What’s happening to the Binay family is a case of rain pouring all over the place, and it’s just so difficult to plug the leaks in several places all at the same time.
Now comes the revelation by Makati’s acting Mayor Kid Pena that Eduviges Baloloy, the personal secretary to then-Mayor Jejomar Binay, has been receiving salaries while she was not reporting for work. She has been in hiding for months, whereabouts allegedly unknown even to the Binays. Yet she collected salaries, lamely explained by the human resource department of the city as entitlement to leave credits.
How can such reasoning wash insofar as public opinion is concerned? Moreover, collecting her “early” retirement gratuities, ostensibly released a day or two before Junjun Binay relinquished his office?
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On the day Mayor Junjun stepped out of City Hall for a six-month forced furlough, his father the Vice-President was launching his new political party—the United Nationalist Alliance.
The speech of the embattled veep was fighting, actually denunciatory of the administration he had been part of until a week before. People, however, were more interested in looking at the faces of those who shared in the momentary glow of his presidential campaign debut.
We were informed that there were frantic phone calls from noon to some political bigwigs to please be present. Some obliged.
But the attendance of so-called political stars was quite paltry. And the unkindest cut of all was the absence of Mayor Joseph Estrada, former President of the Republic, under whose ticket Jojo Binay ran for numero dos in 2010.
No matter what explanations emerged from Arroceros thereafter (a prior engagement, not feeling well—whatever), the Erap absence doused very, very cold water on Veep Binay’s political circus.
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Is Mar Roxas hoping to win the presidency in 2016 by eliminating his enemies? Talk is rife about the Sandiganbayan soon convicting former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay. And the Supreme Court releasing its decision very, very soon, favoring the Ombudsman versus the Court of Appeals on the injunction against the first suspension order against Mayor Junjun. If so, then Mayor Junjun will not be around the J.P. Rizal offices for a year and not just six months.
Deprived of the wealthy fiefdom lorded over by his prince, that should hobble Binay’s presidential run until after E-Day next year. Or so Mar’s people hope. Worse, there is talk that the vice-president himself will soon be charged over the Makati parking building overprice.
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Sometime last year, a businessman rued: “Come 2016, we the people are going to choose between one who should not win, and one who cannot win.”
In 2014, just when Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Sonny Trillanes were beginning the Senate charges against the Binays, there were only two “certain” presidential candidates—VP Binay and Sec. Mar Roxas.
Who should not win? Who cannot win?
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But that was until the pollsters floated the name of Grace Poe, the neophyte senator who topped the mid-term elections in 2013.
And later, starting March this year, the mercurial and largely unpredictable city mayor of Davao, Rodrigo Duterte, placed his name in the presidential tambiolo.
The poll numbers of the two have grown by leaps in the case of Poe, by bounds in the case of Duterte. Suddenly, people have alternatives. The businessman who rued over the dinner table between one who shouldn’t and one who cannot, is now all smiles.
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With the Binay fortunes mortally hounded by legal charges hurled with missile-like frequency, supporters of Manila Mayor Erap are enticing the former president with another presidential run. Will he bite, and make the 2016 contest more interesting?
He keeps saying he is running for re-election, while his vice-mayor Isko is moving around the country peddling good looks for a senatorial run. But when it comes to Erap, it’s never a never until the fat lady sings in his political opera.
Just like Davao’s Digong Duterte, declaring “finis” to a presidential run before the Asian CEO Forum Thursday last week, and then on Monday night in Davao, before 47 Cebu City barangay chairpersons (out of 80), he reminds them that his father was a native of Danao in northern Cebu province, and his uncle was once mayor of the Queen City.
“Ato ini, bai!”, the chairmen chanted, and declared, “Bisaya na pud!”.
In politics, you never say never.