Enemies no more?
Vice President Leni Robredo thinks that former Vice President Jejomar Binay and Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, two politicians who have not been the best of friends during the pre-Duterte era, being part of her senate slate is an “achievement” for a “divisive” country like the Philippines.
Robredo made the statement after she announced the 11 names, which included political rivals Binay and Trillanes, who will form her “diverse” senatorial slate as she aims for the presidency in the 2022 elections.
In a press briefing on Friday, October 15, the Vice President did not specify if Binay and Trillanes are now on good terms but said the two of them joining one slate is already an achievement.
“Masyadong divisive na iyong bansa natin. Ang dami nating problemang hinaharap, na hindi magandang approach na tayo-tayo iyong mga nagbabangayan kasi pare-pareho naman iyong pinaglalaban natin (Our country has become very divisive. We are facing many problems and it won’t be good if we will fight one another when we have the same goal),” Robredo said.
“Totoong nagkaroon ng mga hidwaan in the past pero the mere fact na lahat ready to work together, tingin ko napakalaking achievement na noon (It’s true that we had conflict in the past but the mere fact that everyone is willing to work together is already a big achievement),” she added.
Before the current administration, former Vice President Binay has not been exactly friends with the Liberal Party which Robredo chairs. Trillanes, meanwhile, conducted a long-running Senate probe on alleged irregularities committed by Binay and his family in Makati City that seriously affected his campaign for the presidency in 2016.
Trillanes was among the many personalities who accused Binay of alleged overpriced Makati City Hall 2 parking building when the latter was the mayor of the city. Binay was accused of allegedly receiving kickbacks from contractors and amassing unexplained wealth.
The allegations were the subject of 25 Senate hearings which lasted from August 2014 to January 2016.
In a statement, Trillanes thanked Vice President Robredo for including him in her Senate slate. He said his party Magdalo respects the results of the selection process.
Binay likewise thanked his successor for including him as a guest candidate. He said in a statement that rebuilding the country will be difficult if people will not unite.
“We need to build the broadest unity possible for our children, grandchildren, and future generations,” the former Vice President said.
“Maraming paraan para umahon sa pandemya, muling ibangon ang ekonomiya ng bansa, at pagandahin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino. Ngunit hindi natin ito magagawa kung tayo ay magkakahiwalay. Kailangan nating magsama-sama (There are many ways to overcome the pandemic, revive the economy, and improve the lives of the Filipinos. However, we cannot do this if we are separated. We need to unite),” he added.
“Iba’t iba man ang kulay, nagkakaisa naman tayo sa hangarin (We may be of different colors, but we share the same objectives),” he continued.