MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay appears to be moving to cut his ties with President Aquino as he slams for the first time the latter's controversial decisions, like allowing the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.
Binay, 71, also took a swing at the way the Aquino administration was allegedly mistreating former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo while handling with kid gloves Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima, who like the Vice President is alleged to have amassed unexplained wealth.
It was a combative Vice President who spoke at the 5th MCLE (Mandatory Continuing Legal Education) Accredited National Convention of Public Attorneys at the Manila Hotel.
He blasted not only the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee investigating the corruption allegations against him but also moves by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate him.
Binay took exception to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima's statement that she was investigating him upon the request of the Senate, saying the blue ribbon subcommittee had not even completed its inquiry.
'Anybody but Binay'
"The cat is out of the bag. It is all part of the script that really, by all means, this is their operation-Operation Anybody but Binay," the Vice President said during the open forum.
From hurling corruption allegations against him in the Senate inquiry, the next plan against him, Binay said, was to impeach him given De Lima's statement that he can be investigated and that he can face impeachment.
But the Vice President said he would not allow this to happen.
"I have fought many times. There were many instances that the law was broken, and I will not allow this. The only reason I can be removed from office, among others, would be for the violation of the Constitution during my term as Vice President. That is very clear," he said.
Binay said he could not understand why the DOJ was prioritizing him in its investigation when it was still in the midst of investigating the pork barrel controversy and the DAP.
Apparently, it was the alleged impeachment moves by administration officials and allies that broke Binay's silence over controversial issues that Aquino was facing.
Replying to a question whether he would treat his enemies the same way he was being treated now should he become President, Binay said he wanted to be a "unifying" President who would subject his political foes to a truth commission, for instance.
Then he said that he had "no love lost" for Arroyo, who is detained in a hospital as she awaits the outcome of many cases filed against her by the Aquino administration. Binay said Arroyo made his life difficult when she tried to suspend him from office many times.
"Is the way they are treating Arroyo fair?" he said, asking why the court seemed not to act on her petition for bail after the prosecution had presented its case against her.
"She is no ordinary person because she became President. And she is sick. Is that fair?" he added in Filipino.
Binay then turned his ire on Aquino's pet programme, the illegal DAP. He said "there was no such animal" despite what Malacañang said of the programme, which pooled savings from agencies for spending to jumpstart the economy.
"What is their defence? The end justifies the means. That DAP was used for various things. I think it's high time our lawyers come in where there is a violation of law," Binay said.