The Office of the Vice President (OVP) chided Roxas City Mayor Allan Celino for reportedly harassing vendors and stall owners at the Roxas City Public Market where Vice President Jejomar C. Binay is expected to visit on June 8.

“We cannot comprehend the apparent refusal of the mayor of Roxas City to recognize the fact that the second highest elected official of the country will be visiting. He has even gone to the extent of reportedly threatening vendors and market stall owners should they interact with the Vice President,” Joey Salgado, OVP spokesman, said.

“Such a feudal mindset, where constituents are treated like serfs, has no place in a democracy. Sa panahon lang ‘yan ng mga feudal landlords noong panahon ng Kastila. Sa isang demokrasya ang mga tao ay malayang nag-iisip,” he added.

The OVP earlier described as unfortunate Celino’s refusal to extend to the Vice President the usual courtesies given to visiting national government officials after he did not allow the posting of the customary welcome streamers, citing a city ordinance.

Salgado had advised the mayor to set aside politics and respect the Vice President as second highest elected national official.

“We are reminding the mayor that the Vice President of the Republic is the one visiting his city. Dapat walang pulitika kundi respeto sa halal na lider ng bansa,” he said.

The Vice President will be in the Western Visayas region from June 7-9. In Aklan, Binay will meet with local government officials, senior citizens and representatives of non-governmental organizations of New Washington, Kalibo, Numancia and Nabas.

In Capiz, the Vice President will visit the Roxas City public market, and hold dialogs in Panit-an, Mambusao, Dao and Dumarao. He will also meet public official and sectoral groups in Valderrama, San Jose and Hamtic in Antique.

While in Western Visayas, Binay will lead the medical and dental missions that his office organized in Numancia and Valderrama. He will also visit the scholars of the Vice President Grant-in-Aid Program in the University of Antique and inaugurate senior citizens’ centers funded from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Binay allocated P150 million of his 2011 PDAF for the construction and repair of 300 senior citizens centers nationwide and P10 million for educational assistance to 10 scholars for each of the 109 state colleges and universities in the country.

As chairman of PDP Laban, Binay will swear in new members of the party from the Western Visayas region.

Joining him are United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial bets Mitos Magsaysay and Joey de Venecia, UNA spokesperson Atty. JV Bautista and former Cong. Rodolfo Plaza, UNA deputy spokesperson.