MANILA, Philippines–Under a constant onslaught of accusations, allegations, and charges of corruption, the Binay camp has decided that offense is the best defense.
Binay’s political party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), has launched a counter-offensive against Binay’s accusers, in a bid to defray attention from all that is being hurled against the beleaguered Vice President and former Makati Mayor, whose family has controlled the city since 1986.
In what is largely considered a move to divert the public eye away from all the controversial issues surrounding the Binays, UNA interim president Toby Tiangco on Tuesday challenged Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to release a video recording in which Janet Lim-Napoles allegedly accuses Budget Secretary Florencio Abad as the brains behind the pork barrel fund scam.
“Why does Justice Secretary Leila de Lima refuse to release the video of her ‘meeting’ with Janet Lim-Napoles detailing how (Budget) Secretary Butch Abad coached her to set up NGOs and foundations and getting away with murder?” Tiangco said in a statement.
“According to those who prepared Napoles’ affidavit, De Lima would not budge to release the video since it detailed how Napoles was able to penetrate the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and skirt the entire process through the help of ‘contacts’ inside the department,” he added.
Meanwhile, UNA interim secretary general Jose Virgilio “JV” Bautista lambasted Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV; the author of the resolution that set the ball rolling on the issue of the overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II, and the allegations that Binay allegedly received kickabacks for building projects during his time as mayor of the city.
Bautista accused Trillanes of failing to come up with a “convincing and satisfactory explanation” on allegations made at the time of the latter’s court-martial over ten years ago; specifically, the purchase of eight “luxury vehicles” on his junior officer’s income, and failure to include the vehicles in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
“Senator Trillanes styles himself as a moral crusader, but all these years he has evaded the issue of how he was able to afford eight luxury vehicles on his salary in the military and why he did not declare these in his SALN. This is a clear violation of the law,” Bautista said in a statement.
“It’s hard to pretend you’re clean. He’s been saying a lot of things against Vice President Binay but it turns out he is the one who has violated the law and has something big to hide,” he accused.
Binay’s camp has taken to these finger-pointing tactics, even as the Vice President’s popularity ratings continue to take a nose dive. The latest results of the Social Weather Stations survey show that Binay’s public satisfaction rating plummeted 15 points to a net of 52 last month from 67 in June 2014.
“The people are sending the message that they doubt his explanation, or lack of explanation, and are losing their trust in him,” Trillanes said on Monday