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No one wants to run with Binay

/ 12:12 AM June 01, 2015

IT IS not surprising that nobody wants to run with Vice President Jejomar Binay in next year’s presidential election. Who is the fool who would want to run with a presidential candidate up to his neck in corruption charges? Why waste hundreds of millions, maybe even billions, of pesos on a losing campaign?

Binay courted Sen. Grace Poe to be his running mate, but she turned him down with words that are very clear. She said that she, even for a moment, cannot associate herself with the likes of Binay.

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Reports say that she does not see herself running with Binay as they “differ in style of public service and as she believes that honesty and openness to public scrutiny are important to the job.”

Binay has repeatedly ignored subpoenas by the Senate to present his side in the charges of corruption aired by his former ally and vice mayor, Ernesto Mercado, and other aides. The irregular transactions were allegedly committed by Binay when he was mayor of Makati. They claimed that the Makati parking building was overpriced by more than a billion pesos. Another building, the Makati Science High School, they said, was also overpriced and that Binay owns an hacienda under the names of dummies in Batangas.

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The Anti-Money Laundering Council said Binay has many bank accounts also under the names of dummies. The Court of Appeals has ordered these bank accounts frozen.

The Senate blue ribbon committee has invited Binay many times to explain his side in these accusations, but he has repeatedly ignored these invitations.

Last week, the blue ribbon subcommittee that investigated the corruption allegations against Binay finished its report and recommended the filing of charges of plunder by the Ombudsman against Binay and cohorts. And who do you think was the first to sign the report after the three subcommittee members? Why, Sen. Grace Poe herself.

That is probably to get the Binay camp off her back in trying to convince her to run with Binay, who has been citing his being the campaign manager of her father, movie king Fernando Poe Jr. when he ran for president.

Poe said she acknowledges Binay’s work with FPJ but added that she was also upholding the values that her father cherished.

“I acknowledge his loyalty to my father, but I am loyal, too, to my father’s moral beliefs and principles in governance and transparency,” she said. There, Poe told them what she thinks of Binay’s morals.

That was also the same ploy Binay used to convince some members of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan to double-cross their relative’s running mate, Mar Roxas; they then secretly campaigned for a Noy-Bi (Noynoy-Binay) ticket. It was effective with the Aquino-Cojuangco relatives but not with Poe.

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It is clear why Binay wants Poe to be his running mate. Poe is the candidate who will beat him in next year’s presidential election. Poe is breathing down his neck in the surveys and is expected to overtake him in the next survey results.

Binay next asked Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, tied with Mar Roxas in third place in the polls, to be his running mate but Duterte turned him down, too. After all, who is the fool who would agree to be associated with Binay and go down in defeat with him? So Binay has created a search committee to look for a running mate for him. That is a very difficult job.

Why not choose Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco or lawyer JV Bautista? They seem to be the only persons who still believe in Binay. Even his spokesperson, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, has already dropped out.

The Binay camp’s moral values were quickly evident after Poe turned down Binay. Bautista said Poe should first finish her senatorial term before running for higher office, obviously very scared if Poe runs for president or vice president. Why didn’t they think of that when they were asking her to run with Binay?

Then they questioned Poe’s citizenship. They said Poe is an American citizen and therefore cannot run for public office that requires candidates to be natural-born Filipinos. Why didn’t they think of that when they were asking her to be Binay’s running mate?

But that is not going to be an issue, according to lawyers, including election lawyer Romulo Macalintal. Poe was already allowed by the Commission on Elections to run for senator, they said. Besides, Poe is a dual citizen—a natural-born Filipino with an acquired American citizenship. All she has to do, they said, is renounce her American citizenship.

What is going to be the top election issue is corruption. Filipinos are tired of corruption, so much so that when Mayor Duterte said that he would throw corrupt public officials into Manila Bay along with criminals, people applauded. And Binay and members of his family are up to their necks in corruption charges.

Filipinos are suffering in poverty because public officials are stealing taxpayer money that should go to alleviating poverty. Indeed, the next president should continue P-Noy’s anticorruption campaign. Poe and Roxas will do that.

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