VP Binay claims Mar Roxas has links to corruption
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Sunday contested administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II's supposed corruption-free record.
During the second of the presidential debates in Cebu City, Binay said millions of Filipinos remained trapped in poverty because corruption persisted under the Aquino administration.
"Milyon-milyon pa po, Mr. Roxas, ang naghihirap. Huwag niyong sabihin na maganda na ang nagawa ninyo... madami ho ang mahirap kasi laganap ang corruption kasi ang mga kaalyado niyo nagnanakaw... Hindi nahahabla," said Binay, himself accused of amassing ill gotten wealth during his stint as Makati City mayor.
Roxas replied that perceived corrupt officials, including Binay's son dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay, will be tried fairly under the law.
Junjun Binay faces corruption charges over irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2, which the Commission on Audit detailed in a special audit report.
"Lahat po iyan, kung dapat kasuhan, kinakasuhan. Makikita po ninyo ang record ng Sandiganbayan, dyan po may kaso ang inyong pamilya. Sa Sandiganbayan, makikita po nila, Liberal Party, non-Liberal Party, basta't may ebidensya, kakasuhan ka at diyan huhusgahan ka kung guilty o not guilty, " Roxas countered.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte then interjected himself into the argument and dared Binay to name Roxas' alleged cohort in corruption.
The vice president tagged businessman Eric Gutierrez, whose mining firm SR Metals, Inc. was allegedly involved in the illegal shipment of nickel ore worth P28 billion.
Roxas had admitted that he and Gutierrez were friends, and that he used the businessman's private aircraft for his campaign.
Binay also brought up Roxas' alleged failure to address problems with the Metro Rail Transit and his alleged involvement in questionable transactions.
"Masarap pong pakinggan ang sinasabi ni Mr. Roxas (na) ;pag ako ang pangulo ganito ang gagawin ko. Ito panahon ng mga pangako, magaganda ang sasabihin kaya lang may kapabilidad ba na magiging mabilis at mangyayari ba? E si Mr. Roxas guilty of analysis of paralysis. He can never make a decision," the Vice President said.
Roxas replied he is indeed slow and even does not move when it comes to corruption and he does not take people's money.
"Talaga pong mabagal akong gumalaw at hindi ako gumagalaw pag pagnanakaw ang pinag uusapan. Hindi po ako nagnanakaw," he said.
But Binay said former MRT general manager Al Vitangcol tagged Roxas in the MRT mess, which the latter denied.
The Vice President took the opportunity to turn the table against Roxas who has been accusing him of corruption.
"Yun naman pala e, tignan mo hindi tutuo, paano bintang ba? O ikaw kung magsalita magnanakaw, nasa bintang din lang. Alam mo Mr. Roxas ikaw talaga ay disipulo ka ni (Joseph) Goebbels. Yun bang 1,000 lies ay ultimately ay maniniwala ang tao na tutuo. Ikaw yun ang disipulo nun," he said.
Roxas, who served as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Transportation and Communications during the present administration, said it is Binay who is a follower of Goebbels.
"Wala pong kinalaman si Mar Roxas sa kahit anong katiwalian na naganap dyan sa MRT na yan. Ang importante ay malaman natin ang katotohanan ay si Mr. Vitangcol ay natanggal sa pwesto dahil tiyo niya ang kabahagi ng mga nagbid dyan sa mga kontrata. Habang siya ay nanungkulan sa MRT," said Roxas. — Virgil Lopez and Amita Legaspi/DVM, GMA News