Binay 2016 Scenario: The Worst is yet to come

Binay 2016 Scenario: The Worst is yet to come

November 17, 2014

Binay distributes health cards in Cagayan de Oro.

AFTER Vice President Jejomar Binay backed out of the scheduled debate, which he himself suggested, with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, many asked if he is also reconsidering his announced presidential bid in 2016.

Binay immediately shut down the idea re-assuring his allies that there is no backing out of his ambition to be the next president of the Philippines, something that shudders many who imagine the level of corruption would it be under his presidency.
Binay gave the reason why he is pursuing his presidential plans despite the perception that he is severely damaged: “Napakalaki ng lamang ko. Never in the history na may ganun, hindi naman ganun kaagad ang lamang” (I keep a wide lead in surveys. Never in history that someone is leading the race by a wide margin).”
Which is true.

Despite the huge drop in voters’ preference for the 2016 elections for him – from 41 percent in the May 2014 survey to 31 percent in last September’s poll, he is still the frontrunner. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party’s expected bet, trails way behind at 13 percent despite scoring an almost double increase.

Binay’s confidence got further boost by the results of the survey conducted at the height of the Senate hearing on his controversial sprawling hacienda in Batangas by Novo Trends PH, a new research agency led by political analyst Ramon Casiple, which showed that most of Metro Manilas would vote for him for president if elections were held today.

Some political analysts say that the hearings of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee which had uncovered Binay’s alleged awesome wealth came too early. They say that by next year, the voters would have forgotten about the controversies.

They say Binay is just riding out the controversies which he expects his detractors would not be able to sustain much longer.

Analysts take a cynical view about the effect on the voters of the controversy saying that with enormous war chest, Binay would be able to buy his way out of the scandal and to the presidency.

Such political strategy banks on the ignorance and apathy of the voters and takes for granted the determination of the three senators – Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Aquilino Pimentel III – to pursue the investigation to its fullest.
It also underestimates the contempt of the public for corrupt officials and what a no-nonsense Ombudsman can do.

Mrs. Binay tours friends in Hacienda in 2010 Facebook post.

Next year, when Binay would be consolidating his nationwide network and intensifying his fundraising campaign, he, members of his family and associates would find themselves embroiled in graft and plunder cases.

His wife, Dr. Elenita Binay, who was Makati mayor for the period 1998 through 2001, in fact, is already in deep legal hole. She is facing seven legal cases in the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.

Last week, the Sandiganbayan denied Mrs. Binay’s motion to suspend the proceedings on the charges of malversation and graft charges against her in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of hospital beds worth P36 million in 2001. (The supplier for those hospitals beds was businessman Antonio Tiu, who is now being accused as Binay’s dummy in his 350-hectare Batangas hacienda).

Binay himself has been charged with P1.5 billion plunder in connection with the alleged overpriced Makati parking building. Others named in the plunder case are his son, Junjun, the current Makati mayor and councilors.

Trillanes expects more plunder and other charges to be filed against Binay next year from evidence gathered by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

Impeachment has been ruled out due to apparent lack of numbers. House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, a known supporter of Binay in the 2010 elections, has said that the vice president cannot be impeached for his acts as mayor.

It is expected that Binay would invoke immunity from suits. It is expected also that this question will reach the Supreme Court.

These issues will seriously hound Binay’s campaign and cause his prospective contributors to hold off the funds needed to oil his campaign machinery.
When Binay said last week that the “worst is over,” he knows that it is just beginning. The worst is yet to come./ By ellen | VERA Files – Mon, Nov 17, 2014


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