As I See It

Purisima now looks like a piker

/ 01:43 AM October 10, 2014

Suddenly, with the disclosure of the Binay family’s alleged 350-hectare hacienda in Batangas, Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima looked like a piker with his four-hectare estate in Nueva Ecija. Everything in the hacienda seems to ooze with luxury, contrasting sharply with Vice President Jejomar Binay’s efforts to portray himself as poor and therefore the champion of the poor. Even the pigs live in air-conditioned luxury.

The alleged Binay hacienda even has an English-style garden modeled after the Kew Garden in London that was built through the years by queens and princesses. The Vice President’s wife supposedly presides over this vast estate fit for queens and princesses (and a future first lady?). Even former first lady Imelda Marcos, famous for her love of luxury, will look like a piker in this hacienda.


Many people are wondering how this 350-hectare hacienda has escaped the notice of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Ernesto Mercado, a former vice mayor of Makati, shouldn’t have come out with this exposé so soon. With the announcement that the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee is winding up its inquiry into the overpriced Makati City Hall parking building, Binay seemed to be willing to show up at the hearing just to show that he is not hiding from the senators. They should have sprung the hacienda exposé then.

Congress should strengthen the Anti-Dummy Law. So many crooks are hiding their ill-gotten wealth behind dummies. If what Mercado said is true, the Binays are only the latest to be caught using dummies.


* * *

That Binay is a bad judge of character—as proven by his choice of subordinates in Makati when he was mayor—is proven once more by his supposed choice of Rep. Manny Pacquiao as his running mate in 2016, or even just a senatorial candidate in his ticket.

Pacquiao the vice president or a senator in a Binay administration? Oh, no. Dear God, please don’t let that happen.

We have seen how Pacquiao performed as a congressman of his district. He is now on his second term as representative of Saranggani, but what does he have to show? Nothing, zilch! Pacquiao may be a very good boxer, but as a lawmaker, he is what is called in boxing lingo as a “bum.”

And Binay wants him to become a vice president?

But it is clear why Binay wants Pacquiao as his running mate. The boxing champ has billions of pesos to fund their election campaign. Binay seems not to want to spend his own billions. If somebody else will pay for his campaign, why not? In this, he wants to make Pacquiao—in another boxing term—a “patsy.”

As a lawyer, Binay knows that Pacquiao does not meet one qualification for a vice president, being only 37 years old or three years short of the age requirement of (at least) 40. So why was there a suggestion that he had picked the Pacman to be his running mate? Obviously, to court the votes of the people of General Santos, Pacquiao’s home turf, where Binay campaigned recently, in violation of the Commission on Elections’ rule against premature campaigning.


Earlier, there was some noise that Binay wanted businessman Manny Pangilinan as his running mate. MVP is not a political animal, but again the reason for the choice is evident: He has the necessary cash to fund a campaign. The businessman, however, wisely rejected the idea. Besides, in the latest Pulse Asia survey, among a field of 16 vice-presidential potentials, MVP ranked last.

As a businessman, MVP has managed to maintain a clean reputation. Why would he spoil that reputation by entering the dirty world of politics? Why would he spoil it by being the running mate of Binay, who is now up to his neck in corruption allegations?

Much earlier, a rumor went the rounds that MVP had offered to bankroll Binay’s campaign for the presidency if he would choose the former as his running mate in 2016. Was it also the Binay camp that floated that rumor?

* * *

Besides, Binay’s ratings are now in a free fall, dropping by another 15 points. That’s a big drop, bigger than the earlier 10-percent drop. Both Binay’s approval and trust ratings have dipped drastically. His approval rating dropped from 81 percent to 66 percent, and his trust rating from 79 percent to 64 percent. These numbers are the handwriting on the wall for Binay.

The Vice President, however, is still on top of the ratings game, but that is because he has no clear rival yet for the 2016 presidential election. The Senate investigation of the corruption charges against him surely must have influenced the plunge in his ratings, but the revelations have yet to fully sink into the consciousness of the public. Besides, the allegations last Wednesday on his supposed hacienda in Batangas had not yet been revealed when the latest Pulse Asia survey was conducted. It would take a little more time before these sink into the minds of the people, especially those in the provinces.


‘Binay farm 350-ha estate’

‘Hacienda Binay’: A property in question

Purisima’s ‘ordinary house’ made of wood, has guest rooms, gazebo, algae-ridden pool

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TAGS: Alan Purisima, Anti Dummy Law, Commission on Elections, election campaign, Ernesto Mercado, Imelda Marcos, Philippine National Police, Rep. Manny Pacquiao
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