A stalwart of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) said today Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s attempt to link Vice President Jejomar Binay to a supposed coup plot against the Arroyo administration in 2007 is another ploy to bring down the credibility of the former Makati City mayor.
NPC Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian said he has known VP Binay to be a constitutionalist which is the reason why even during the darkest days of Martial Law, the former human rights lawyer did not advocate armed struggle as a means to overthrow of the dictatorship.
Gatchalian said he doesn’t believe VP Binay actively supported the supposed 2007 coup plot against GMA despite the fact that the Arroyo administration almost succeeded in unseating him as mayor of Makati City over some trumped-up graft charges filed in the Sandiganbayan.
“VP Binay is known as a street parliamentarian and a fighter for the poor and the oppressed as seen in his track record during the Martial Law and the events leading to the largely peaceful Edsa People Power Uprising,” Gatchalian said.
“The only time he was seen holding a firearm was during the series of coup attempts against the Cory Aquino government which the former Makati City mayor defended since it was the right thing to do in so far as the Constitution is concerned,” he added.
Gatchalian recalled that it was VP Binay’s opposition to then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and his being the campaign manager of presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. in 2004, which catapulted the former local executive to national politics.
“From a humble city mayor, VP Binay’s track record as anti-GMA and FPJ supporter gained him entry to national consciousness and eventually catapulting him to the vice presidency. His being an oppositionist has actually endeared him to the millions of Filipinos who voted for him in 2010,” said Gatchalian, a congressman from Valenzuela City.
Gatchalian also defended Binay’s decision to back out of his scheduled debate with Senator Trillanes as the NPC congressman believes that the vice president will not gain anything from arguing in public with the former Magdalo leader who is now linking him to a supposed 2007 coup against President Arroyo.
Gatchalian said even former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, a close ally of Binay, cautioned the vice president against pushing through with the debate with Sen. Trillanes since he will not get anything from the media event.
“If ever VP Binay will enter into a debate, it should be with a fellow presidential candidate who is his co-equal and such debate should focus on track record in government and platform of governance,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian maintained that despite the multitude of negative attacks against the vice president, Binay remains as the presidential frontrunner and a formidable candidate in 2016.
“As I have been saying, it will be the Filipino people who will be the ultimate judge on whether VP Binay will be the next president of the Republic. And the ultimate survey will be held on election day of 2016,” Gatchalian concluded.(Monica Cantilero)