Palace slammed for politicking

VICE President Jejomar Binay lashed out at President Benigno Aquino III’s allies on Monday for intimidating political candidates with graft charges.

 He said those charges were frustrating the opposition as he pushed for a moratorium on the filing of corruption cases at least a year before the elections.

In his speech during the National Unity Party’s convention at the Sofitel Hotel, Binay described the Aquino administration’s lack of sympathy for the poor and its selective justice.

Speaker. Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. addresses the National Unity Party’s national convention at the Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City on Monday. Lino Santos

He made his statement even as Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. slammed the administration for its  adversarial stance, vindictiveness and politicking.

“Instead of unifying the country, what is happening is a divided nation and bickering,” Marcos said at the NUP convention.

“They’re still politicking.”

Marcos made his statement even as Manuel Roxas II, the Liberal Party’s presidential candidate, presented the “straight path” as the party’s focus  to members of the NUP.

Roxas highlighted “respect” as the guiding principle that the administration coalition would follow in their continuing partnership with the NUP.

The NUP, the third largest political party, has yet to make a commitment on who to support among the three presidential candidates in the 2016 elections.

House deputy Speaker Roberto Puno, the party chairman, and Bataan Governor Albert Garcia, the party president, said the party had asked its 500-strong members from all over the country not to commit to any presidential or vice presidential candidate until the start of the 2016 election campaign period.

“We would encourage our party mates not to decide this early and wait for the party decision to show we are united,” Garcia said.

Binay said the corruption complaints were being prematurely filed before the Ombudsman and being hastened to elevate it to the Sandiganbayan so that an official could be placed under preventive suspension ahead of the elections.

“To prevent the notion as part of a political propaganda, there should be a moratorium in the filing of cases against political candidates at least one year before the elections,” Binay said.

Binay himself and his son, suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, are facing corruption charges for the allegedly overpriced Makati building II. He said as the election neared, candidates were being charged with many cases before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“They want them suspended so they could not campaign,” he said.

Only Binay, Marcos and Roxas attended the NUP convention but arrived separately, while Senator Grace Poe, the newest Pulse Asia survey leader, snubbed the event.

 Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who ranks fourth in the most recent survey, was not invited since he had repeatedly announced he no longer would seek a higher post.

Marcos said there appeared to be a policy for adversarial form of governance in the current administration.

Binay lamented the poor state of infrastructure in the country and the Aquino administration’s vindictiveness.

He said the administration was doing its best to block his presidential bid in 2016.

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