Senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr

Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Vice President Jejomar Binay remained coy on the issue of his running mate for the 2016 elections, but when asked whether he was considering Senator Bongbong Marcos as his vice president, the former human rights lawyer declared it was time to move on from questions about the Marcos human rights record.

Asked whether he was open to having either Senator Marcos or Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as his candidate for vice-president, Binay said that would have to remain, for now, a “secret”.

He did add, however, “kino-consider natin part of the constitution of our selection committee si Senator Bongbong (If ever, we will consider Senator Bongbong as part of the constitution of our selection committee).”

In reply to the question of whether he was looking for a commitment to human rights in his running-mate, he said, “Depende ‘yan sa panahon, eh (It depends on the times).”

“Pero alam mo, eh … we have to move on (But you know, we have to move on). In fact, I want to reiterate what I have been saying. I want to be known na, under my administration, we have a unifying and healing administration. Enough of this. Let’s move on. So hindi issue ang human rights (So human rights is not an issue). That’s not even applicable. Si Bongbong, iba naman si President Marcos. Tapos na ‘yun (Bongbong and President Marcos are different people. It’s over),” he said.

Binay was then asked whether he believed the human rights violations attributed to the Marcos dictatorship should no longer be revisited, and whether the Marcos family no longer needed to acknowledge these.

“The debacle is already from the past. ‘Yung nilabanan natin sa human rights, wala na ‘yun, supposed to be Martial Law, pero wala nang Martial Law eh (The human rights that we fought for, it’s history. Those were supposed to have happened under Martial Law, but Martial Law is no more),” Binay said.

He did acknowledge that human rights violations continue to be committed today, including the enforced disappearance and murder of “critics”.

“If you talk about human rights, I will condemn and I’ll see to it that there will be no human rights violations,” Binay said. “[These kinds of] human rights violations, I’ll be all-out against it.”

Asked whether he was considering Duterte, who is being linked to alleged extrajudicial executions of criminals and drug lords supposedly under his orders in Davao City, Binay said, “No, you are assuming that we are considering him.”

“I haven’t heard that he was running for vice president,” he said. “Kasi ang sabi naman ni Mayor Duterte, ‘President or nothing’ (Because Mayor Duterte said, ‘President or nothing’).” (MNS)