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INDISPENSABLE WHO?

INDISPENSABLE WHO?

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INDISPENSABLE WHO?

Topic |  
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mercado-thumbby Juan L. Mercado

“The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.” French president Charles de Gaulle once said. That was, of course, before  Vice President Jejomar Binay, began acting as  if he were indispensable.

Binay  this week indicated, believe it nor not,  the make up of his cabinet when “president”. Was the  man  conscious of the arrogance? He’d not sign on politicians. added  Binay who assumed Filipinos would vote him into Malacanang.

Will we?

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Thousands of protestors, led by entertainers Jim  Paredes, and Cynthia Patag  hoofed through Makati’s business district Wednesday. They  demanded Binay jettison his campaign Sen. Aquillino “Koko” Pimentel vowed to help shatter the Binay political dynasty.

“We expected about 200,” Paredes said.  “But they brought hundreds of others along… When the Binays talk, it is as they were already winners. We want them to know  there are many people who will not vote for them…”

“As a candidate, the least Binay  can do is answer charges against him, the rallyists said..  Saying the raps are “politically motivated is a lame answer.”

The latest completed Social Weather Station poll (first quarter of 2015 )  documented a statistical tie between Binay and Senator Grace  Poe.

“Considering the survey’s three percent margin of error, Binay and Poe are, technically, tied statistically in the March 15 survey”, SWS said.  Poe has not yet  announced she’d  bid for the presidency. The betting odds are Binay’s slide will continue.

No one  volunteered to run as  vice –president with Binay. So, Binay sighed for a team mate who would be a businessman.

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This bubbling politcal cauldron reminds us of the Bicolano proverb: Daing tagong hilom na di mahayag sa dacol. “There is no hidden secret that will later not be known.”

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“Presidential” pretensions, can not exorcise  plunder charges filed by the Ombudsman in the  multi-million-peso New Makati City Parking building contract  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  31,928 square meters.

National Statistics Office data show  average construction cost should have been P7,691/sqm In fact,  it was  overpriced by more than P1.314 billion, Rappler reports. “ The final  price was pegged at P1.56 billion.”

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The nine page Ombudsman rap sheet,  accuses Binay of sleaze in the contract for “the most expensive parking building in the entire country, if not the world.”.

Binay and son, incumbent Mayor Erwin “Junjun” Binay, “violated every rule in construction manuals and government procedures…(These resulted)   over six times the official cost, the  charges claimed

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Mayor Binay rejected the raps as “fabricated and clearly connected to the 2016 elections”. But the Binays did not address  the allegations head-on.

The Binays will face the complaint.Tha’ts all he said. Why?  Do they  have a choice?

The source of Binay’s  “personal funds is a puzzle,” ABS/CBN’s Inday Espina Varona wrote. Deduct  payments to Canadian research firms plus excess of campaign contributions. What still remains in the Anti-Money Laundering Council report “raise awkward questions.”

They led the Court of Appeals to freeze Binay and his wife Elenita’s bank accounts. These ballooned from P3,293,307 in 2006 to P28,738,008  in 2013.

In contrast, President Benigo Aquino’s personal income increased by P1.8 million last year. Did Pinoy lack Binay’s “midas touch?”

Bloated funds came from “excess from the last campaign contributions,” shrug Binay spokesmen. They were capped by divestment proceeds from JBC Farms, a piggery business in Batangas.”

“Up until 2010, the Binays’ statement of assets and liabilities looked like that of any middle class family with some land holdings: comfortable but not that liquid,” adds Varona. “Certainly, not rolling in cash.”

Reeling meanwhile from Court and AMLIC charges, Binay Sr hit out at “inexperienced leaders.” Did Binay mean Senator Grace Poe No?  Perhaps, Binay meant his inexperienced daughter and novice senator: Nancy?

Responding to Binay’s barely disguised dig, Senator Grace Poe snapped back: “It is also important to have honest leaders.”True. But  Binay  and his UNA spokespersons dodged that one.Is it because “honesty” is not in their dictionary?

In 2008, Binay’s financial officer Gerardo Limlingan Jr. emerged as vice president of Agrifortuna which the Binays incorporated in 1992.

The corporation’s administrator until 2011, was a Binay employee: Lily Hernandez Crystal.  Both  scrammed.

AMLC names Limlingan and Crystal as Binay’s partners in five joint accounts. It also lists seven more accounts solely under the name of the Vice President — who protests he has only five accounts.

As early as 2008, when he left Agrifortuna, Binay’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 to  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 President’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.

“The big sums moved are not commensurate to the Vice President’s salary,” Varona noted.

“In 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 doesn’t his SALN reflect this?, Varona wonders.”

The Senate meanwhile ordered the arrest or Limlingan, Crystal and 15 others in connection with Court order and its own probe of the Binays. “You are bullying my friends,” 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.

“Political vendetta” sneered the “indispensable man. #####

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