PRESUMPTIVE President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday he does not intend to run after Vice President Jejomar Binay who is being accused of graft charges over the allegedly questionable purchases during his tenure as mayor of Makati.
“The vice president called up, greeted me and said congratulations,” Duterte said.
“And I said Thank you. I then mentioned that he had not problems with me. I am not the only one who enforces the law. I will not go around finding faults. I would rather spend my time looking for solutions.”
Duterte’s recent statements, however, ran counter with his political party’s earlier statement that it intended to send Binay to jail.
After Davao City Mayor Duterte landed in the top spot in the preferential polls against the other contenders including Binay—the former front runner—Binay stepped up his attacks on Duterte in April, saying the criminals who were “either killed or sent to jail in Davao City all came from the ranks of the poor.”
“Binay would in all likelihood be the first big fish to be sent to jail with the preponderance of evidence of corruption against him during his stint as Makati mayor for more than 20 years,” Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, the president of PDP-Laban, Duterte’s political party, said in statement.
Pimentel said a Duterte administration would spare no one regardless of social status or political affiliation in a relentless campaign against crime and corruption.
The Office of the Ombudsman is expected to file criminal cases against Binay over the alleged overpricing of Makati City Hall Building II when his immunity from suit expires after he steps down from office next month.
In his campaign sorties, Duterte promised that, if elected, he would release former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from detention.
“I will release her. Why? Because the evidence [against her] is weak. I know that. I am a lawyer,” Duterte said in Pampanga in February this year.
His top aide, Christopher Go, said Duterte would not follow in the footsteps of President Benigno Aquino III, who has been described as vindictive against his political rivals.
Duterte has offered his hand of reconciliation with his opponents, saying the time has come for healing.
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