â€œThe cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.â€ French president Charles de Gaulle once said. That was, of course, beforeÂ Vice President Jejomar Binay, began acting asÂ if he were indispensable.
BinayÂ this week indicated, believe it nor not,Â the make up of his cabinet when â€œpresidentâ€. Was theÂ manÂ conscious of the arrogance? He’d not sign on politicians. added Â Binay who assumed Filipinos would vote him into Malacanang.
Thousands of protestors, led by entertainers JimÂ Paredes, and Cynthia PatagÂ hoofed through Makatiâ€™s business district Wednesday. TheyÂ demanded Binay jettison his campaign Sen. Aquillino â€œKokoâ€ Pimentel vowed to help shatter the Binay political dynasty.
â€œWe expected about 200,â€ Paredes said.Â “But they brought hundreds of others along… When the Binays talk, it is as they were already winners. We want them to knowÂ there are many people who will not vote for them…”
â€œAs a candidate, the least Binay Â can do is answer charges against him, the rallyists said..Â Saying the raps are “politically motivated is a lame answer.”
The latest completed Social Weather Station poll (first quarter of 2015 ) Â documented a statistical tie between Binay and Senator Grace Â Poe.
â€œConsidering the surveyâ€™s three percent margin of error, Binay and Poe are, technically, tied statistically in the March 15 surveyâ€, SWS said.Â Poe has not yetÂ announced sheâ€™dÂ bid for the presidency. The betting odds are Binayâ€™s slide will continue.
No oneÂ volunteered to run asÂ vice â€“president with Binay. So, Binay sighed for a team mate who would be a businessman.
This bubbling politcal cauldron reminds us of the Bicolano proverb: Daing tagong hilom na di mahayag sa dacol. â€œThere is no hidden secret that will later not be known.â€
â€œPresidentialâ€ pretensions, can not exorciseÂ plunder charges filed by the Ombudsman in the Â multi-million-peso New Makati City Parking building contractÂ by the Binays.
This is an 11-story building with a roof deck, one-level basement parking and 5 floors of parking area. Total area is Â 31,928 square meters.
National Statistics Office data showÂ average construction cost should have been P7,691/sqm In fact,Â it wasÂ overpriced by more than P1.314 billion, Rappler reports. â€œ The finalÂ price was pegged at P1.56 billion.”
The nine page Ombudsman rap sheet, Â accuses Binay of sleaze in the contract for â€œthe most expensive parking building in the entire country, if not the world.â€.
Binay and son, incumbent Mayor Erwin “Junjun” Binay, “violated every rule in construction manuals and government procedures…(These resulted)Â Â over six times the official cost, theÂ charges claimed
Mayor Binay rejected the raps as â€œfabricated and clearly connected to the 2016 electionsâ€. But the Binays did not addressÂ the allegations head-on.
The Binays will face the complaint.Tha’ts all he said. Why?Â Do they Â have a choice?
The source of Binayâ€™s Â â€œpersonal funds is a puzzle,â€ ABS/CBNâ€™s Inday Espina Varona wrote. DeductÂ payments to Canadian research firms plus excess of campaign contributions. What still remains in the Anti-Money Laundering Council report â€œraise awkward questions.â€
They led the Court of Appeals to freeze Binay and his wife Elenitaâ€™s bank accounts. These ballooned from P3,293,307 in 2006 to P28,738,008Â in 2013.
In contrast, President Benigo Aquinoâ€™s personal income increased by P1.8 million last year. Did Pinoy lack Binayâ€™s â€œmidas touch?â€
Bloated funds came from â€œexcess from the last campaign contributions,â€ shrug Binay spokesmen. They were capped by divestment proceeds from JBC Farms, a piggery business in Batangas.â€
â€œUp until 2010, the Binaysâ€™ statement of assets and liabilities looked like that of any middle class family with some land holdings: comfortable but not that liquid,â€ adds Varona. â€œCertainly, not rolling in cash.â€
Reeling meanwhile from Court and AMLIC charges, Binay Sr hit out at â€œinexperienced leaders.â€ Did Binay mean Senator Grace Poe No?Â Perhaps, Binay meant his inexperienced daughter and novice senator: Nancy?
Responding to Binayâ€™s barely disguised dig, Senator Grace Poe snapped back: â€œIt is also important to have honest leaders.â€True. ButÂ BinayÂ and his UNA spokespersons dodged that one.Is it because â€œhonestyâ€ is not in their dictionary?
In 2008, Binayâ€™s financial officer Gerardo Limlingan Jr. emerged as vice president of Agrifortuna which the Binays incorporated in 1992.
The corporationâ€™s administrator until 2011, was a Binay employee: Lily Hernandez Crystal.Â BothÂ scrammed.
AMLC names Limlingan and Crystal as Binayâ€™s partners in five joint accounts. It also lists seven more accounts solely under the name of the Vice President â€” who protests he has only five accounts.
As early as 2008, when he left Agrifortuna, Binayâ€™s joint accounts with Limlingan moved big amounts of cash, says the AMLC tally.
But the sudden movement of money, within a span of a month and a half, with no commensurate income toÂ report, needs to be explained by the Vice President..
In the years thereafter, Binay-Limlingan joint accounts showed P10 million moved, either as debit (P2.5 million on May 25, 2011), credit (P4.1 million, Nov. 20, 2012) or outright withdrawal (P4 million, February 4, 2013.). Varona documents.
The Vice Presidentâ€™s cash in bank had by then breached P20 million.
He declared P3 million in receivables in 2011 and P6 million in 2012. By 2013, he listed only P500,000 in receivables. His liabilities for 2011 and 2012 were at P6 million and in 2013, P5.6 million, for a lease-to-own vehicle.
During the May 2010 elections and after, Binay was shifting bursts of cash often on the same day, in his overflowing personal accounts.
â€œThe big sums moved are not commensurate to the Vice Presidentâ€™s salary,â€ Varona noted.
â€œIn 1988, Binay only declared a net worth of P2.5 million net worth. If he had other businesses earning income for him all these years, why doesnâ€™t his SALN reflect this?, Varona wonders.â€
The Senate meanwhile ordered the arrest or Limlingan, Crystal and 15 others in connection with Court order and its own probe of the Binays. â€œYou are bullying my friends,â€ Binay fumed.
The Senate sergeant at arms and arresting teams returned empty handed. Limlingan, Crystal and cohorts had flown the coop, they told Senate President Franklin Drilon.
â€œPolitical vendettaâ€ sneered the â€œindispensable man. #####