The opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said there will be no ‘spare tire’ vice president under the presidency of Vice President Jejomar Binay even as Binay himself criticized President Noynoy Aquino’s government deliberately underspent funds which he said will be used for the 2016 elections.
Binay added that the underspending was the main reason why the country’s economy slowed down in the first quarter of the year.
UNA interim president and Navotas City Rep. Tobias Tiangco said that if elected, Binay would give his successor the chance to shine unlike what Aquino did to the Vice President.
Tiangco said a president needs a partner “to ensure the efficient delivery of basic services especially among poorest of the poor.”
“Not just a good position but position in government where he or she will ably promote the programs and platforms of government.”
Last month, Binay tendered his irrevocable resignation from the Cabinet as chief of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and as Presidential Adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Affairs following a falling out with President Aquino.
Aside from having common platforms of government, Tiangco said Binay would guarantee that his running mate will be his partner in the next six years beginning 2016.
“The vice president who will succeed Vice President Binay will not be a spare tire. Vice President Binay himself said he wants his partner to be a ‘working’ partner in promoting the common good of the Filipino people,” Tiangco, who stressed the need for the next government to ensure that the economic growth will trickle down to the poor.
“If Vice President Binay will be given the chance to lead the country, he will prioritize the poor and the underprivileged, that the poor will be able to feel and see the economic gains of the government at hindi puro salita lang na economic growth” Tiangco said.
Tiangco also said that Binay and UNA’s search committee is now in the process of choosing potential vice president’s running mate from five individuals from different fields.
Tiangco had said the alleged political persecution of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) against the Binay family has been forcing its financial backers from the business community to hide and just secretly support his presidential bid.
But Tiangco clarified that their backers are just taking necessary precautions to avoid being harassed, explaining their support remains. At the same time, however, Tiangco admitted that the freezing of the bank accounts of the Binay family has sent a chilling effect on many of UNA’s campaign donors.
Binay is being investigated by the Ombudsman and the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee over allegations that he is harboring ill-gotten wealth from the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II and Makati Science High School and has been involved in an allegedly anomalous land deal between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Alphaland.
The Court of Appeals (CA) issued last May a decision granting the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) petition to freeze the 242 bank accounts, including those belonging to Binay’s family and allies.
Binay, meanwhile, said the underspending of the government is deliberate to ensure that the administration’s bets will have the edge in the 2016 presidential elections.
“That is the rule of the government, to underspend and pour it all in the coming elections,” Binay said over a radio interview.
During the interview, Binay also took a swipe on Budget Secretary Florencio Abad for not giving priority to education programs but has instead favored administration leaders and close friends including the junket in ITLOS in the Hague.
Binay, who was the key speaker during the 69th Annual Representative Assembly of Negros Occidental Teachers Federation in Bacolod, said the funds that should have been used for education were used to “bribe politicians to get rid of their political enemies.”
“The money was spent to fund programs of their favorite leaders and friends including the junket for ITLOS in Hague. Only three made the oral arguments but over 35 high-ranking officials were sent on business class tickets and first-class accommodation. They are using the fund for politicking,” Binay said.
The vice president was referring to the delegation the government sent to The Hague to argue its case against China over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
Binay also hit the Conditional Cash Transfer program.
Binay said that according to a report by the Asian Development Bank, 30 percent of its beneficiaries are not poor.
The Vice President promised to institute reforms in the education system should he become president and pattern it after the “Makati model where elementary schooling is not only free. The pupils are also given free uniforms and supplemental nutrition. High school education is also free and tertiary education is subsidized at the University of Makati.”
Binay also promised to increase teachers’ salary to grade 19 which is equivalent to around P33,000.00
“We will be transparent in all our activities through careful planning, spending and meticulous execution. We will not declare savings mid-year and divert the so-called savings to demonize political enemies. We will not ask for a huge budget and then underspend and pass off clear sloppy budgeting as budget reform and fiscal prudence.”