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Binay overstaying as BSP president

/ 12:11 AM October 20, 2014

Jejomar Binay has this habit of overstaying. He and his wife and son have been overstaying as mayors of Makati; and Binay himself has been overstaying as national president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP).

Binay is the longest-serving president of BSP, having been first elected to it in 1994. BSP’s previous presidents served only two- to three-year terms. Binay has been clinging to the BSP presidency for 20 years.

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Former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, principal whistle-blower against Binay, was senior BSP vice president for only three years, from 2004 to 2007. It is easy to see why Binay does not want to give up the BSP presidency: it has a membership of 2 million, many of whom are no longer boys but adult voters. Imagine the advantage of having an organization with a potential 2 million votes (parents and siblings of boy scouts also tend to be loyal to the organization).

I used to be a boy scout myself, when I was in school and I spent some of my happiest times there. I still remember the Scout oath: “On my honor I will do my duty to my God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law….

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“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent,” or words to that effect.

Does Binay fit into these? Judging by recent news and survey reports, he fails on the very first qualification—trustworthiness. As a former scout, I can say that because of the teachings and experiences of scouts while they were still young, they try to live by these rules when they grow up to adulthood. Alas, it does not seem so with the organization’s national president, this, in the eyes of a good number of Filipinos.

Shouldn’t we change the BSP national president with somebody more trustworthy and who lives by the Scout rules?

* * *

Vice President Binay’s camp is panicking. Who wouldn’t, with all that dirt being

revealed by his former associates and the big drop in his trust ratings? He and his mouthpieces are desperately trying to stop the hemorrhage, but because of panic, they are making mistakes.

“Lalaban tayo (We will fight back)” are Binay’s brave words in response to the slings and arrows that are coming his way. But that is not what he is doing. He is desperately asking for mercy.

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One day he attacks P-Noy’s administration, but the next day he runs to the Palace to ask for forgiveness and help. He is like a boxer who punches his opponent and then clinches. That’s not the way a good boxer fights. He should ask his star senatorial candidate (and potential moneybag), Manny Pacquiao, how to fight properly.

He should also ask boxing managers and coaches what to do when your man is losing a fight. When his boxer is taking a beating, a good coach will throw in the towel to save his fighter from further punishment. That’s what Binay’s handlers should also do: Throw in the towel.

It is plain to see that Binay is taking a beating. That is why the Binay camp is panicking. They can see the presidency of the Philippines slipping away from their grasp. In their panic, they are making mistakes in trying to prevent Binay from being knocked out.

One mistake: They concocted the cock-and-bull story of an alleged “Oplan Stop Nognog in 2016.” When nobody fell for that, somebody must have said during one of their meetings: “The best defense is offense.” So Binay went on the offensive by attacking P-Noy’s administration and at the same time defending former president Gloria Arroyo in an attempt to get the sympathy of her supporters. Another mistake.

The next day, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the allegations of corruption against Binay. So they turned their guns on De Lima. That only made the feisty justice secretary angrier. The next day, De Lima hit back at Binay in a speech that hinted at the guilt of Binay. She said that only the President and the Ombudsman can stop her from going through with the investigation. Do you get what she meant by that? It was P-Noy himself who gave her the go-signal.

That’s when Binay asked the help of friends to arrange a meeting between him and the President. Binay’s mouthpieces said the meeting lasted three hours, but they did not say that Binay was made to wait for two-and-a-half hours, and that the President and he talked for only 30 minutes.

During that half-hour, Binay allegedly swore that he was not referring to the President when he attacked his administration, that he was being harassed (“Wawa naman ako, hu, hu, hu”), and asked P-Noy to stop the Senate from investigating him.

“If you are innocent, what are you afraid of?” P-Noy reportedly replied.

Since Binay is afraid, can that mean that he knows further investigation will reveal his guilt?

I think that Binay, with all that shady background, bit more than he could chew when he aspired for the presidency.

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