Iglesia ni Cristo makes history
As many as two million people gathered to mark the 100th anniversary of
a powerful homegrown church, showcasing the conservative group’s
discipline and influence. Some of the faithful ...
hough his popularity
rating has taken some hits lately, Vice President Jejomar Binay is still far
and away the strongest contender for the Philippine presidency in 2016. But
is he the right choice for the country? His legions of supporters will give
you an enthusiastic "yes;" his detractors however, will tell you "no!" So
who's right? To answer our question, lets look instead at Binay's deeds
rather than the words of his supporters or detractors.
Soon after he was installed
as Mayor of Makati by President Cory Aquino, rumors started spreading that
Binay would be "given" a unit or two in every high-rise condominium building
constructed in Makati. This was to make sure things went smoothly for the
builders or developers. Though these rumors are widespread, we are unaware
of any occasion where the former mayor has come out to categorically deny
those allegations. It may be that Binay simply refuses to dignify, what to
him are silly and preposterous rumors, with a response. The problem with
that tact however is the rumors don't go away and his detractors point to
his non-response as proof that the rumors are likely true.
Binay's 2013 Statement of
Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) declares a net worth of a little
over Php60 million. Compared to other mayors and governors, Binay's net
worth appears small. However, a 2013 article from an online news website
suggests Binay uses a tactic extensively employed by Ferdinand Marcos during
the martial law years: that of having subalterns stand in as listed owners
of properties and businesses he really owns. And if an asset is not in
his name, then it does not have to be declared in his SALN. If this
allegation is true it would be difficult to pin Binay down on it barring actual admissions by accomplices.
So let us look at Binay's
other public acts to answer the question we pose at the top. Binay was
appointed by President Corazon Aquino shortly after the 1986 EDSA
revolution. He then got himself elected mayor of Makati in 1988, won
reelection in 1992, and again in 1995. His term ended in 1998 and he could
not run for reelection due to term limits. So he fielded his wife Elenita
who won as mayor for one term. In 2001, with term limits now behind him,
Binay ran for mayor once more and held that post till 2010 when he was
term-limited out once again. This time Jejomar Binay, Jr. took over Makati's
mayoral reins from his father. Sadly many Filipinos see nothing wrong with
what Binay did. Many Filipino officials from governors and mayors down
to Baranggay chairmen do the same thing to get around term-limit
A true statesman however
will look at the spirit of the term limit law and understand that it is
there so that an individual or family cannot monopolize an elected office.
Term limits give others a chance to govern as well. Binay, a lawyer with
post graduate studies from institutions like Wharton and the John F.
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard cannot be cut any slack when it
comes to knowing what is ethical behavior and what isn't. As we've seen with
previous Philippine presidents, those who are not morally and ethically
grounded end up causing great harm to the country and its people.
Also at issue with Binay is
the "dynastic" ambitions. Aside from himself, four members of his immediate family
have been elected into public office: his wife was a
former mayor of Makati; his son is its current mayor; his daughter Nancy was
just elected senator; and his other daughter Abigail is a congresswoman
representing Makati. The question one might ask is: are the Binays so
exceptionally gifted that the country needs to have four of them in public
office? Or has Binay used his political clout to push is family into
positions they could never have attained on their own. There still is no
Anti-Dynasty Law in this country so Binay isn't doing anything wrong. It
just doesn't pass the "smell test" for those of us who expect uncompromising
ethical and moral standards from our highest public officials.
Now let us briefly look at
Binay's decision-making process. He just announced that he has Rep. Manny
Pacquiao listed in his party's senatorial slate. Really? Manny Pacquiao a
Philippine senator? Many Filipinos believe he doesn't even deserve to be a
congressman, which he is. Together with former President and now Rep.
Gloria Arroyo who is under hospital arrest for plunder, Pacquiao has the
most absences amongst his congressional colleagues. For most of the year,
Pacquiao is away either training or preparing for a fight. And when he's not
doing that, he's coaching his basketball team or planning to play
professional basketball himself.
The fact that he is extremely popular and will most likely win if he runs
for senator does not mean that he should run. Binay's choice of Pacquiao is a crass
political decision that in many ways give us an insight into what kind of
president Binay will be. There is zero benefit for the Filipino people if
Pacquiao becomes a senator because there is nothing "senatorial" about him—he
has nothing to contribute. But having Pacquiao on his party's lineup will be
a big plus for Binay, and that in itself might be good enough for him.
Just this week plunder raps
were filed against Binay and 21 others in connection with alleged
overpricing of a parking building built in Makati in 2007. According to the
complaint, the government ended up paying Php1.56 billion for a building
that cost only Php245 million to build. Binay immediately headed off the
controversy by stating that one of the accusers lost to Binay's son in last
year's mayoral elections. He also told the public to expect more accusations
to surface now that he will be running for president in 2016. The question
people have to ask themselves however is whether this flood of
accusations headed Binay's way is because of his candidacy or because there
have indeed been numerous anomalies he was involved in over the years.
We're not going to answer
the question we posed at the top, but we'd like you to give us your answer.
Tell us what you think.
Philnews.com reserves the right to select and edit comments for publication.
Our Readers (Topic: So, Should Jejomar Binay Be the Next President of the Philippines?)
Name: Mark Williams City/State/Country: LA Ca IP
Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. Binary's close friends are the accused plunderers now in jail. Enrile, Estrada & Reviilla. Need we say more?
Name: Steve R City/State/Country: California IP
Oh Lord, not Jejomar Binay as President of Philippines in 2016. The plunder case filed against him, his son and 20 others should be a warning to all Philippine voters that if J. Binay is elected in 2016, the Philippines will have to name its new Janet Lim Napoles. Yes, unless the Philippine voters will learn its lessons from the ongoing plunder cases, short of Devine Intervention, J. Binay will be the next President of the Philippines. Thus, all concerned must constantly blog via the internet and post comments to educate Philippine voters why J. Binay must not be elected President.
Name: mockingmaya City/State/Country: taft avenue, manila
IP Address: 126.96.36.199
Vice-president Binay's top choice of running mate in 2016 presidential election is a crystal-clear indication that he will establish a dangerous & extreme form of democratic governance: mobocracy, the politics of mob rule, or dregs of society. I think Montaigne's admonition to educate your rulers (despite Binay's charlatan family members elitist educational accomplishments kuno) so that they will not enslave & torment their subjects was not the only cure to the defects of third world run-away democracy like the Philippines. "For the ambitious corrupt man, it is better to reign in hell than serve in Heaven."
Name: SOMEONE City/State/Country: USA IP Address: 188.8.131.52
Binay validated himself by setting Makati's poor against the super rich of exclusive enclaves like Forbes Park, San Lorenzo and Dasmariñas Villages. He cunningly exploited the poor by giving them freebies and pretended to ignore the people in Forbes. In truth he has properties in all those exclusive villages. His daughter Abigail who is now a Congresswoman has a house in Dasmariñas without any proof that she had earned enough money honestly at her age to be able to afford that house. It was this image of "Maka-mahirap" that Binay had established which makes him formidable. The truth is this guy is a gluttonous thief who will install his entire family
in power. Once elected President his next target would be to place his children in Malacañang one after the other round robin style.
Name: Jun Bueno
City/State/Country: Virginia, USA IP Address: 184.108.40.206
I left Makati 1994, I was only
a stone's throw away from Binay's residence in San Antonio Village, hell no, give us another choice. Another story from rags to riches.
Philippine NewsLink reserves the right to select and edit
comments for publication.
While searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on March 11, 2014, a Philippine Air Force plane flying over the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea sighted Chinese reclamation activity in the Mabini Reef of the Kalayaan Island Group within the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines. His aerial photographs were transmitted to the Philippine government for analysis.
For those who have been following the Janet Lim-Napoles PDAF/NGO* scandal these past months, it is easy to get caught up in all the rhetoric—the words and phrases repeated day after day. Words like "ten billion" or "fifteen billion" have turned into something akin to "gray" background noise. Words devoid of any real meaning or significance. So let us try to put back some meaning into those trite and often-repeated phrases in order to better understand some of the far-reaching ramifications of Napoles' actions.
How could they not have known that the Napoles NGOs were fake?
With Senator Bong Revilla already in police custody in Camp Crame and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile set to join him any day now, people need to start asking tough questions going forward. The privilege speeches of the senators along with the histrionics that accompanied them are thankfully now over so we can all address this issue more objectively.
The Self-Perpetuating Elite of the Philippines
In an essay published in the July 1968 issue of the American magazine Foreign Affairs, a novice Philippine senator described his country as “a land in which a few are spectacularly rich while the masses remain abjectly poor. . . . a land consecrated to democracy but run by an entrenched plutocracy… a people whose ambitions run high, but whose fulfillment is low and mainly restricted to the self-perpetuating elite…a land of privilege and rank – a republic dedicated to equality but mired in an archaic system of caste.”
PHL Legislators Implicated in the Napoles PDAF Scam Face Definite Jail Time...Maybe
In the United States former four-star General and until recently Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki was forced to resign as head of the VA by the ongoing healthcare scandal that has enveloped that agency. While one can safely assume that Shinseki was not involved in the actually transgressions being investigated, the fact that he headed the agency meant he had command responsibility over its entire staff. And their wrongful acts, whether he knew about them or not, cost him his job. That is the way things work in properly functioning democracies. In the Philippines however, things tend to get a little unusual.
Why All the Fuss? We Knew They were Corrupt Anyway!
So finally the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. But we Pinoys should not be surprised at all. We all know how corrupt our country is. Even before former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was accused of electoral sabotage and the misuse of public funds in 2011; even before Joseph “Erap” Estrada—an earlier president was convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan in 2007; even before Ferdinand Marcos, a president-turned-dictator, was booted out of the country along with his family and cronies twenty-eight years ago; we Pinoys knew they were corrupt.
The Case of Denise Cornejo and Cedric Lee, a Litmus Test for Pnoy and Philippine Justice
Now that the star attraction in the alleged Vhong Navarro rape incident is in police custody, the upcoming trial will be a litmus test for the Aquino administration as well as the Courts. The almost universal perception is that Philippine justice is broken and does not work. Laws are applied inequitably with the wealthy and powerful living almost above the law, while the common "tao" finds himself at the losing end of cases that usually drag on for years.
Obama's Visit a Shot in the Arm for a Struggling Ally
After essentially showing the American Military the door in the early '90s, Filipinos have of late come to the realization that they need their "Uncle Sam" more than they thought they did. And back then the United States was also more than happy to oblige as their Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission had been closing down hundreds of military installations all across the USA.