Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay has been playing Santa Claus. Recently, it was reported that during a talk in front of a crowd of about 100 mostly female senior citizens in Bacolod, he promised to give them all kinds of things — false teeth, male diapers, and even Viagra. Binay bragged about “replicating what he did for the people of Makati City once elected president”.
Now we all know he initiated the practice of giving Makati City senior citizen residents free cakes on their birthdays and golden wedding anniversaries but who knew he was giving away false teeth, male diapers and Viagra to them as well? This is certainly news to me. And if he plans to do the same for all senior citizens nationwide, where is he going to get the funds to sustain the giving out of those freebies? Is he assuming the taxpayers are okay with this?
Considering the city is said to be already spending P19.3 million for the cakes, spending on other more expensive items will be an additional massive cost. I remember there was so much fuss before the Reproductive Health Law was passed because a lot of people were against the government giving away free contraceptives; I wonder how Binay is going to get away with this if he does become the President. Who knows? Maybe Filipinos will just shrug it off because eating cakes is not against the Bible.
In another disturbing bit of news, a photo has emerged of an elderly woman holding a mobile phone packaging box with the words “Tatak Binay” or Brand Binay on it. The woman received the mobile phone from the Vice President’s daughter, Senator Nancy Binay during a “trivia” game to entertain the crowd while waiting for the Vice President’s arrival in Negros Occidental. It seems Binay will be giving away expensive knick-knacks when he travels the country to campaign for the Presidential election in 2016. Equally disturbing is the fact that a senator took time away from her job in congress to travel and assist her dad in campaigning. No one makes a big deal of these kinds of irregular activities in the Philippines.
It’s no mystery then why VP Binay is popular in the survey polls. Despite the negative publicity he has been getting from the Senate investigation on the alleged overpriced Makati City building, which was constructed during the VP’s term as the city’s Mayor, he is still a strong contender for the top job. He is still making a lot of people nervous. Binay’s “generosity” to the voters seems to offset the incessant attacks coming from his political enemies in the senate.
Binay’s formula for winning the crowd is a no-brainer. People, especially Filipinos, love freebies. Those who are happy to receive goodies from Binay won’t even bother to think about where he gets the funds to buy them. They won’t even bother to think about the consequences of selling their votes. Forget the future, these people are more concerned with instant gratification.
Binay has been in politics long enough to develop thick skin and know how to dismiss his detractors. It is interesting to see how he is still standing tall despite the odds stacked against him. If his activities weren’t so callous, you could admire his ability to soldier on regardless of the sticks and stones thrown at him. But the reality is, Binay’s ability to act with impunity is something we all need to worry about. It’s one thing for Binay to buy the voters but it’s quite another for the voters to sell their votes. Both are in cahoots to continue the tradition of using the nation’s coffers as a source of their personal shopping money.
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