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VP Binay Says He’ll Support P-Noy But Letter Shows Dismay (Retitled, Updated)

June 23, 2010

“Kung ayaw mo, ‘wag mo (If you don’t want to, then don’t).”

Was this, in essence, the message conveyed by Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay to President-elect Noynoy Aquino during the two-hour-long meet the two officials had today at the former’s paternal residence at Times Street in Quezon City?

The former Makati mayor’s press officer, Joey Salgado, said “the VP-elect is no longer expecting to be given a Cabinet assignment and will be content being the Republic’s second highest official.”

If true, Binay’s posture departs from his previously announced preference to be named interior and local governments secretary.

Defeated senatorial candidate and self-styled Binay spokesman J.V. Bautista had previously been saying that his boss deserved to be given “an active role” in the Aquino Cabinet and even accused defeated vice presidential bet (and Noynoy running mate) Mar Roxas was moving behind the scenes “to block Binay’s appointment to a Cabinet post.”

To many, those assertions smacked of seeming arrogance and the protection of ‘entitlement’ notwithstanding the reality that the role of Vice President in the Philippine context is that of being a spare tire.

But last week, President-elect Binay appeared to back off from his spokesman’s strident tone and effusively called Aquino “my President whom I am ready to support.”

Mr. Salgado today reasserted that Mr. Binay himself won a mandate but assured Mr. Aquino “he will give the latter the same level of support he gave President Cory Aquin.”

This is really the way things should be – the Vice President taking the cue from the President and not the other way around.

Methinks the Aquino-Binay one-on-one meeting today should be seen, and understood, in the most positive light ahead of their inaugural.

However, it has now come to light that Mr. Binay wrote Mr. Aquino a letter expressing his dismay over the episode and why he will no longer accept a cabinet post even if one’s offered to him:

We’ll have to closely reflect on the final words here of Mr. Binay:

I repeat that you can sleep soundly with me as your Vice President. In the same way that I respected and loved your mother, you can be assured that I will respect your being President and will treat you as a member of my family. That much I owe to your mother and to the Filipino people.

There is a palpable trace of sarcasm if not scorn in Binay’s words.

These may not augur well for the future.

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