Jejomar Binay’s move to criticize Noynoy Aquino is part of democratic process

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay is a free man, at least for now. Lately, Binay has been using that freedom to advance his causes. After all, he lives in a so-called “democratic” country that supposedly champions “freedom of speech”. Those who think that Binay should stop criticizing the performance of the current government under President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino do not know the real meaning behind the said concepts called democracy and freedom of speech. Just like everyone else, Binay has the right to air out his grievances against government ineptitude and corruption.

Vice President Jojo Binay: Fighting the fight of his political career
Vice President Jojo Binay: Fighting the fight of his political career
Immediately after resigning from his cabinet posts, the VP has become emboldened to speak out against the President. While the timing of his move is quite suspect – the Presidential Election is in less than a year from now – it is still a welcome move nonetheless. As any frugal man would tell you, in a price war, the consumer will be the biggest winner in the end. In this case, it is the Filipino public who can emerge as the winner in the war of words between Binay and BS Aquino. The public should see this as an ongoing debate laid out before them. This is a great opportunity for both parties to answer all the allegations made so the Filipino people will finally know who is lying or telling the truth. Both parties will also be forced to work harder at impressing the people. Or at least pretend to.

How did this come about anyway? Binay says he was tired of being the administration’s punching bag, a comment made in reference to what he suspects is a concerted effort by BS Aquino’s allies to persecute him and his family during Senate hearings. One can’t help but agree with his claim since for months, a few senators have been relentlessly using senate time and resources to conduct “investigations” on alleged corrupt activities against Binay when he was still a Mayor of the City of Makati. These investigations have resulted in nothing significant however.

The question some people have been asking is, why didn’t people in the know file the complaints against Binay while he was still a Mayor? Senator Antonio Trillanes seems to know a lot of things and have bragged about having the “evidence” to support his allegations against Binay so many times in the past. We have yet to see him walk the talk though. It’s a good thing we didn’t hold our breath waiting. Unfortunately for Trillanes, his lack of conviction has inadvertently exposed him as a mere propagandist and attack dog of someone from the higher up.

After months of being the subject of trial by media, Binay has finally had enough, according to him. His speech revealed nothing surprising for the government’s critics though. Binay simply confirmed what some of us have been saying about BS Aquino for years – that his government is incompetent, corrupt and uses selective justice in favor of his allies.

However, Binay’s revelation has shocked and angered not just BS Aquino himself, but his most rabid supporters, some of them former celebrities who are more popular now for protesting on the streets against BS Aquino’s political enemies than for what they actually did during their heydays in showbiz. I mean, who remembers what Leah Navarro was famous for other than badmouthing politicians not allied against the Liberal Party? Her latest antics include holding rallies against Binay to stop him from becoming the next President of the Philippines. One wonders though if she and her group are rallying to stop Binay from running or to stop the voters from voting for him. Either way, it will be a challenge for them considering Binay is still popular in the surveys. In a society where majority of voters prefer form to substance, popularity is important.

For his part, Jim Paredes has been raving mad and has been accusing members of the media of being under Binay’s payroll because they don’t criticize him the way they criticize BS Aquino. He thinks they are playing favorites by criticizing PNoy all the time. That is simply one of the most bizarre suggestions that have come out of an Aquino fan club member. Paredes does contradict himself occasionally. For someone who is proud to be Filipino, he also insinuates that a lot of Filipinos can easily be bought and therefore, is admitting that Filipinos in general are corrupt.

President BS Aquino: He may have pushed Binay over the edge.
President BS Aquino: He may have pushed Binay over the edge.
Paredes’s logic is simply wrong. Most political pundits in mainstream media focus more on BS Aquino because he is the President. He has the authority to sign bills into law and has the power to either make Filipino lives better or worse off with his policies. So it makes more sense for the media to keep the spotlight on him.

The truth is, it is challenging to write something against Binay because, so far, nothing has been proven in court. Most of the allegations against Binay remain just that – allegations. There is not a lot to work with. I can imagine most media columnists struggling to write something against him too since the news already report on the same things. Those who choose to criticize him end up just attacking his appearance by highlighting his dark complexion and his short stature. For lack of anything to write, they simply repeat what the senators have been saying against Binay even when the information is based on hearsay. Some also insist that Binay has not provided evidence he is innocent. Never mind that it is the accuser who should provide evidence of someone’s guilt.

Yes, so much has been said against Binay and it is not hard for some people to believe them. It doesn’t help Binay’s cause that his children hold powerful positions in government and has been blatantly defending their father instead of inhibiting themselves from the issues against him. The thought of Binay becoming President and his children acting like members of the royal family is probably playing on people’s mind and scaring them. Instead of being scared of the Binays, they should be scared of the voters. It was the voters who put the Binays in power in the first place.

Whatever the reason for this latest drama in Philippine politics, it is only one of the consequences of having a President and Vice President who come from two different political parties. One should also see this as a sort of check and balance. Since the VP does not have to show allegiance to the President’s party, he can openly criticize the President’s policies.

If only Binay criticised BS Aquino from the moment he noticed something was amiss in his administration way back in 2010, people wouldn’t doubt his sincerity. It remains to be seen if attacking BS Aquino now is a good strategy for Binay. It will only work if more of the members of the public become disgruntled with the government. Binay’s criticism might be the thing that will finally push people off the edge and turn against BS Aquino. That is something we should all look forward – the people finally using their power to hold an Aquino accountable for his indiscretions.

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10 Comments on “Jejomar Binay’s move to criticize Noynoy Aquino is part of democratic process”

  1. And then PNoy answered Binay’s accusations with, “Paano ko ba siya tinrato na mali? Tapos ito ang sinukli niya? Thank you na lang sa kanya.” Does he mean that Binay or any government officials should just shrug their shoulders with his incompetency or crime just because he treat them right? Tungkol ba sa friendship at pagtanaw ng utang na loob ang panunungkulan sa gobyerno? Talaga ngang nahuhuli sa bibig ang isda.

    1. @Naknak

      PNoy was trying to appear like the “victim”. He is using emotional blackmail on Binay as well.

      He’s so clueless about what’s happening in his government that he had to ask his cabinet members to respond to the accusations.

  2. Digging dirt on your political opponent, is the Aquino political strategy. He has his attack dogs, like the political opportunists, Trillanes.

    The real issues and problems of the country are set aside. Time for . “giling-giling shows”, to hook your mind, and get your vote.

    So, show biz personalities are on the forefront, to lead the political attack.

    I believe; it is more of a political Zarzuela…”fiesta election”…Aquino and Binay were former political allies…

  3. As usual, the timing of Ilda’s article is impeccable. It is time to shift to talking about the dark one. After four days of seeing nothing, but rainbow, talking of something with no color is a reprieve. We can’t refer to the subject, however, as the dark horse because he is too short to be a horse, literally and figuratively. We can refer to him as “the dark one”, though, as he is the one to beat in 2016, based on surveys, even if there is something dark about him, literally or figuratively.

    I don’t understand why many of us have been celebrating the victory of the rainbow movement that happened in the other side of the Pacific, half way around the world. It must be that many dream of a Western way of life. Don’t they look at the mirror and see that they are Asians, to be more specific, Orientals? Where is our independence, our freedom to think on our own? We must be a confused lot.

    Some reactions from Asian cities was to ascribe conspiracy theory to the “Obergefell v. Hodges”. China, for that matter, is queasy about the message they read into the decision. They are of the opinion that when you give a hand to a minority, that minority takes your arm as well eventually, and China has to deal with all sorts of minorities. But, China may be right. If we listen to that organization composed of guys and gals who grew up in families of #SSM settings in Canada, we will be forewarned that #SSM has more problems than what states and govts care to acknowledge and disclose. The group has been talking about the various ills of #SSM in various fora, and for that they have been fined and jailed several times since 2005, the year Canada passed a law on #SSM. It seems the law has become a trampler of the freedom of speech. Well, what can you do; when you have a man-made law that goes against tradition, reason, or natural law, the only way to implement it is by an iron-fist?

    But, there is no need to go outside of the SCOTUS to see that Obergefell decision, that won by a hairline, was earth-shaking. It is the first time that the dissenting Justices individually wrote their opinions, as opposed to just one consolidated write-up. And, the language of the dissenters were blistering. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that those who are for #SSM should celebrate for the decision makes available new benefits. But he added: “Do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.” He said the decision of the majority was an “Aphorism of the Fortune Cookies”, it was not a legal opinion, it was just an “act of the will”. The others had more vitriol for a judicial activism that hijacked religious terms to support irreligious objectives. I think it was Justice Scalia who practically said that the Obergefell v Hodges has brought America to the gates of hell. It was the first time that a minority of judges were in effect asking the Americans to defy the decision of the majority of judges.

    I don’t know if those who have been celebrating among us want to see America go to hell, or they want to import that hell in lieu of the hell we are already in. But if hell is what we want, why bother with an Obergefell? Isn’t it that tourism here is already geared towards prostitution (and how funny it was how we were surprised that we were surprised at say the Pemberton incident with a guy of the LGBT community)? Then, there is of course the unhampered corruption in high places as being an “acceptable system” now, not to mention other places? Don’t we shrug our shoulders when there is another media killing? We openly welcome all sorts of gambling, jueteng, lottery? Etc etc. Are we not contented that we have had our own share of major shifts in ethics and morality,….. and that we have not been able to handle them well?

    I suspect that those who have been celebrating just want to be seen as modern, whether that is good or bad. Sorry, but aren’t you suckers of fads? And here lies the problem. As usual, we think in terms of form and not of substance.

    Please bear in mind that while Obergefell was a tsunami alright, Americans knew it was coming. Long before the court decision, the culture already decided. For decades, there were already small tremors by changing the definitions of various aspects of culture. Marriage slowly, state by state, was allured to follow California’s initiative of allowing divorce without cause, so marriage has been redefined as anything but long-term. Then they redefined a fetus as just a lump of cells in order for a pregnant woman, without regard for the other life inside her, to say: “This is My Body.” (Isn’t it interesting that it is the same words pronounced during the Eucharist? Is there already a cooperation with an/the Anti-Christ going on if we dig deeper?) So, if some women could look at a sexual congress just as some men who look at it as a consequence-free activity, what is preventing the LGBT from enjoying the same right. Marriage is a private matter, but the public makes it its concern because of the possibility of a new citizen coming out of it, and somebody has to be made directly responsible for that new citizen. But if children have become a minor consideration, then the civil union of same sex is no different from the marriage of heteros. (I don’t know if Pinoy Pride had something to do with Gay Pride — see, nobody says Hetero Pride) Thus what is another redefinition today as that of Obergefell, even if it is of Orwellian proportion. But if we were to follow the whole thing to its logical conclusion, it now seems irrational why the public, the state, the govt should now even be concern with something that is so private.

    But be that as it may, it is the lifestyle that the Americans have chosen. In the decades, they have been trying to cope with the collateral damages to society as they enjoy the benefits of changes. ones have been trying to mitigate the undesirable sociological and psychological impacts at the same time that they have been trying to extract economic benefits from being liberal and progressive in their approach. They knew the impact of it in pedagogy and not just see it as a phenomenology, and there have been organizations that have been putting stop measures so that these cultural experiments do not go out of hand.

    So, really, I don’t understand the celebration of the many among us. Our culture just does not have the sophistication that America has. Just look at our democracy. We tried to imitate America, and thus, we have a democracy gone haywire, because we never bothered to understand the foundation, the philosophy, undergirding that working democracy. Indeed, what we have is a government run like hell by Filipinos, as Quezon predicted. We are not just at the gates of hell, we are in hell already. Can we allow a 180-degree shift in morality as America has, when we do not even know how to weigh a positive against the negatives, or a negative against the positives. (Better not move if we are in a quicksand, especially in a country that calls itself Catholic, and yet is one of most morally depraved tourist destination.) Until we have gone up the ladder of Maslow hierarchy of needs, I don’t think we have the ability to talk of things as complicated as the rainbow. If we are interested in nation building, our task today should be focused on segregating what is black from what is white, probably coming to an agreement on what is gray from time to time. Outside of that task, we would be screwing up our priorities.

    I am sorry if I have been digressing, but it does point out how shallow we have become. How can we even talk of rainbows when those who have arrogated upon themselves, as the group of Leah Navarro, the distinction of the ones able to distinguish black from white have themselves become color blind. How can they think of themselves as white, as those that signify purity, when they always come out swinging in the yellow side. If I am suppose to be in a shirt in immaculate white and it turns out to be yellow or tainted with something yellowish, then I must have contacted something gross, something filthy, something yukky. I will have to go home and change shirt. But, the Black and White Movement doesn’t want to go home and re-assess things. They insist PNoy is white as snow, clean of any corruption. But, how can that be when he is yellow, yukky yellow, of PDAF, DAP, Malampaya, just for a starter.

    While we have been wishing and wishing that we be given other choices, other than Binay, Poe, Roxas and Duterte for these front-runners seem to be tainted with shades of black, if not shades of gray – #WalaNaBangIba — I think we are beginning to realize that this is wishful thinking. If even Leah Navarro, Cayetano, Trillanes, etc could not stop Binay, who else could stop him? Sonamagan, even B&W’s own Jim Paredes is now unwittingly, or maybe wittingly, helping Binay with his #StopBinay. Sh*t, am beginning to think that Jim must have spent a lot of time in Kings Cross, the red light strip of Sydney, for he seems attracted to red, the campaign color that Binay has now picked. I told you, guys, we shouldn’t be talking of rainbow colors — see, we are now getting confused. #joke.

    But, I must agree that Binay is an astute politician. If it were not for the fact that he has dragged his own children into the mud of a politician’s life, I think I could vote for him for he would be a fantastic CEO. UNfortunately, any father who could do that to his children would have no qualms in violating all, or any, of the Ten Commandmenta, and I would be scared of such a person.

    But of course that is not the topic of Ilda’s article. We have now in the middle of us a golden opportunity to change 2016 into an issue driven election, rather than personality driven. The word war now going on between Malacañang and the Binay camp has given us that opportunity. But, can we pick up the gauntlet and make 2016 a meaningful exercise? I wish we all can. But, I don’t know; we are easily dazzled by rainbows and phenomenons that have nothing to do with nation building. We are even color blind even when it comes to black and white, or with bad and good.

    Maybe, we could start by taking a handle of what is our culture, as GRP has been trying.

    1. @Add

      Thanks again for your assessment on what the folks are keeping themselves preoccupied with. It’s bordering on crazy. Some people just can’t focus on what’s important nowadays.

      I’m glad we published your commentary as a separate article. It would have been a shame if it was left buried in the comment section. 😉

  4. The trouble with most Failipinos in the G-D-SOB country called the Failippines, is that they’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

    1. Yeah, some people’s hate for Binay is getting in the way of analysing what he is saying objectively. He’s just confirming what some of us have been saying since 2010 – that PNoy is corrupt, incompetent and lacks diplomatic skills.

      1. Yeah but Binay is or more corrupt, incompetent and lacking in diplomatic skills. Giving too much objectivity and benefit of the doubt is the same as being too subjective.

        1. Giving too much objectivity and benefit of the doubt is the same as being too subjective.

          That doesn’t make any sense at all.

          PNoy is still worse than Binay, for sure. 😉

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