VICE President Jejomar Binay was booed by spectators at the grandstand of the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) during the Sinulog 2016 grand parade on Sunday, January 17.
Binay, presidential bet of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in the May elections, arrived at the CCSC past 9 a.m., before the end of the mass.
He was accompanied by his runningmate Senator Gregorio Honasan and UNA senatorial candidates Alma Moreno, Princess Kiram and lawyer Harry Roque. The vice president’s son, suspended Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay, was also present.
Binay was allowed to speak Sunday, after suspended Mayor Michael Rama’s declaration of the opening of the Mega Sinulog 2016 grand parade. Rama is the chairperson of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI).
When he was acknowledged by Rama, some of the crowd, particularly those on the green and yellow bleachers of the grandstand (right side facing the stage) booed Binay. It immediately died down when the vice president spoke.
Binay, in his very brief message, only said good morning to the spectators, and greeted them, “Viva! Pit Señor!”
But the crowd again booed the Vice President.
The booing was audible enough that people occupying the spaces below the grandstand heard it.
When the incident happened, the green and yellow bleachers were not yet fully occupied.
The green bleachers can usually accommodate 1,700 spectators, the SFI said (based on tickets prepared annually for the Sinulog), while the yellow bleachers can accommodate 2,200 people. The grandstand’s full capacity is at 15,000.
After Binay’s message, his group proceeded to the media room at the sports center for breakfast.
The Vice President did not grant any request for a press conference from the media, saying he only came to join the Sinulog. He left CCSC after several minutes.
Did not hear
The mayor, when asked about the booing incident, said he did not hear the jeers from the crowd on the stage.
He criticized those who did it.
Rama, who is the Central Visayas (Region 7) coordinator of the UNA, said the occasion, which honors the Sto. Niño, should have been respected.
The incident, he added, should not create an impression or generalization from other Sinulog revelers that Cebuanos are disrespectful.
“There are only few who have no manners. So don’t bring the whole, because we are people imbued with teachings of good manners and right conduct,” he said.
Rama said he is not surprised anymore why some people booed Binay, saying that some even had him suspended.
He is currently serving a 60-day preventive suspension from the Office of the President for demolishing the median structure or center island in Barangay Labangon.
Binay’s camp criticized those who booed the vice president during his short speech.
Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) media affairs, said Binay has been attending Sinulog since 2010 and his presence Sunday is nothing new.
“We have received a report that it came from LP (Liberal Party) supporters. If this is true, it’s just unfortunate that they behaved the way they did. But we understand where they were coming from,” Salgado said.
“But if they did not respect the vice president, they should have respected the occasion,” Salgado added.