MANILA, June 25 (PNA) — With barely more than a year before his term ends, President Benigno S. Aquino III said he does not want to be distracted by politics at this point in time, as he is focused on ensuring that the country’s development continues.
In an interview at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City after opening the Livestock Philippines 2015 Expo and Conference on Thursday, the President said he was surprised at Vice President Jejomar Binay’s tirade on Wednesday but said this is not unexpected and that he and his Cabinet will respond to it point by point.
“Either I, or the specific Cabinet secretaries, will also respond to it,” the President said when asked about his response to Vice President Binay’s allegations.
“I have about 370 days or so remaining (in office), ‘yung interes ko ay ma-maximize lahat ng opportunities para sa ating taumbayan, patakbuhin itong bansang ito.”
He noted that unlike those jockeying for political positions in next year’s elections, he does not have the luxury to engage in politics at the moment.
“Ako ay may responsibilidad na pagandahin lalo itong lipunan nating ito, itong bansa nating ito at hindi ako papayag na madi-distract ang atensyon natin sa paghahalo sa usapang pulitika, na palagay ko naman klarong-klaro sa taumbayan kung sino ang nagsasabi ng tama at mali.”
The President said Vice President Binay’s resignation came as a surprise to him.
He said he could not understand why the vice president is attacking him when in fact, he gave the latter every opportunity to prevent him from becoming a “spare tire.”
“Iyong pinagkasunduan namin, ‘yung assignment niya na housing, hinirit niyang idagdag ‘yung OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers), at lahat ito ay ipinagkaloob natin sa kanya, ‘yung pagkakataon na manatili ang kanyang popularity ratings,” he explained.
“Bagama’t hindi natin siya kaalyado ‘nung tumakbo sa eleksyon, bagama’t ‘nung 2013 e nandun siya sa kabilang grupo, hindi natin siya parang pinigilan na magkaroon naman ng pagkakataon na ma-recognize ang kanyang trabaho.”
The Chief Executive further said that he wonders why the vice president has kept his views on improving the country’s conditions to himself, while he was serving as a member of the Cabinet.
“After nang statement niya kahapon, tila marami siyang kinikimkim na mga sekreto para mapaganda ang pagpapatakbo nitong bansang ito. Palagay ko may obligasyon siya bilang miyembro ng Gabinete na ibahagi ito,” he said.
“Pero siguro maganda na rin kapag itatanong ninyo sa akin, ‘Bakit hindi niya ibinahagi?’ e palagay ko siya na lang ang tanungin niyo. Kung may maitutulong ka sa ikakabuti ng taumbayan na pinangakuan nating paglilingkuran, bakit mo naman isinisikreto?”
The President acknowledged that the vice president has been his family’s ally even before the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986, and that he remained supportive of the Cory Aquino government, including during the series of coup attempts that her administration had gone through.
“Ngayon, siguro ganyan talaga ang pulitika sa ating bansa. Baka naman napag-isip siyang hindi siya ang ma-e-endorso natin, so kailangan ipakita niyang hindi niya kailangan ‘yung endorsement o may mas maganda siyang kayang magawa,” the President said. (PNA)