Binay’s dilemma

PerryScope
By Perry Diaz

Jojo Binay and P-Noy

Jojo Binay and P-Noy

The 2016 presidential election has the making of battle for supremacy among the dynastic political families. And whoever wins would preside over a dysfunctional – to say the least — government that is still rocking from the fallout of the pork barrel scam that has brought down some of the most prominent political dynasties. Which makes one wonder where the hell the country is going?

Indeed, never in the history of the Philippines has the political landscape been dominated by characters who don’t have any business running the government. Gone were the days when those running for political office were drawn from the country’s cream of the crop – the best and the finest produced by the country’s educational institutions. To name a few we had Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmena, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Claro M. Recto, Jose P. Laurel, Cornelio Villareal, Camilo Osias, and Quentin Paredes. Trained in the art of statesmanship, they towered above all others.

In today’s crop of politicians, you’d see them running for office not to serve the people but to enrich themselves. The recent scandals involving lawmakers who were accused of stealing from their pork barrel allocations has reduced the government to a criminal enterprise not unlike the La Cosa Nostra in America. The only difference is that the La Cosa Nostra mobsters weren’t elected officials while the politicians were elected to serve the people.

Janet Lim Napoles

Janet Lim Napoles

Given the kind of politicians that we have right now, it makes one wonder if our country will ever get out of the quagmire of corruption? The massive corruption scandal that was unwittingly exposed by a certain Benhur Luy, a cousin of the alleged mastermind of the $10-billion pork barrel scam, Janet Lim Napoles, has put virtually all of the lawmakers suspect of plunder or malversation of public funds. Surmise it to say, what we’re seeing here is just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, it did not surprise anyone when the so-called “Napolist” was released showing the names of 20 senators and more than 120 congressmen. Nowhere in the world did a wholesale corruption of this magnitude ever happen.

"Sexy," "Pogi" and "Tanda"

“Sexy,” “Pogi” and “Tanda”

Yet the legislators are taking it in stride as if everything seems normal and it’s business as usual. Indeed, the recent issuance of arrest warrants against senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Renato “Bong” Revilla Jr. didn’t seem to bother them. Revilla and Estrada surrendered while Enrile sent feelers requesting “hospital detention” due to his advanced age. And by the looks of it, President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III seems to grant the old fox’s wish, which begs the question: Is P-Noy going to do it because of compassion or political expediency? But in politics, showing – nay, demonstrating – “compassion” is just another means to an end; that is, get elected. It is not then uncommon for elected officials to dole out cash or goods to disaster victims, particularly the poor.

Self-promotion

Binay relief goods

Binay relief goods

One of the best practitioners of the “art of compassion” is Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay. As P-Noy’s appointed “Housing Czar,” Binay uses his office to promote his political ambitions. Whenever there is a calamity like flood and earthquake, Binay is there giving out relief goods to the disaster victims. There is nothing wrong with that. But what is questionable is the way he promotes himself by printing his name and title on the goods that are being distributed. The goods are funded by government money, not from Binay’s personal funds.

Promoting one’s self using government money has been around for decades. This is being done through the pork barrel system. Basically, the concept works as follows: Congress appropriates money to lump sum budget items requested by the Executive Branch (Office of the President), which are then allotted to projects benefitting the people. The concept works perfectly up to this point. But what happens next is massive corruption that involves legislators, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from the Office of the President, non-government organizations (NGOs), local government units (LGUs), vendors and contractors, legislative staff who serve as buffers to protect their bosses, and fixers and operators who make sure that the scam works.

For years, the perpetrators kept quiet; that is, they adhered to an Omerta-like unwritten code of silence. Why kill the goose that lays the golden egg? There was enough money skimmed from the pork barrel allocations to keep all the “players “ of the scam happy.

But not all the “players” were happy. The scammers forgot to keep the “runners” happy. So when the scam operation was exposed, these runners blew the whistle on Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged operator of the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

Plunder

Bong Revilla in detention

Bong Revilla in detention

Now that Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla have been charged of plunder, the question that begs to be asked is: Would the graft court Sandiganbayan convict them?

Given the pathetic record of the Sandiganbayan in prosecuting the sequestered Marcos properties, it makes one wonder if the graft court has the temerity to convict “Tanda,” “Pogi” and “Sexy” — Enrile, Revilla, and Estrada, respectively? It is interesting to note that these three stellar members of the Philippine Senate have proven electoral track records and political power, which could play a hand on how the cases against them would progress in the politically charged judicial system.

Having said that, whoever is the next president of the country could influence the outcome of these cases that many believe are politically motivated, which brings to fore the question: If Binay wins, how will his presidency influence the outcome of these high-powered cases? If so, Binay would be faced with a dilemma: where does his loyalty lie? Family ties or political alliance?

Jejomar Binay with Cory Aquino

Jejomar Binay with Cory Aquino

While Binay’s political upbringing has its roots in Cory Aquino’s revolutionary government, his political capital grew out of his strategic alliance with Erap Estrada and Enrile.

Jinggoy, Binay, Erap, and Enrile during 2013 mid-term elections

Jinggoy, Binay, Erap, and Enrile during 2013 mid-term elections

During the 2013 mid-term elections, Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla were known as the “Three Kings.” But they disbanded after the elections when the coalition they formed, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), won only three of the 12 Senate seats. The three are: JV Ejercito Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, and Binay’s daughter Nancy. With his other daughter Mar-Len Abigail Binay serving in the House of Representatives and his son Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr. serving as mayor of Makati City, the Binay dynasty is ready for prime time.

Aquino and Binay

Aquino and Binay

The question is: Is Binay going to sever his family’s umbilical cord to the Aquinos? It is interesting to note that the Aquinos surreptitiously supported the vice presidential candidacy of Binay vs. Mar Roxas, P-Noy’s running mate. That’s the kind of bonding Binay has with the Aquinos, which makes one wonder: Would P-Noy support – secretly – Binay vs. the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer?

At the end of the day, Binay has to make a choice. And this time around, there is no Solomonic solution to Binay’s dilemma.

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)


11 Responses. Have your say.

  1. DoN Rudy Lizardo says:

    THOSE THREE GUYS ARE ALL SMILING…………..
    I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE SMILING FOR……
    HOPE THEY PUT AN END IN THIS COMEDY/DRAMA..
    WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF IT.. THEY ARE SAYING ECONOMY IS DOING GOOD BUT WHO IS BEING BENEFITED..NAKAW DITO/ NAKAW DUON.. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.. ELECTION NA NAMAN SOON AND SAME STORY AGAIN./WHAT IS THAT SAYING AGAIN?
    IT IS FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES? FUN FOR WHAT?
    NAKAW FUN…LOL.

    • Bobby Bagos says:

      They’re smiling because they know our justice system well, really well. Jinggoy’s been on this road before so to him it’s nothing new, these three will just sit it out, go on detention and complain about everything but what the heck, freedom is just around the corner and the price for all of these inconvenience are millions of pesos that they stole from our brain dead kababayans, probably the same bunch of ignorant voters that put these shitheads in power. So in the end, Enrile will probably be enjoying his retirement from government service six feet under or in a special mausoleum with all the perks of a first class hotel, while Revilla and Estrada will be our country’s next president and vice president and our kababayans will endure more plunder and never ending hardship from these sick individual. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about these people anymore.

  2. Makiling says:

    Perry,

    I guess you were not born yet during the presidential times of Marcos, Erap & Gloria, since you had mentioned that the crop of politicians TODAY run for office not to serve the people but to enrich themselves. Was there any change in reason why they run for office? Just to jog your memory,IT HAS NEVER CHANGED! Unfortunately, yesterday’s, today’s and probably tomorrow’s politicians are all and will always be the same.

    • perry says:

      Hi Makiling,

      The culprit here is pork barrel. Pork barrel did not grow exponentially until after the martial law. There was none during the Commonwealth era. Someone once said: “In America people become rich to enter politics. In the Philippines, people enter politics to become rich.”

      Perry

      • Bobby Bagos says:

        I think someone should’ve told these worthless politicians that the pork barrel fund was created for the purpose of improving the quality of life of the people that they represent, not to fill their empty pockets and bank accounts, and what’s even worst was the lack of accountability from the people whose job was to keep track where these funds are going. Of course, it’s almost a certainty that everyone working for the government had their dirty little hands dipping in a cookie jar.

  3. Ado Paglinawan says:

    I will just rattle this off because the situation on the ground is very complicated in contrast to your rather simplistic article.

    Jojo Binay is doomed.

    His intentions for the presidency surfaced too early and unlike Cory Aquino, so to speak, he did not “keep his options open”. Because of that his prospective candidacy is doomed from the start.

    Why? Because in a political atmosphere where corruption is key to being despised by the Filipino constituency, the bevy of his wife’s pending plunder cases awaits him at every corner.

    He is able to maintain his Makati dynasty despite this damocles sword because of the “controlled” political environment he inherited from Nemesio Yabut. I dare say if Yabut did not die in 1986 leaving a vacuum of leadership in that city just as Marcos had just left for Hawaii, there will be no Binay at all.

    He expanded the projects of Yabut in order to gain power and fame for his “entitlement” programs. I know, I was Yabut’s strategic consultant since he was first elected in 1971 to the time of his death. Only Yabut’s oldest son, King could have prevented a Binay ascendancy, but the boy did not challenge him and instead fielded his half-brother Toro Yabut to run for councilor. That became an irreversible error because when Toro had mayoralty ambitions, and his half-brothers Ricky and finally King had theirs, Binay was already well-entrenched.

    Only in Makati do the poor registered voters get free full medical care including hospitalization, labworks and pharmaceuticals and the non-poor are charged nominally according to their income brackets. Seniors have special privileges and go to movies for free and children are guaranteed free education up to a college degree.

    The police is well-equipped and provided for. There is a small sports complex in almost every barangay, that also houses well- staffed barangay councils that are ever-present in their respective territories making sure every in-migrant of voting age are properly identified in their periodic census. Fire and emergency brigades also abound.

    Again to clarify, Binay did not start these programs, he only expanded and added juice to them like a check for P1,000 every six months and a birthday cake at that! He has also issued a blue card for residents so that they become “arrest free” within the city.

    This of course has a powerful appeal to non-Makati resident. In fact, it was even able to propel his obscure daughter to the Senate in 2013, despite her only experience being to count the weekly loot the Binay family gets from the exercise of their elective positions and laundry the filthy money into a foundation.

    The reason for this was her daughter ran for one of 12 available positions in a campaign where name recall and TV advertising counts the most. Even Grace Rianzares was severely way behind the polls when she had not yet added the magical “Poe” identifying her to her adoptive father “Fernando Poe” to her “official nomenclature” as a candidate. And of course, Jojo Binay has all the cash to buy those lucrative TV spots.

    One may argue however that Jejomar Binay won the vice presidency isn’t it not, and unlike running for the Senate that was a one-on-one post.

    Hello? Binay was never elected by the people. He came out with almost P400 million to buy the position when Mar Roxas reneged on his contract with the Comelec operators, thus failing to protect his votes. Mar led by a long mile in 100% of all the pre-election surveys and all exit polls.

    Binay lost the lections but won the count.

    Like BS Aquino who is a digital president, Binay is a digital vice president, courtesy of the Smartmatic and the corrupted automated election system. In fact, there is not a single public official in government today that has not been digitally elected.

    Pending in the Supreme Court today are nullification cases that I have filed or helped file for the 2010 and 2013 elections.

    So Perry, stop this romantic notion that Binay is electable. The dung his wife Elenita acquired when she left the city after her term as mayor ended will haunt him no end.

    Binay does not even have ground troops outside of Alpha Phi Omega and some cities that he has adopted as sister cities of Makati sharing with them some entitlements. His groundswell was just fictionalized in order to apply smoke and mirrors on how he bought his own election.

    But I am willing to concede to you if no one stops Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliantes from reinventing Smartmatic into another automated cheating system for 2016.

    By the way, the recent barangay elections nationwide was conducted manually. Are you aware of any electoral protests? The reason why the power-that-be are addicted to automation is because it has made buying the presidential election a lot easier – you only have to corrupt the person who controls the system and you do not have to do any cheating anymore in more than 100,000 precincts nationwide.

    That disputes your entire article about a dilemma because there is no dilemma. Binay must kiss the ass of BS Aquino who has Brilliantes in his tank, in the same way the village idiot got elected in the first place.
    BS Aquino controls the electoral system.

    Gloria Arroyo cleared Ronnie Puno to giving Pinky Aquino Abellada, Noynoy’s sister, the source code and thus control to the Smartmatic system on May 5, 2010 or five days before the 2010 elections.

    The Arroyos are forever corrupt. Only God knows how much money changed hands, but soonest BS Aquino got proclaimed and sworn into office, he turned his back on Arroyo, propped up plunder cases against her, proceeded to put her behind virtual bars and effectively a hostage at the Veterans Memorial Hospital to keep her away from power politics.

    BS Aquino got them by the balls and blackmail greed prevents them from squealing. Did you notice how Mike has confined the Arroyo defenses within the legal structures politics? Despite this “political persecution”, Arroyo’s Kampi and KGMA supporters complain no end that they cannot get any funds from the former president.

    This fatal mistake has stuck to Gloria because she forgot Noynoy comes from a pedigree of quislings.

    His maternal great grandmother stole the war chest of the Katipunan entrusted to her by General Antonio Luna. Her grandfather cheated the government and farmers in order to acquire and control Hacienda Luisita.

    His paternal grandfather was a Japanese collaborator, and of course his own father was a agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whose flipside spells IBM, for which her sister worked for. Remember how Ninoy Aquino used the New People’s Army against government in order to leverage the Americans?

    Her own mother the former president but who was without a political machinery rode on the Unido coalition to win the presidency but who later betrayed Unido’s leader Vice President-elect Salvador Laurel whom she promised will serve as Prime Minister of the parliamentary form of government they inherited from Ferdinand Marcos.

    In order to protect the gruesome relations of her husband with the communists, she released Jose Maria Sison and gave him safe passage out of the country.

    And then to appease the US, whether CIA or IBM, Cory Aquino instead chose to rule under a revolutionary government and returned the government structure to the American presidential system that ended up accidentally deleting the two-party system that is causing all the schizophrenia in today’s Philippine governance.

    There is no dilemma. Binay only has to pander to BS Aquino (and of course the Americans) and obediently serve as their altar boy.

    The Americans are once again omnipresent in Philippine affairs, but I am not too sure they will agree to electing the first black Filipino president after it seems that the first black US president they twice put into office seems to be more interested in his ideology transforming the American political culture rather than serving their country’s national interest and the vested interests of the US establishment before that.

    As you can see, this is how complicated the situation is.

  4. Don Azarias says:

    Perry,

    What a great perspective! And reading the names those past political leaders who were cream of the crop is quite refreshing.

    I also agree with you for not including Emilio Aguinaldo who belonged to the cream of the “crap” that include Marcos, Arroyo, Enrile, Estrada, Revilla and the rest of those political hacks in the old country.

    Don

  5. Fernando Habito says:

    Binay is skilled and veteran politician he knows how to ride in the game of political tactics and gimmickry. He’s also a good actor although not a movie star and got the leverage to take advantage of the ignorant and gullible maasses/electorates.He strengthened his family political dynasty base.He maneuvered his good publicity strategy that works out favorably for his good rating as the next president.He know that Justice System of the nation is double standard first is for the rich and powerful and second is for the poor who got no money to pay for a good lawyer who can bend and manipulate the laws.He is a lawyer by profession and knows how to prolifereate the “Lakas,Lagay,Lusot society for his own favor.

    • Bobby Bagos says:

      The only way for our country to get out of these desperate times is to find someone that can lead us to prosperity, someone whose head is screwed on right, honest, intelligent and have no qualms about punishing guilty people regardless of who they are. At this time or any other time for that matter, we are not going to find someone with that caliber in our present political arena, that includes Binay. These people only have one purpose and that’s to gain as much power and riches as they can, our country’s dilemma I’m sure is the last thing on their mind.

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