By Christine F. Herrera | Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:01am
TAGBILARAN City—Day 3 of the campaign period was marred by mudslinging between the administration’s Liberal Party coalition and the oppositionist United Nationalist Alliance with the ruling party creating a snafu in its attempt to hit out at UNA leader, Vice President Jejomar Binay.
LP senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal and LP party whip House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II issued a statement on Thursday and asked the Commission on Elections to audit the Office of the Vice President insinuating that Binay traveled to Italy last year with his entire family using public funds.
UNA campaign manager Rep. Tobias Tiangco countered that before they make a baseless accusation about corruption, the LP spokesmen, including Palace Spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo should come clean and Quimbo should reveal his role in the multibillion Globe Asiatique scandal under his watch as Pag-ibig president.
Binay confirmed his trip but asserted his children funded it as a gift for their parents’ 40th wedding anniversary.” no government funds were used. All disbursements of the Office of the Vice President are subject to audit by the Commission on Audit,” said Binay’s official spokesman.
Two hours later, the LP recalled the press statement, dropping the demand for a COA probe and replacing Madrigal and Gonzales with another LP spokesman Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone as the one who issued the “corrected statement.”
Both LP press statements were titled “LP: UNA getting desperate.”
“Due to a file mix up, wrong file was released. Please disregard the first release. Here’s the updated and corrected version. Thank you.”
Tiangco said that just like Gonzales, Evardone was also a “political butterfly” who was the defender of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo but defected to LP shortly before the May 2010 elections.
He described Madrigal as a “hypocrite” for having exposed the alleged corruption of Senator Manny Villar in the C5 road scandal and that Madrigal now found herself sharing the stage as team mate of Villar’s wife, Cynthia, also a n LP senatorial bet.
Gonzales said if UNA is raising the issue of public funds being used for personal ends, “they should look no farther than their own backyard.”
He was referring to Binay’s trip.
In turn, Tiangco said the LP spokesmen, Quimbo, Evardone and Palace Spokesman Edwin Lacierda should verify their information first before they start hitting the Vice President in the LP’s desperate attempt to pin corruption on Binay.
“Who are these spokesmen? They better have taintless name and high moral high ground before they dare make such an accusation,” Tiangco said.
He said Quimbo, who was recently named spokesman, must see to it that he had nothing to do with the real estate scam perpetrated by businessman and fugitive Delfin Lee that duped thousands of Filipinos into buying “ghost houses.”
“LP president-on-leave Mar Roxas II should make sure to capture Delfin Lee so he should unmask his conspirators in Pag-Ibig. Roxas’ party mate Quimbo should make public what really happened in the multibillion scam because he was the Pag-ibig president when the scam had victimized thousands of Filipinos,” Tiangco said.
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