By Raïssa Robles
Over two weeks ago when I posted my piece entitled Binay told me in 2010 he had bought – not leased – the land for his piggery, Vice President Jejomar Binay and/or his political advisers chose to ignore it.
However, some eagled-eyed Senate officials apparently saw it, which is the only reason I can give for why they subpoenaed me to explain the story to the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee hearing on October 30.
After I testified, no less than Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla – VP Binay’s “spokesman for political concerns” -suddenly issued the following reaction:
I have three questions for Remulla:
1, Why did it take more than two weeks for the Vice President and his advisers to react to my story?
2, Before I wrote the story I called another Binay spokesperson, Joey Salgado, to ask for the Vice President’s side. He did not give me the explanation that Remulla is now giving.
3, Why is it that NOWHERE in the one hour interview that I conducted with Binay in 2010 did the Vice President give the explanation that Remulla is now venturing
Don’t take my word for it – see for yourself. I am posting at the end of this piece the ENTIRE interview for all to listen.
The corruption probe of VP Binay reminds me of a line from Robert Frost, one of my favorite poets. Frost wrote:
“We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows.”
I believe one of the keys to unlocking the secret is my taped interview with VP Binay on June 29, 2010. The VP mentioned no Agrifortuna. I had asked him about his PERSONAL PROPERTY and we were clearly talking about PERSONAL PROPERTY.
Remulla ended his statement with this admonition:
“I think we need to be reminded that before jumping to hasty conclusions, even journalists need a clear grasp of all the facts.”
While I appreciate Remulla’s no-doubt sincere attempt to hold forth about a profession he doesn’t practice, let me give my own caution: I think we need to be reminded that before we listen to the cobbled together excuses of spin doctors we need to get a clear grasp of the facts.
In particular I’d like to point out how Remulla issued a statement a week ago that was the complete opposite of the truth. Remulla claimed that during VP Binay’s recent meeting with President Benigno Aquino, the latter had asked the VP how he could help amid “all the lies and baseless accusations” against the VP and his wife.
But in fact, President Aquino himself said:
“I didn’t offer to help.”
Perhaps Governor Jonvic did not like the fact that President Aquino told me during the FOCAP forum that Remulla got the details of VP Binay’s meeting with Aquino wrong. I guess Remulla never thought that Aquino would be so blunt.
In the case of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, its Sub-Committee was particularly interested in two sections of my interview, which lasted all of one hour, 26 minutes and 15 seconds.
Here is the transcript of those sections:
At 28:05 minutes
Raissa: So okay, are people – do you think when you talk to people yung ordinary people do you think they tell you want you want to hear or they tell you what they really feel?
VP Binay: It’s an open dialogue. I came from that point.
Raissa: I came –
VP Binay: I came from that sector and I can speak and feel – kung ano talaga yung buhay sa lupa. So that’s what I will say, I’ve been fortunate that I grew up the hard way. So alam ko kung ano yung hirap dahil nasa como ako mahirap.
Raissa: So parang you not only have empathy, you’ve lived their life.
VP Binay: Oo naman eh kasi when I was with my uncle he wakes me up at 5 o clock. magwawalis ka na sa paligid ilalabas mo na yung mga manok, tapos ng almusal, mamamalengke tapos makapamalengke, maglalaba. Pagtapos maglaba, mag-aaral na for my class is-
Raissa: Kayo yung naglalaba?
VP Binay: Oo naman ako ung naglalaba. Hindi naman ako ipaglalaba ng mga katulong. Nakakatuwa yung buhay sa tiyo ko, Sa oras ng pagkain, kasama ko yung pamilya ng tiyo ko. After eating you become part already of (inaudible) gagawa ng kaning baboy
Raissa: Totoo yan sir ha?
VP Binay: Iniisip mo bang gumagawa ako ng istorya?
Raissa: Hindi kasi eh. Yung kay Villar, e.
VP Binay: Eh di ipagtanong mo dun sa kilala (inaudible) ng kaning baboy
Raissa: And then you sell that?
VP Binay: No, mahilig kasi mag alaga yung tiyo ko ng mga hayop. Meron kaming mga baboy or mga kambing. Pero marami siyang manok pang sabong
Raissa: So baboy, kambing, manok at saka pang sabong. Kayo sir, now? do you own– for cockfighting?
VP Binay: Uhh mga pang cock fight, di naman ako pumupunta sa cockfight.
Raissa: Kayo Sir, but you own…
VP Binay: Saka natutuwa lang ako makita yung iba ibang kulay. (inaudible) Number two, e lumilinis ang kapaligiran kapag may mga mano (inaudible)
Raissa: Ilan sir ang manok nyo – for cock fight?
VP Binay: (inaudible) Sila namamahala dun. Nakalagay lang dun sa lugar (inaudible)
Raissa: So hindi nyo alam sir kung how many?
VP Binay: Hindi ako familiar doon. Basta it’s more than a hundred.
Raissa: And these are from US? Or Australia?
VP Binay: Yun yatang breed nun eh galing sa states. Meron pa sa Australia , (inaudible) natin sa Australia, basically
Raissa: Sa US.
VP Binay: Sa US yon.
* * *
At 39:54 minutes
Raissa : Ah, There’s another thing that I need to ask you, sir. Um, lumabas – may nilabas na extensive report tungkol sa inyo ang Newsbreak. I think that was 2001. But according to them, sinagot niyo naman yung mga, yung mga allegations doon. What I want to ask you is – How many houses, condos, properties do you own?
VP Binay:Tipo lang ni Monsod ang nagsasabi niyan.
Raissa: Hindi , hindi. I don’t care about Monsod, Sir.
Binay:Kasi inulit na naman yung charges na yan. Condos, bahay.
Raissa: Hindi, pero, is it, is it – I mean, ok. Personally, I mean , kung anuhin nyo yung family, how many do you own? Houses –
Binay:Yung bahay namin at saka yung bahay namin sa Batangas (inaudible).
Raissa: Wala nang condo –
Binay:Condo, dati yung anak ko nakatira sa condo. Ngayon nakatira sa bahay. ..(garbled)
Raissa: Ngayon sa bahay na lang.
Binay: O may bahay na siya. Meron syang bahay na (inaudible). Siya na lang wala dito sa bahay namin.
Raissa: Ah, Ok.
Binay:Lahat ng anak ko, at saka yung apo ko, second apo ko kay Abigail, yun lang ang wala dito.
Raissa: Sir, yung Batangas is how many hectares?
Binay:Meron akong isang babuyan doon. (garbled)
Raissa: Mga 10 hectares? Eleven?
Raissa: Mga around 10 hectares. Namana nyo yoon?
Raissa: Aaah. Ok.
Raissa: Ten –
Binay:Mga 3 sentimos lang yata yon. 30 pesos.
Raissa: Thirty – pesos per –
Binay:Per square meter…
And here is the entire recorded interview: