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mercado-thumbby Juan L. Mercado

Newcomer  Senator Grace Poe  left  Vice President Jejomar Binay choking in her dust  in the latest survey on preferred 2016  presidential contenders

She is now Number 1 nationwide  at 30%, the  May 30 to June 5 survey conducted by Pulse Asia found.Binay gagged  in Poe’s dust at  22%.

Poe looks set to further widen that lead, as persistent scandals drag back   Binay’s standing.


Just before the survey publication ,for instance,  the Supreme Court, scrapped the bid by Binay’s Makati mayor son to get three justices – Lourdes Serreno, Antonio Caprio and Martin Villarama  –  to  inhibit from hearing graft charges. These   link also the  other family members..

“The justices  indicated they are not voluntarily inhibiting,” Court spokesman Theodore Ti said in a  press briefing. “That’s it.”

On March 17, Serreno, along with associate justices Caprio and Villarama Jr,  junked  Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin  Binay Jr to inhibit themselves from hearing the Ombudsman’s petitiion in . connection with overpricing in construction of the P2.3 billion  Makati City Hall Building II.

Before the high court was Ombudsman Conchita  Carpio Morales  petition to stop  the Court of Appeal’s April 6   writ of preliminary injunction, in Binay’s favor.

That  indefinite stretched a 60-day temporary restraining order it earlier directed.

Early June, the Binay counsels  alleged  Sereno had  “pre-concieved bias|” against the  condonation doctrine.  This acquits  a public official from administrative liability  when re-elected.


In asking Carpio to step aside, the Binay camp asserted he is the first cousin of Ombudsman  Conchita Carpio Morales.


Binay sought Villlarama’s  recusal for “being in touch with lawyers from the Ombudsman. His statement during the oral arguments reflect this .” Any shelter in a storm?

Binay’s poll  lead was already crumbling in May,  Laylo Research Strategies points out. He did keep  a tenuous edge on Mindanao, but  only by skin of his teeth thru a   a “statistical tie”

The new  survey showed   Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is still on the 3rd spot but now  with 15%   He broke from the tie with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada,  preferred today by 10 percent.


Pulse Asia’s “Ulat ng Bayan” survey had 1,200 respondents nationwide, with a margin of error of ± 3

Across all socio-economic classes, except the poorest segment, Poe beat Binay as the most preferred candidate.


What about the vice presidential derby?

Poe also topped that one, this time  with a 41% preference nationwide. She was followed by Senator Francis Escudero with 15%.

Has  Binay’s political pitch  been  off key all along?

In   a  June 14   campaign speech in  Quezon Province    Binay promised: if elected President he’d  turn all barangay officials into salaried  government officials.

Binay  dodged actual headcounts and   financial implications of his plan.  As of March 15 this year, there were 42,029  barangays in the country.

Since each barangay has, on average 10 officials, the total number of “employees” that Binay hire  would come to almost half a million.  Where is he going to get  that kind of  cash?

“Innovative  is the new meaning of corrupt,  Sun Star columnist Elias  Espnoza wrote. That’s if you believe what Binay said  at a Manila media conference.   “I am not corrupt, just innovative.”

VP Binay insisted  he has not been suspended. Therefore, it follow  that he is not corrupt?  Hindi tayo innovator eh. Kung nag-iinnovate ka, chances are magkakakaso ka,” Binay said.

He is playing with words. While  Binay and son  may  tag themselves  an innovator, as mayors of Makati, the Commission on Audit saw their innovations as “red flags”. Now COA commissioner Heidi Mendoza led the team that documented the Makati  scam.

The  Blue Ribbon subcommittee that investigated Makati City’s  found  Makati  parking building 2 grossly ovepriced and called it a  “fraud”.

Still, “Binay even has the gall to say that, if elected president, he would continue the anti-corruption campaign of President Noynoy, Elias  Espionza of Sun Star wrote..

“I will remove those who continue to steal, Binay pledged.   But  not  President Aquino.  “He is not involved there.”

Sorry for the language, Espinoza said. So, if you know someone who is facing corruption cases, don’t call him corrupt but just call him “the innovator.”  But sobrang kapal muks talaga si kakulay.

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