Panelo to former VP Binay: Stop baseless attacks vs gov’t as if you did something when in power

Published March 24, 2021, 12:11 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay is starting to get on the nerves of a Palace official after criticizing the government’s alleged bungled pandemic response.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo

Chief Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo recently told Binay to stop hurling baseless accusations against the government as if he had done something when he was vice president.

Binay earlier alleged the government refused to call the latest two-week “bubble” in National Capital Region and four nearby provinces “lockdown” since it would supposedly be an admission of its “failure, neglect, and incompetence.” The former vice president also reminded the government to “stop blaming the people” over the country’s latest surge in coronavirus cases.

Panelo however hit back at Binay, alleging he was criticizing the government to advance his potential electoral bid next year.

“Kung tatakbo kang senador o anumang national position, eh wag mo dadaanin sa banat sa goberyno ng walang batayan (If you will run for senator or any national position, don’t go through it by attacking the government without basis),” Panelo said during his Counterpoint program Tuesday, March 23.

“Wala ka na ngang tulong na nagagawa sa pamahalaan binabanatan mo pa as if mayroon kang nagawa. Ikaw naman. Huwag naman ganyan (You’ve done nothing to help the government and yet you attack it as if you’ve done something. Don’t be like that),” he said.

Instead of criticizing the government, Binay should update the public what he accomplished when he was vice president, according to Panelo.

He said the former vice president should likewise consider giving the status of the cases related to corruption allegations. Panelo said he was unsure if these cases were pending or already dismissed.

“Mabuti pa, mga pahayag mo, sabihin mo sa amin kung ano naman nagawa mo nung bise president, noong ikaw ang mayor ng Makati at kung ano nangyari sa mga kaso mo, ng mga katiwalian diyan sa Ombudsman (It would be better if you tells us what you did when you were vice president, when you were mayor of Makati and what happened to the cases of corruption filed at the Ombudsman),” he said.

Panelo also informed Binay that the general community quarantine (GCQ) declared in Metro Manila and four provinces was not a lockdown since the economy remained open. He said additional movement restrictions were put in place to help stem the country’s surge in coronavirus cases.

Panelo also explained that a lockdown meant people would be required to stay indoors, similar to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) first implemented by the government to curb the outbreak last year

“Pag sinabi mong lockdown, Jojo, for your education, hindi na tayo makakalabas ng bahay, karamihan sa atin malaban doon sa essential (If you say lockdown, Jojo, for your education, we won’t be allowed to leave our houses, most of us except for essential activities),” he said.

“And even assuming na pinangalanan natin na lockdown (we named it lockdown), so what of it naman? What is important is ano ba ang pinapatupad mo sa ilalim ng lockdown o sa bubble, di ba. Ito ba ay makakatulong o hindi. Huwag mo sabihin na makakatulong (What is important the measures under the lockdown or bubble. Are these helpful or not? Don’t tell me these won’t help),” he added.

From March 22 to April 2, 2021, the government has placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under GCQ with additional restrictions to address the rising cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Among the restrictions are the prohibition on mass gatherings, non-essential travel, and indoor dining in restaurants. A night-time curfew is also being enforced for two weeks.