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What is VP Binay planning to do?

/ 12:10 AM June 13, 2014

As much as P15 million for earthworms in the concrete jungle that is Makati? The earthworms must be supercreatures that can burrow through concrete. Earthworms need soil, preferably soil with plenty of leaves mixed in, to grow and multiply, not concrete. But there is hardly any soil in Makati, or soil substantial enough to spend P15 million on.

That is like putting hog-raising in Muslim communities on the list of projects funded by lawmakers’ pork barrel that Janet Lim Napoles’ dubious nongovernment organizations put on their documents. Muslims wouldn’t touch a hog or consume pork even if their lives depended on it. The employees of Napoles, who manufactured documents involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund of legislators, apparently merely copied the documents of other bogus projects funded by the pork barrel, and “hog-raising” was among the projects in the list. Is this the same thing that happened to the pork barrel of Rep. Abigail Binay of Makati? Did the NGO to which the daughter of Vice President Jojo Binay assigned her pork barrel carelessly copy “vermiculture” as one of the projects funded by her PDAF?

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The NGO, with a name that sounds propoor such as Gabay at Pagasa ng Masa Foundation, led by a certain Godofredo Roque, has been identified by the Commission on Audit as one whose operations are similar to those of the bogus NGOs of Napoles. Roque is supposed to control seven other similar NGOs. Shouldn’t the COA and the National Bureau of Investigation look into the operations of these NGOs?

Anyway, P15 million of Abigail Binay’s 2009 pork barrel went to Roque’s NGO, which listed vermiculture as its project—something hard to believe in Makati. The congresswoman bristled at the suggestion that her pork barrel went to corruption. She said vermiculture, involving earthworm poop that is used as fertilizer, had helped the city of Makati grow. Can you believe that? Makati grew to what it is now because of earthworm poop?

This reminds me of the fertilizer fund scam engineered by Joc-joc Bolante, then undersecretary of agriculture. Makati received the same amount, supposedly to be used for the purchase of fertilizer, as other districts in the provinces whose livelihood is mainly farming. Fertilizer for a concrete jungle like Makati? Earthworm poop as fertilizer for a city like Makati? Can you believe that?

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As for Vice President Binay, what exactly is he planning to do in the 2016 presidential election? Is he going to run as the official candidate of President Aquino’s Liberal Party (a situation hard to imagine considering that he ran against LP candidates in the 2010 polls)? Is he going to run as the candidate of UNA? But he has already left UNA and formed his own political party. So the logical conclusion is that he would run as the candidate of his own party, which means he is going to run against the LP candidate.

Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice is understandably confused. Is Jojo Binay a bird or a mammal? It is time for him to show his true colors, Erice said—perhaps an allusion to the Vice President’s dark complexion. He is, as in the old Tagalog saying, paddling in two rivers, Erice added.

Or maybe he is hoping that P-Noy will anoint him as his candidate, which will likely trigger a revolution in the ruling party’s ranks.

Let’s face it: Jojo Binay has been popular as an opposition leader against abusive administrations like that of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He would be like a fish out of water as an administration candidate.

On the other hand, he cannot identify himself this early as an opposition candidate. The LPs will pounce on him. And his family is vulnerable to charges of corruption. Already, graft charges against his wife, Dr. Elenita Binay, a former mayor of Makati, are moving in the courts. Now here comes Congresswoman Binay’s supposed link to the pork barrel scam. The well-publicized run-in late last year of his son, Mayor Junjun Binay, with the security guards of a posh subdivision in his turf did not endear him to people.

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Then there is his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, which shows that his net worth grew from P8 million to P58 million when he became a public official. Jojo Binay has no known business. His income is supposed to have come only from his salary as a public official. So where did all that wealth come from?

That is why the Vice President does not want to be identified as an opposition candidate this early. He is vulnerable to accusations of corruption even if these are false. So he does not want to rock the boat yet. He wants to stay friends with P-Noy until such time when he is ready to break loose.

That time is fast approaching. The campaign for the 2016 presidential election has started, although not officially. Jojo Binay must decide soon. He cannot be paddling in two rivers all the time. He cannot be a bat all the time. He owes that to his supporters.

Erice is right: Jojo Binay must show his true colors. Now.

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TAGS: Binay, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, fertilizer fund scam, Gabay at Pagasa ng Masa Foundation, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Janet Lim-Napoles, Jejomar Binay, Joc-joc Bolante, Makati, Muslim communities, NGO, PDAF, pork barrel, pork barrel scam, Priority Development Assistance Fund, Rep. Abigail Binay, vermiculture, Vice President Jojo Binay
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