The chief spokesman of President Benigno Aquino III is in a fighting mood again.
After some verbal exchanges with Joey Salgado, spokesman of Vice President Jejomar Binay, over the President’s state of the nation address (Sona) and Binay’s counter-Sona, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda is now picking a fight with Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a candidate for vice president in the 2016 elections.
In a text message to reporters covering Malacanang on Thursday, October 5, Lacierda said the administration has been addressing the alleged “tanim-bala” extortion racket at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
“Unlike Senator Bongbong Marcos who continues to deny the abuses of martial law, corruption, impunity and human rights violation that occurred under the Marcos regime of which he was a part as a government official, the President recognizes that there is a problem,” Lacierda retorted.
Marcos had called on Aquino to fire retired Maj. Gen. Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for allowing the “tanim-bala” scheme within his turf for years, victimizing unsuspecting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and foreign tourists.
“The administration is addressing this issue and taking concrete steps so that the travelers will have peace of mind and no passenger will be subjected to unfair prosecution,” he assured.
Aquino earlier told correspondents of foreign news agencies that the Marcoses have to apologize to the Filipino people for the abuses and human rights violations committed during the martial law period.
Marcos refused to say sorry and instead turned the tables on Aquino whom, he said, should apologize for the death of the 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) during a covert anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25.
In August, Lacierda and Salgado traded barbs using the so-called gay-speak such as “charot”and “chaka” in criticizing their masters’ public speeches on the state of the country’s affairs.