Style bulok na yan. Seriously? Calling supporters to camp outside the office you had holed yourself up in? Apparently, now-suspended Makati City Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr thinks he is above the law. After being suspended for six months by the Office of the Ombudsman last week on the 11th March over corruption allegations, the mayor barricaded himself in his office in defiance of the order. Monday, the 16th March, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has served the suspension order and posted a copy of it at the entrance of the Makati City Hall building.So what next?
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Responding to calls by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas for him to quit the “drama” and this display of “high school menatlity” and “respect the suspension order of the Office of the Ombudsman,” Binay Jr reportedly lashed out and requested that Roxas “stop pontificating about the law”.
Quite convenient the way politicians invoke the concept of “rule of law” when convenient and dismiss it when they find themselves on the wrong side of that equation. Binay’s is just the most recent as this is a condition that seems to be prevalent as a quaint banality in Philippine politics. Most laughable of all is the way “supporters” respond to the call in droves. Is the Mayor of Makati City really that relevant to their lives? Perhaps it is, considering they get a bit of free food for their trouble in this instance.
Then again there could also be some history for some of these folk who’ve put their lives on hold for the several days that they’ve camped in front of City Hall for Binay Jr. Maybe at some time in the past, some may have received some “gifts” or “favours” from the mayor; a stint as “ninong” for their wedding or baptism perhaps? A bit of “help” with emergency medical expenses?
Most likely it is one or another form of pandering to his constituents’ mendicancy that endeared Junjun Binay to these folk now infesting the streets around the City Hall and causing monstrous traffic jams over the country’s premiere financial district.
The irony here is that this style of political “activism” is a legacy of the EDSA “people power” “revolution” popularised by the family of Roxas’s boss President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III. Though the original street “revolution” in 1986 was arguably well-justified, it spawned a raft of copycat “revolutions” both big and small over the next couple of decades — the infamous age of Ocho-Ocho Revolutions that characterised much of the 1990s and first decade of the 21st Century.
Junjun Binay really has no way out of this. In fact, on top of his corruption charges he should also be charged with resisting arrest, illegally occupying a public building, and inciting rebellion. His supporters should be forcibly dispersed and those who remain rounded up, arrested, and thrown in prison. The only thing this spoilt brat achieved is make himself look like a fool and endangered the safety of his misguided street disciples.
The last thing Filipinos need in a time when terrorists possibly funded by a “friendly” neighbour infest Mindanao with impunity, a big world power is busily annexing its territories in the West Philippine Sea, and their president is paralysed by a fear of his own people is a two-bit mayor making trouble in its top financial hub.
What the Aquino administration had failed to do with its enemies perhaps could be compensated with swift action for a change in dealing with this Binay annoyance.
Then again, the Philippines is an unfortunate democracy with three cooks in the kitchen. As of this writing the Philippines’ Court of Appeals (CA) has reportedly granted Binay Jr a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) on his suspension. The drama continues then, like a bad Filipino teleserye.
Stupid politicians + Stupid voters = Philippine Democracy
And so goes the old closing line for now:
Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.