Tag Archives: Binay

Gives New Meaning to “Strange “Bedfellows'”

Vice President Binay is being asked how he will reconcile his having fought the Martial Law regime of President Marcos as a human rights lawyer with having Senator “Bongbong” Marcos as his running mate. His answer is: 1) Martial law is no longer an issue; 2) Bongbong is not President Marcos; and 3) that it is now time to move on. He must have loved answering that question because it implied that it is the Marcos name that is anathema to the voters and not the corruption and plunder charges that have been filed against the Veep. If not for the billions of pesos Binay, or rather, the city of Makati has already spent on municipalities and cities all over the country in the guise of a sisterhood relationship between these Local Government Units and  Makati, Binay would be politically dead by now.

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But he is still a political force to reckon with despite the numerous testimonies of witnesses shedding light on the allegations of plunder against him. The money already spent on his campaign coupled with the war chest he still has at his disposal that is formidable, to say the least, is what is keeping him from being “knocked out” of the race. It must “pain” him to have to run with Marcos but not because it offends whatever values he may have which is nil, but because he will have to relegate to the sidelines, one of his many fake “badges of honour” which, in this case, is his “human rights lawyer/freedom fighter” persona that is, at best, highly exaggerated — fabricated for the most part. So far, two of his disguises — “boy-scout” and “human rights lawyer activist” — have become difficult to wear due to the corruption scandal that has hit his family. He still has his “exemplar city government chief executive” image and his “poor boy who cares for the downtrodden of our society” persona to use in his campaign. But his “bag full of tricks” is fast getting depleted.

Truth is, it is more  disadvantageous for Senator Marcos to team up with him than the other way around. Senator Marcos, in his more than two decades of public service, has never been charged with, much less convicted of, any malfeasance in the performance of his duties as an elected official of the Republic. Binay, on the other hand,  has “corruption” and “plunder” written across his entire career in government from day one of his appointment as OIC of Makati including his Boy Scout presidency for over twenty years. It is Mr. Marcos that will have to do the explaining to his followers why he has agreed, if and when he does, to run along side Binay who claims the plunder charges against him are just politically motivated and baseless. But it is difficult to brush aside the  long line of witnesses, experts, and whistle blowers that have already testified against him in the on-going Senate investigation where he refuses to confront his accusers giving more credence to the allegations made against him.

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He will also need to explain why he will be “sleeping” with one of the leaders of that small but powerful cabal of politicians and oligarchs that have built their fortunes from, and made careers of, “Marcos bashing” since 1986 when President Marcos was whisked away by the Americans and brought to Hawaii where he could no longer defend himself. The Senator will have to clarify to the “Marcos loyalists” why he is running with someone who continues to vilify President Marcos as recent as only months ago and whose idea it was to build a museum of sorts that will remind the people of Marcos’ human rights record even if human rights violations post Marcos have been worse and have given us the distinction of being “the most dangerous country not at war to live in for a journalist.” Of course, we all know that his participation in setting up the museum is part of reinventing  himself as a staunch defender of human rights and, partly, to cover up his notorious “goon inclinations.”

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So why is media, or some in media (his paid hacks?), harping on Bongbong being “baggage” to Binay’s run for the Presidency? This scenario certainly gives the impression of a Binay up in a pedestal asking that people not pass harsh judgement on Bongbong as if Senator Marcos needed him to make excuses for his past. The Senator would be more credible answering criticisms against himself than Binay defending him; nowadays, Binay’s endorsement is like being blessed by the devil.  It is, no doubt,  a clever move on Binay’s part  to have Bongbong on his ticket and one that only a shrewd and wily politician like Binay would concoct as a way of deflecting and replacing what should be the real issues against the Vice President — corruption and plunder. It is Binay that would be so lucky to share the stage with Senator Marcos, and the solid north will be one hell of a bonus he will be looking forward to. It would also do Mr. Marcos well to ask Erap a thing or two about Binay’s “junking” habits.

Should the tandem materialize, there’s a downside to this for the Veep that he may have overlooked: on stage beside the boyish looking Bongbong, he will appear to be older than the already 74 years old that he is — an image that the youth will have difficulty identifying with, in boy scout uniform or not. Next thing you know, Binay will be addressing everyone as “dude” and “bro.” Don’t be surprised.

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In politics, there are no permanent friends or foes; only permanent interests

Supporters of Binay are questioning P-Noy  on his refusal to appoint Binay as DILG head. Their question is: why did Aquino see it fit and morally right to offer Binay the position of DILG Secretary before the start of the campaign period less than a year ago and now, refuse to give it to him particularly since he was voted by 14M Filipinos for the second highest position of the land. Should not that make it easier for P-Noy to offer it to him again? Pundits point out that the offer then was purely political to help ensure an Aquino victory with the help of Binay which he no longer needs having already won it. Critics, however, criticize Aquino precisely on his criteria, then or now,  in choosing his cabinet for reasons other than competence and integrity as is evident in the case of Binay; otherwise, it is clear that Binay’s appointment as DILG head should be made  easier by virtue of his having been elected VP with about as many votes as Aquino had garnered. Was Aquino ready to “sell his soul”  then, as early as before the campaign period, by offering Binay the post for reasons other than merit and “for country” and can we assume he will do it again (politics before country) when the need arises? Moral fortitude is not seasonal; you either have it or you don’t, going by the standards Aquino himself established in his efforts to proselytize the electorate during the campaign period, remember?

 
Waka waka! In this the largest single-sport event in the world, the FIFA World Cup, the Philippines, or even a shadow of it, is again totally excluded from the competition and not due to any bias or sanction against our nation but rather, because we refuse to promote football, a sport wherein we could, with time, proper training, and dedication, be as competitive as any of the best in this world league. Instead, we continue to believe that, perhaps, our genetics have been “lying” to us all along and will soon correct itself and we will start bearing children that will match the height of the basketball players from the western teams that continue to dominate basketball which we still insist on being our “national sport.” So, we carry-on giving this american inherited game the inordinate amount of attention and support over other sports where our genetic disposition, such as height (or the lack of it), do not pose a  built-in disadvantage such as in basketball beginning with the first whistle blow for the jump-ball at the center of the court. Duh!

Excerpts of phone-in congratulations from US President Obama to just proclaimed President elect Aquino and Vice President elect Binay :

TO AQUINO — “On behalf of my family and the American people, allow me to congratulate your excellency on your proclamation as the 15th President….”

TO BINAY —  “Yo!! Waz happnin’ bro?”

“In politics, there are no permanent friends or foes; only permanent interests.”  That saying about politicians will come into play again when the changing of the guards take effect on July 1, 2010. We will see a lot of the newly elected officials  “jumping ship” from their respective political parties to join the Liberal Party of the newly elected President, Benigno Aquino III. This will happen not because of a strong desire coming from the politicians to help the new President lead this country forward but to benefit from whatever largesse they can get from the new dispensation. It will be back to “politics as usual”  unless we see from Malacanang a real “pagbabago.”  Abangan…

Comelec should now come out with a final tally of everything important that we need to know regarding the just concluded historical automated elections. Among the more important information needed are: the exact results of the audit random manual count done in five clustered precincts for every political district; rate of successful electronic transmission by PCOS machines; number of machine bog down on election day; number of flash cards replaced on election day from the 20 CFC’sper province on stand-by  (these were eventually  configured outside the Smartmatic warehouse on election day unlike the original flash cards), and other pertinent information that will help guide us in giving the system a performance grade and more importantly, determine how the system can be made better if it is decided to be used again in the next elections. This should be done soonest while information is still fresh and those involved easier to access and question now more than later.

The way Smart-matic has been celebrating these days, with matching Ms. Universe in tow, it looks like they’ve already bagged the contract for the elections in 2013. In fairness, this company must be judged based on what their deliverables were as per contract & the general performance of the technology they sold to the Comelec. Let’s not blame the short-comings of the Comelec and other government agencies on them unless we have proof to show otherwise.

A reminder from a TIME MAGAZINE report in January 1990:

“No favors, no excuses.” That was the motto Corazon Aquino vowed to follow after her People Power movement toppled the corrupt regime of Ferdinand Marcos. But in the tumultuous four years since Aquino became President, charges of incompetence and graft have increasingly tainted her own government. When rebellious soldiers launched the seventh abortive coup against Aquino on Dec. 1, their most pointed complaints focused on the administration’s failure to deliver basic services and on allegations of corruption among the President’s wealthy and influential relatives. The charges, magnified by the Manila rumor mill, have inflicted serious political damage. While the President herself is considered incorruptible, critics accuse her of turning a blind eye to family and friends who are said to be enriching themselves at the public’s expense. “What good is a Blessed Virgin Mary if she is surrounded by Sodom and Gomorrah?” asks one disillusioned official. In a December speech after the coup attempt, even Jaime Cardinal Sin, Aquino’s most important supporter, warned of “a social explosion” unless Aquino swiftly defused “unceasing reports of the abusive roles of presidential relatives.” To regain public confidence in the wake of the abortive coup, Aquino last week sacked nine of 19 Cabinet ministers in the third such shake-up of her presidency. The Cabinet changes, acknowledged press secretary Adolfo Azcuna, were prompted “by the same reasons, perhaps, that precipitated the coup.” None of the ousted ministers had been accused of corruption, but some of their departments were widely considered ineffective, particularly Justice, Transportation and Education, where services had virtually broken down. Aquino also overhauled the Agrarian Reform Department, which has largely failed to deliver on her election promise of land redistribution. To many Filipinos, however, the reshuffling looked too modest to silence claims of scandal in high places. Though many of those tales flow from flimsily documented stories in the Manila press, which now enjoys unprecedented freedom, Filipinos follow them avidly. A frequent target of reports is Aquino’s brother Jose (“Peping”) Cojuangco Jr., a wealthy and powerful congressman. Shortly after Aquino took office, newspaper stories charged that Cojuangco had helped some of his cronies gain control of a lucrative cargo-handling business; he is also suspected of using family ties to get jobs for friends in Manila casinos. Cojuangco has denied any wrongdoing, and neither he nor any other member of the Aquino clan has been charged with a crime. Yet lack of prosecution means little in a country where the rich and powerful are perceived to be above the law. “It would take a first-class fool to testify against someone like Peping Cojuangco,” explains Blas Ople, executive vice president of the opposition Nacionalista Party and a former Minister of Labor under Marcos. In one of the few corruption cases the authorities have pursued, Cojuangco’s wife Margarita was suspected of having taken a $1 million bribe from an Australian businessman last year to help him obtain a gambling-casino license. In the end, the National Bureau of Investigation filed no charges: the probers said the Australian had been duped by a woman who impersonated Cojuangco’s wife. Critics often denounce Aquino’s first creation in office, the Presidential Commission on Good Government, as a bastion of ineptitude. Charged with the recovery of up to $10 billion that Marcos is said to have looted from the treasury, the commission has recovered nearly $1 billion so far but has been accused of abusing its powers. In one case, for example, Ricardo (“Baby”) Lopa, an Aquino brother-in-law who controlled a profitable Nissan auto- assembly plant and 38 other companies before they were seized by the Marcos regime in the early 1970s, was allowed to buy the firms back for only $227,000 within days after Aquino became President. A public outcry forced the commission to re-examine the deal with Lopa, who died of cancer last November. It found no evidence of improper behavior.

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