MANILA: He owes what he is today to the Aquino family, so Vice-President Jejomar Binay will never fight President Aquino.
“Other people are saying that the President and I will be fighting. That is next to impossible,” Binay told reporters yesterday in Maguindanao where he led the inauguration of a senior citizens’ building in Datu Odin Sinsuat and a multi-media centre at the Mindanao State University.
His pronouncement came amid mixed signals from Malacañang on Aquino’s plans after the end of his term in 2016.
The President also took a dig yesterday at “early campaigning” for 2016, although he did not name names.
Binay is widely acknowledged as the standard-bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance in the next presidential race.
“I owe what I am today to the Aquino family,” Binay said. “I don’t have any respect for those who do not know how to repay their debt of gratitude, especially those who do not respect their parents.”
He recalled that he was the first local government official appointed by then president Corazon Aquino immediately after the EDSA people power revolution in 1986.
He earlier said he helped secure the Aquino family during several coup attempts against her administration.
Recently, Aquino’s sisters acknowledged Binay’s loyalty to their family.
They were even quoted in news reports as having declared their preference for Binay as successor to their brother.
President Aquino, however, clarified that his sisters had never categorically voiced support for Binay’s presidential bid in 2016.
Aquino was reacting to news reports quoting his sisters Ballsy and Kris as saying that Binay has the capability and integrity to carry on their brother’s achievement.
In an interview with TV5 which aired Sunday night, Aquino said that on learning of the report, he immediately sought his sisters’ explanation through text and was told they had been forced by the media to “say something.”
“Number two, the gist of what they said seemed to be, ‘If he will continue what our brother started, thank you, or beautiful,’ which is not exactly the same as ‘you will be the one to continue.’ They were asked to react,” Aquino said.
Early this month, Binay said he received feelers from the ruling Liberal Party that he was being considered as its guest candidate in the 2016 elections.
The Philippine star