MANILA, Philippines – In reaction to Vice President Jejomar Binay’s withdrawal from a scheduled debate, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said that the former has tainted the honour of the Philippine Marines and no longer deserves the uniform.
The Vice President – who is a colonel in the Marine Reserves – made the announcement that he was backing out of the debate with the Senator after he shared a “boodle fight” meal with the Marines yesterday, November 11, in celebration of his 72nd birthday.
“Nakakahiya na doon pa niya ginawa sa headquarters ng Marines. Kasi ang mga Marines hindi umaatras e. So dapat e bawiin ng Marines ang uniporme niya (It is shameful that he had to do that in the Marines’ headquarters. The Marines never retreat. As such, the Marines should take his uniform back),” Trillanes said, in reference to Binay’s announcement.
Trillanes, a former naval officer, with the rank of Lieutenant Senior Grade, said that he was not quite surprised that Binay chose to back out.
“In a way, we expected this. In the past, we saw that he doesn’t have one word. We cannot trust him. I hope Filipinos see what he really is,” said Trillanes.
“It shows lack of character, untrustworthiness of the Vice President, and the lack of any intention to face the people regarding the allegations brought up against him,” he added.
However, the Senator said that he will continue with his preparations for the debate, on the chance that Binay changes his mind and decides to take him on.
“Malay mo, kakasuot niya ng Marine fatigue uniform e madampian siya ng konting katapangan, magkakaharap kami din in the future (You never know, as he keeps wearing the Marine fatigue uniform, some courage might just come upon him, and we may face each other in the future.),” he said.
Trillanes said that although Binay is a lawyer, he is in possession of enough evidence against the Vice President, and that the truth would be his weapon in winning the debate.
Binay, who served as Makati City mayor for three terms before being voted into the vice presidency, has been accused by former Makati City officials of corruption and amassing personal wealth from public coffers. Initial allegations include the gross overpricing of city projects and buildings, and the receipt of kickbacks from multi-million infrastructure projects
Charges have since grown to include alleged possession, through dummy-owners, of an 8,877-square-meter real estate property in Comembo village, Makati, and a 350-hectare agricultural farm in Rosario town, Batangas province.