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Vice President Jejomar C. Binay

VP Binay: Avoid All-out War

MANILA, Philippines – Amidst public outcry over the Mamasapano incident, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Thursday said an all-out war must be avoided.
Binay also stressed that any peace agreement should be in consonance with existing laws, particularly the Constitution.
“I am hoping and praying that we can have lasting peace. Ang giyera, kailangan iwasan. Pagka-giyera, may namamatay. Pero, it must be peace with justice. Basta’t tama lang. At saka ‘yong magiging kasunduan ay in consonance with our laws, particularly the Constitution,” Binay said in an interview at the sidelines of the Pag-IBIG I Do, I Do mass wedding in Mandaue.
The Vice President also reiterated his call to form an independent fact-finding commission to investigate the incident to dispel all doubts that the investigations are merely a “cover-up”.
“Ang dami-dami kasing mag-iimbestiga eh. Walo yata. Sana, ito sinasabi ko noon, sana magkaroon ng independent commission. Para walang suspetsa. Eh ngayon, habang nanonood ka, mayroon na ulit kanya-kanyang mga tingin na, ‘wow, hinaharang,’ ‘ayaw palabasin’,” he said.
Binay also rejected calls for President Benigno Aquino III to resign.
“Ayoko naman. You know, I am the vice president. Alam n’yo naman na magka-candidate ako [for presidency in 2016]. Let us just wait. I am hoping and praying that the President will overcome this problem very soon,” he said.
The Vice President also supported bids to raise the hazard pay of police officers in light of the incident, but said the decision is up to the President.
Binay handed P20,000 cash benefits from Pag-IBIG to the families of slain Special Action Force troopers PO1 Windel Candano and PO1 Romeo Cempron, both from Cebu, after the mass wedding.

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay

The cash benefit came from the accumulated savings and dividends of the deceased in Pag-IBIG, along with their death benefits.
As chair of the government housing sector, Binay also said they are studying the possibility of providing housing and other benefits for families of the SAF members killed and injured in action.
The Makati City government has set aside P100,000 for families of the Fallen 44 which it will start distributing next week.
Last Sunday, the Vice President joined Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and Senator Nancy Binay in distributing P100,000 cash assistance to 15 SAF troopers wounded in the January 25 encounter.
The dependents of the Fallen 44 and the 15 survivors were also offered scholarships at the University of Makati (UMak).

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.