What happens if President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III resigns and Vice President Jejomar Binay takes over? Well, it seems everyone knows the answer. The Philippines will be ruled by President Jejomar Binay. Will he be a good president or a bad president? Everyone has an opinion about that. Will he vie for re-election 2016? Of course he will. That’s what politicians do — try to retain power or get more of it.
So I don’t really know what the big hoo-ha is about what happens after President BS Aquino steps down as president. Binay was elected Vice President in 2010. Could it be that Filipino voters were simply so stupid as to fail to understand what choosing who should sit in the office of the Vice President means for their country? The possibility of that being true is simply too horrible to contemplate.
But then there it is. Binay is the Vice President of the Philippines. And the incumbent, President BS Aquino is a president who has become a lame duck thanks to a five-year career of gross national mismanagement that ground a lofty oak tree of political capital to a mere stump today.
Binay is the Vice President of the Philippines.
How did this outrage come about?
That question is quite a confronting one. Now that the country is faced with a profound political crisis that brings it to the brink of staring the possibility of removal of a sitting president in the face, the Vice President’s role in all this suddenly becomes relevant.
The risk of Binay ever becoming president of the Philippines is really not a recent relevance. Indeed, it’s been a risk since 2010 when he, together with BS Aquino assumed his office in Malacanang. The president could have dropped dead or been rendered unfit to govern on Day Two of his term and Binay would have been President for the subsequent five years leading to today.
Did not the Filipino people realise that Binay could have at any time become President? They should have. They elected him Vice President.
A crook becoming Vice President is actually possible in the United States. “One heartbeat away from the presidency not a single vote cast on my name… Democracy is so over-rated.” That’s what Frank Underwood said when he was sworn in as the American Vice President in the hit TV series House of Cards. At least Americans can be excused. They don’t elect their Vice President.
Filipinos, on the other hand, do. If, back in 2010, Filipino voters stopped to consider that Binay will be just one heartbeat away from the Philippine presidency over the subequent six years perhaps we wouldn’t be hearing the gasps coming from people who are now so taken aback by this surprising possibility.
Ain’t personal accountability a bitch.[Photo courtesy InterAksyon.com.]
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