Forced attendance in Binay’s ‘TSONA’?

By , on August 5, 2015


Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda (Photo from Lacierda's official Facebook page)
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda (Photo from Lacierda’s official Facebook page)

MANILA – With Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay delivering his ‘True’ State of the Nation Address (TSONA) at the Cavite State University (CSU), Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda asked if the student audience of the speech were required to attend.

ABS-CBN reported on Tuesday that Lacierda posted in his Facebook account, a CSU memorandum requiring all junior and senior students to attend a ‘student assembly’ which later on turned out to be Binay’s ‘TSONA.’

“President Divinia Chavez of Cavite State University should perhaps explain why students were required to attend VP’s ‘TSONA,’” Lacierda said.

With Chavez yet to respond to Lacierda’s inquiry, Office of the Vice President head of media affairs Joey Salgado hit back at the Malacañang for already indicating ‘how the administration will use its power to harass and intimidate during the election season.’

“Paalala namin sa Palasyo, tayo ay nasa demokrasya. Hindi dapat nila sinusupil ang malayang palitan ng opinyon lalo na sa ating mga paaralan,” Salgado said.

(Our reminder to the Palace, we are in a democracy. They should not be hindering the free exchange of opinion especially in our schools.)

“Kung hindi nila nagustuhan ang malakas na palakpak ng mga estudyante sa true SONA ng Vice President, huwag nilang daanin sa pananakot. Sagutin na lang nila ang mga sinabi ng Bise Presidente na nakabatay sa katotohanan at araw-araw na nararanasan ng taumbayan, kasama na ang mga estudyante ng CSU,” he added.

(If they did not like to loud applause of the students at the true SONA of the Vice President, they should not use intimidation. Instead, they should answer the claims of the Vice President that are based on truth and are experienced every day by the masses, including the students of CSU.)

Lacierda, for his part, did not find Salgado’s statements as rational.

“Oh, you mean it was such a huge honor for Cavite State University to invite Vice President Binay that the memo failed to mention him as the Honored Guest Speaker and instead just called it a ‘Student Assembly?,’ Lacierda answered back.

“Mr. Salgado, pasensya na po, hindi po mangmang ang mga tao, at mawalang galang na po, palpak na nga po ang ‘TSONA’ ni VP Binay, palpak na naman ang katwiran ninyo,” he added.

(Mr. Salgado, my apologies, the people are not foolish, and with all due respect, VP Binay’s TSONA was futile, as well as your statement.)

Moreover, the Malacañang dismissed Binay’s ‘TSONA’ as the opposite of reality. They also slammed the Vice President for criticizing the administration he applauded for five years.