Sinking the unsinkable

PerryScope
By Perry Diaz

Bismarck

Bismarck

One of the most – if not the most — celebrated unsinkable battleships in the history of warfare was the behemoth Bismarck of World War II fame. It finally sank on May 27, 1941 during a battle in the North Atlantic. But despite the massive shelling — more than 2,800 shells fired at her, with over 400 hits! – the British Fleet couldn’t sink the Bismarck. The British resorted to using torpedoes and had some luck. But Bismarck remained afloat. However, with the Germans running out of ammunition, they decided to scuttle the Bismarck with explosives. The British claimed that if the Germans didn’t sink the Bismarck, they would eventually have done it themselves.

Magdalo survey April 14-16, 2015.

Magdalo survey April 14-16, 2015.

The sinking of the Bismarck reminds me of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who for the past seven months had been hit, salvo after salvo, by his political enemies. Yet, his popularity ratings remain high. He was impregnable… unsinkable! But for how much longer? It would be interesting to know what the next Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey would show? Will he survive it?

Plunder galore!

Makati City Hall parking building.

Makati City Hall parking building.

Recently, the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee released a 46-page report on the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall parking building involving Binay and others. Signed by 10 of the 17 members of the subcommittee, it recommended the filing of plunder charges against Binay, his son Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., several city officials, executives of the building contractor, the owner of the architectural firm that designed the building, and the two alleged bagmen of Binay. The report said that Binay should be charged for the “grand conspiracy to milk the construction of the building for every peso that it could yield through massive unmitigated overpricing.”

The full Senate would have to vote on the report to make it an official Senate committee report. However, because the report includes the filing of plunder charges against Binay and other government officials, the subcommittee could submit the report to the Ombudsman for consideration.

The plunder charges would hit Binay like a torpedo. It would put his presidential ambitions on the chopping block. And because plunder is a non-bailable offense, he’d be arrested and put in detention. And just like the Bismarck, Binay would be left with little or no leeway to avoid sinking into oblivion.

Court of Appeals freezes 242 Binay bank accounts.

Court of Appeals freezes 242 Binay bank accounts.

And to make matters worse, the Court of Appeals (CA) issued an order freezing 242 bank accounts belonging to Binay, his family, and his alleged “dummies.” This left him with few options, one of which is to drop out of the race.

Dropping out

Way of the samurai.

Way of the samurai.

Under these circumstances, dropping out of the race would be the honorable thing to do. He doesn’t have to do it like the Japanese do. He can do it on television, teary-eyed, with head high, and sincerely tell the people that he’s quitting the race for the good of the country. That would be convincing enough. He might even earn some respect. Not that anybody would believe him; it’s just the way Pinoys do it, unlike the Japanese where the strict code of the bushido demands honor over life. That would truly be convincing. Could you imagine if Pinoys would do it the way of the samurai? We’ll run out of corrupt politicians!

If Binay leaves the political arena, the whole dynamic of the 2016 presidential elections will change. First, there will be a wild scramble to fill the void. Secondly, there will be a realignment of the political parties where hordes of balimbings (turncoats) will be jockeying for positions. Who are going to be the presidential contenders? Who are going to be their running mates? And this is where it’s going to be entertainingly interesting.

Poe-Roxas tandem

Aquino recruiting Grace.

Aquino recruiting Grace.

Right now, there are two presidential wannabes who are probably on top of the heap – Mar Roxas and Grace Poe. With Binay still in the race, the Liberal Party (LP) of President Aquino had been trying to recruit Grace to be Roxas’ running mate. But she said she’s not interested, although there were some members of the LP who wanted her to be the standard bearer in a Poe-Roxas tandem.

But now that the prospect of Binay dropping out of the race is a possibility, the move to draft Grace as the LP’s presidential or vice presidential candidate is losing momentum among LP leaders. They surmised that they don’t need her any more because Roxas would have a fighting chance if Binay were not in the race. The LP stalwarts and big donors can now get behind Roxas, thinking that with Binay out of the race… soon, Roxas could beat Grace. Wrong!

With the grim possibility of Roxas defeated for the second time – the first time was in 2010 when he lost the vice presidency to Binay – Aquino is faced with a dilemma: pick Roxas as the LP standard bearer and lose the election or drop Roxas and pick Grace who’d most likely to win. But dropping Roxas would be brutally unkind.

One way to solve Aquino’s dilemma – at least halfway – is to offer Roxas the vice presidential slot in a Poe-Roxas tandem and convince him that that’s the only way he’d get elected. Indeed, unless he improves his ratings, Roxas doesn’t have an iota of a chance to win the presidency.

Say Chiz, Grace

Political triangle: Poe, Roxas, and Escudero.

Political triangle: Poe, Roxas, and Escudero.

The question is: Would Roxas accept a downgrade for the second time for the sake of LP victory in the 2016 elections? Well, with his anemic showings in all the surveys, he might just as well be thankful that he’s included in the LP ticket. But the overriding question is: Would Grace accept Roxas as her running mate? She knew Roxas sank in 2010 when he ran as Aquino’s running mate. Would he sink again as her running mate?

At a meeting with President Aquino in Malacanang, Grace told the president “she would not do anything without Chiz Escudero.” In other words, should Grace run for President, she would prefer Chiz to be her vice presidential running mate. Wham! That must have hit Aquino like a sledgehammer! He might have to throw Roxas under the bus and adopt Grace and Chiz to be the LP’s standard bearers.

Indeed, sinking the “unsinkable” Binay could be a Herculean undertaking but not impossible. But floating a sinker like Roxas might require a miracle. Such is politics in the land of sunken hopes.

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)


10 Responses. Have your say.

  1. philip says:

    FORGET POE. HER ONLY CLAIM TO FAME IS SHE ACCIDENTALLY TOPPED THE LAST ELECTIONS BECAUSE OF HER NAME. SHE HAS NO LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE NOT EVEN WHEN SHE RENOUNCED THE PHILIPPINES TO BECOME A FOREIGNER AND WORKED AS A CLERK MOST OF HER ADULT LIFE. NOW, SHE WILL BE THE PRESIDENT OF A COUNTRY? ARE WE THAT BEREFT OF GOOD AND HONEST LEADERS?

    THE ANSWER TO YOUR LEADERSHIP VACUUM IS:

    ROXAS-TRILLANES. GO!

    • Bobby Bagos says:

      I agree Phillip, but do you think you’re going to be able to convince our clueless and ignorant kababayans who they should vote for? Our country is in this f**king mess because of them in the first place. If that sorry excuse for humanity (Binay) makes it as president, then we are truly doomed, but then again, our kababayans seemed to be content with that arrangement.

      • philip says:

        Susmaryosep is going about as if it’s business as usual on his inexorable march to Malacanang. Fortunately for the PHL, there is a tiger waiting to waylay him and send him behind bars. Our hope rests on Omb. Conchita Carpio Morales, a lady with balls bigger than some of us!

        • Bobby Bagos says:

          Phil, again I’m with you on your assessment of Binay, I’m sure there’s enough skeleton and rotting corpses in his closet that it’s just a matter of being able to bring everything out in the open and exposing the truth about his dirty deeds. And he’s not the only one of course, there are hundreds more like him that our justice system need to really pay attention to. Their dirty deeds are being done from our kababayans noses and they don’t seem to care. The Ombudsmen better start tightening those hangman’s noose on these people if they really want reform in our poor country.

  2. Fernando Habito says:

    As long as Jojo Binay,Erap Estrada and Bongbong Marcos will be out of the race in the 2016 Presidencial election arena. There is a glimpse of hope that corrupt leaders will be reduced. Right now the official political tandem is not officially proclaimed and listed so let’s wait who’s who will make the good match.

  3. Doc C says:

    Perry your very incisive analysis of who is the choice for President of our country. The political system is what destroys the Philippine society. It requires reform. It needs to be torn down completely and rebuilt anew. The graft and corruption, the sordid picture of stealing people’s money, plunder by almost every politician is no more a shock to Filipinos.
    Binay’s supporters say he would make an excellent president, but others say, “He’d be the most corrupt president in the history of the country!” More corrupt than Gloria? “Absolutely!” Honest Filipinos cannot trust him. Some say, Binay would be a dangerous president, especially with all the corruption issues about him and his family. In a complete 360 degree-turn from his anti-dynasty stand while he was still a poor and struggling politician in Makati, Vice-President Binay now defends political dynasties with all vehemence: “I don’t believe in prohibiting dynasties. Why should there be a law to prohibit someone who is qualified from running when the people want him elected?” (PDI issue of November 10, 2012). In my view, the Filipinos must end the dominance of a few families controlling the whole country’s political system. Funny it may sound, Duterte might be able to get rid of those criminals.

  4. ALLAN SIMBULAN says:

    I suggest POE-ESCUDERO. As long as you have good, professional staff, honest and experienced department secretaries from both sides can be substituted for experience. Even experienced politicians need good people in their administration. I rather have a novice president who is honest and not tainted with graft and corruption than an experienced one who is corrupt and a plunderer. All you need is a dedicated, determined, open minded, honest president who can lead and inspire the country to do great. Of course, you also need an honest congress and senate. If you start putting corrupt politicians to jail in Muntinlupa not the comfortable military prison, politicians will be afraid to be corrupt and plunderer. No one should be above the law. We need an expedient justice system.

  5. Mac Flores, Jr. says:

    Filipinos should not be contented in electing the ‘least evil tandem’ from among the ‘lesser evil tandems’ of the flawed Presidential political system can offer.

    By paying your taxes religiously, Filipinos deserve highly qualified people for good governance and quality public service.

    The PHL sunken hope will sink deeper and continue to stinks in the community of nations because of the present Presidential system that supports political dynasty, the popular but inept, and the corrupt traditional politicians.

    The proponents of the Parliamentary system must act accordingly to save the country from sinking deeper and deeper to the abyss of hopelessness.

    I noticed that the media spent more time on reporting the problems but not the solutions which is Constitutional amendments.

    Same thing is true with the Church (I mean, singular but plural in meaning = inter-faith) who remain silent on the need for Constitutional amendments in changing the present form of government.

  6. Bitoy says:

    Perry, just because Roxas does not fare well in surveys, he is already a goner? I don’t believe so and in fact I don’t believe in surveys.

    Roxas have not declared his candidacy yet and have never gone to the provinces campaigning or looks like campaigning but working, compared to the rest. Just like recently, Grace is in Iloilo with Escudero, but I cannot see yet anything substantial.

    In fact comments I heard here in Cebu with respect to Grace Poe is that kina kalburo daw si Grace ng tao. (Kalburo ay yong linalagay sa hilaw na prutas upang mahinog ng pilit).

    I just came from Cebu this past week, and I saw already many car bumper stickers which says “Y2M” meaning “Yes to Mar”. Who’s making these stickers? And to think Roxas did not go yet to Cebu. In fact I got 2 pieces myself.

    • Bobby Bagos says:

      Why don’t you folks just go with Binay and be done with it. Corruptions is never going away, it’s been a way of life for Filipinos since we became an independent nation, it’s been almost 70 years since Uncle Sam said good riddance and what have we really got to show for it? Oh sure, we got all those tall condominiums sprouting out all over the place but from a bird’s eye view why do we see, we see a third world country with no change in sight. It takes an average of two hours to get to your destination even though it’s only a couple miles away, pollution and flooding is still a normal occurrence when mother nature decides to dump a few inches of rain on us, and we get this often enough and still we have a shortage of water. Our country survive not from the product we produce but from the labor of our kababayans overseas. I could go on but as always, we seems to only see what we want to see. I guess when common sense no longer exist in our country.

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