LANAO DEL NORTE, Philippines – What is Vice President Jejomar Binay's advice to people approached by voter-buyers? Take the money, but vote for your choice.
The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer made the statement at a campaign sortie in Iligan City on Monday, February 22.
“If you are handed money in the coming days, and I am sure they (politicians) will [do this], take the money, put in your pocket, and then vote for who you want, especially the likes of Binay and Honasan,” the Vice President said.
Binay said that the people should not be ashamed to take the money because it is "their money" in the first place, broadly hinting that the illicit act will be carried out by administration candidates.
“You sacrificed for it, because the government did not spend it,” he said.
The Binay camp had earlier accused the administration of intentionally underspending to beef up the campaign funds of the administration coalition, which the latter had denied.
Binay again lambasted the government for underspending. “The government is not in the business of savings. It must spend,” he said. (READ: Binay to Pangasinan: 'I will be a spending executive')
No to inexperience, incompetence
The UNA candidate then took indirect swipes at two of his rivals, administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, and poll front runner Senator Grace Poe – again, without naming anyone.
Binay urged voters not to choose those who have no experience in government and even those who held Cabinet positions but "failed miserably."
He said the presidency is not an "on-the-job training."
Poe is the least experienced among the presidential aspirants. She entered government service in October 2010, when she was appointed chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board; followed by her stint at the Senate starting 2013.
Binay had earlier criticized Roxas for his "incompetence" as transportation chief and interior secretary.
He said voters should, instead, choose him, and repeated his narrative of knowing how to help the poor as he was poor himself. (READ: Cinderella Man)
“I am from the poor. What we need is a servant leader,” Binay said.
The Vice President also promised voters that his presidency would pave the way for elusive peace in MIndanao. “Peace will come to Mindanao if we will win. If there is peace, life will prosper for each Filipino,” Binay said.
Binay continued his tirades against other presidential candidates a day after the first presidential debate in Cagayan de Oro City, where he ranked last based on polls conducted by Rappler. (READ: Rappler polls: Duterte consistent winner, Binay consistent loser)
Analysts also viewed his performance at the Cagayan de Oro debate as "lackluster," though his camp believed he performed well.
Binay was accompanied in Iligan City by his running mate, Senator Gregorio Honasan, and senatorial candidates Rey Langit, Alma Moreno, Princess Jacel Kiram, and Getulio Napenas Jr. They also conducted sorties in Opol and Lugait towns in Misamis Oriental. – Rappler.com