OPPOSITION United Nationalist Alliance standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday said his bitter rival Manuel Roxas II of the ruling Liberal Party simply did not want a better life for the poor.
“Mr. Roxas is against a better life for the poor. He doesn’t want to give the poor free health care, quality education, and decent jobs,” Binay said. “He does not want to give the poor the dignity they deserve.”
Binay was reacting to Roxas’ criticism that Binay should “not to do for the country what he did in Makati.” Roxas was referring to the corruption allegedly committed by Binay when he was mayor of Makati City.
The Vice President said the programs he pioneered as Makati mayor has drastically reduced poverty.
Hitting back, Binay said Roxas could not boast of anything concrete that he had done good for the poor.
In contrast, Binay said Makati residents are healthier, have greater access to education, and enjoy a quality of life previously enjoyed only by affluent residents.
“We were the first to have a health program where the poor are treated for free. We were the first to give public school students free books, bags, and school supplies. We were the first to have a college education program that guarantees employment after graduation. We were the first to honor our senior citizens.
“That is our record in Makati and we will stand by our record. We ask Mr. Roxas to also present his track record in improving the lives of the poor,” Binay dared.
Binay said Roxas should let the voters judge him based on his track record as secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
“Our country needs a decisive leader who has proven executive ability and compassion for the poor. Voters should judge all candidates based on performance and track record as executives. What have they already done for the poor?” Binay said.
Among the presidential candidates, the Vice President said only he understands what the poor need as he himself grew up poor.
“Unless you yourself have gone through poverty, you will never understand what the poor need. That is why all the programs we started in Makati were anchored on poverty reduction and empowering the poor. This is our plan for the country,” he said.