Philippine Vice President Binay attack 'vicious, unethical'

Philippine Vice President Binay attack 'vicious, unethical'
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

Vicious and unethical.

That's how a Palace source reacted to Vice President Jejomar Binay's attack on the Aquino administration following his resignation from the Cabinet.

The source said he knew Binay would go on attack mode and he was wondering, the source said, just when and "how vicious and unethical it would be."

TV host and presidential sister Kris Aquino said she was standing by her brother.

Even though there were reports that she and her sisters-Pinky, Ballsy and Viel-planned to support Binay in the 2016 presidential election, the celebrity said she would remain loyal to her family in the face of Binay's scathing attack on the administration.

Kris Aquino told the Inquirer via SMS: "I prefer not to comment at length. I'm sure that for you and your readers, it will be understandable that for me, family comes first." She clarified: "By family, I mean my brother, and this instance, only my brother."

She explained that her brother never interfered in their personal and political choices. "It's perfectly reasonable for him (PNoy), to stand by his allies, but he has never dictated to me or my sisters to 'unfriend' those he has come into disagreement with. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, my heart and my prayers will always be with P-Noy."

Pressed to confirm if she ever considered supporting Binay, Kris Aquino declined to comment.

Officially, Malacanang expressed surprise, if not disappointment at Binay's blast.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda noted that in the last five years of service to the Aquino administration, Binay had "never spoken ill of the governance policies of the President."

However, Binay "has made the choice to commence his presidential run with statements that he could have otherwise discussed with the President as a Cabinet member but chose not to," Lacierda added.

"VP Binay was a member of the Cabinet for almost five years. If he is sincerely concerned about the issues he raised against the Aquino administration this afternoon, he should have brought these up with the President and in the Cabinet meetings," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a text message to the Inquirer.

"I do not recall any instance when he in fact did so. Thus, I find it inconsistent and troubling that he is doing this belatedly now. Is it because he now realizes that he will not likely get the President's endorsement?" he said.

"Or is this another of his evasive ploys to distract our people from the serious corruption charges being raised against him, his family and his favored friends?" he added. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said he was "amused" by the tirades of his political archrival.

"I'm just amused," Roxas said in a text message.

He wondered why the Vice President did not speak up against the supposed wrongdoings when he was still part of the Cabinet.

"The thing is, he's had every single day over the last five years to point out these (supposed) wrongdoing or mistakes in this administration," he said. "We did not hear anything from him until now … that he cannot answer the anomalies being alleged against him."

Said Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV: "VP Binay's speech was an act of desperation and an attempt to divert attention from the numerous allegations of corruption against him … "I still maintain that he will back out of the 2016 presidential elections."

Empty rhetoric

Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice dismissed Binay's tirade as "empty rhetoric."

"The issues he raised were already exhaustively discussed in the past but during those times he [was] silent. Now that the President [has] rejected his request for endorsement, he suddenly criticized the President," Erice said.

He also criticized Binay for not bothering to face the press after his televised address on Wednesday afternoon.

"He said he would not back down from the fight, but after the speech, he fled and hid himself and did not answer questions from the media," said Erice, the Liberal Party's political affairs chair.

With reports from Jerry E. Esplanada, Marlon Ramos, Leila B Salaverria, TJ Burgonio, DJ Yap and Gil Cabacungan

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