed for a moment.

Having initiated that charge, it would have been ideal if Binay had waged thereon an unrelenting, fight-to-the-finish polarization to serve as a turning point in a long political war, where he has suffered constant reversals due to very nature of the political system he is in.

* Binay’s enemies are by no means the frontline political warriors or soldiers in the phalanx. They are part of the same ilk who will be called into account in the Yellows’ Winter of Discontent — a fear that compels them to want to ensure their perpetuation beyond the life span of their self-generated People Power myth.

The people’s cries embodied in the issues Binay lined up before the Lions, if repeated with a growing lion’s roar, would easily drown out all the accusations hurled against him by the sheer fury a nation deep in poverty, hunger and hopelessness.

Just imagine the resounding impact on the people from Batanes to Jolo: “Power crisis, the rising prices of oil and other commodities, the rampant crimes plaguing the country… the wrath of nature.” Just think of the gut issues affecting the nation’s capital: “The hellish traffic jams, unsafe MRT and LRT, the recurrent flooding.”

Unfortunately for Binay (though we hope it’s not too late for him), he decided to turn the other cheek by claiming, “I have the highest respect for President Aquino and I will continue to be a team player.” And to think that it is the same team whom the VP accuses of choosing “to advance their own interests” instead of looking for solutions.

Binay, it seems, chooses to still put his fate in the hands of the very people who are skinning him alive. How then will half the people, who had seen their faith in him as a champion of the poor and downtrodden flounder, be restored in their faith now?

With the way the battle is being waged, we will see no great turnaround for the besieged to become a victor, unless he charges on as the Greeks at Marathon turned a lost cause into victory against an enemy that outnumbered them 20 to one.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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