I agree with BAYAN, and have said as much: this is obviously a demolition job against Vice President Jejomar Binay, he who has declared his 2016 candidacy—quite unthinkingly, maybe ill-advisedly, I might add—so as to warrant this number of televised Senate inquiries into one Makati Parking Building.
This, when what we wait for with bated breath is how many others and who exactly this government might offer as fall guys for the Disbursement Acceleration Program’s (DAP) unconstitutionality, if not the continued existence of the fund allocations a la pork barrel for congressmen across the various departments of government.
The other reaction, of course, has been for the President to imagine that he himself might run for another term. We all know how that went down—the dismay turned to disgust, didn’t it? —and so plan B it seems was D, for demolition.
Binay could only be first in line. And how!
No finesse It’s too easy.
The corruption of the VP as mayor of Makati is stuff of urban legend. And as with manananggals in Manila there is very little proof of it in the news, and even less about the system of corruption that exists in the Makati City Hall.
But all it takes—as with many-an-exposé—is someone complicit in that system to squeal, ideally with nary anything to gain and everything to lose, hopefully at the most opportune time. It also takes senators “interested” enough in an exposé … este a case, to spend inquiry upon inquiry on it. If it’s televised nationwide, even better.
All these exist now against the Binays, from that one exposé about the Makati Parking Building, that one that they’ve called world class, but which we are being told ain’t that at all. It’s a building with misspelled office names, broken elevators, non-first class toilets, dark parking lots. Yes, it seems clear that this is overpriced. No, the Senate ain’t doing a good job of focusing on this task of proving this to be true.
Because they are doing this with hardly any finesse or control. It’s always like a free-for-all in these Senate inquiries, televised nationwide, with displays of Red Ribbon cakes and labeled black bags, political friends turned enemies making grand declarations about their complicity in the corrupt system, even as right now the point is to bury the VP so deep he will not be able to dig himself out and run for President in 2016.
It doesn’t help that the senator who has facilitated these inquiries, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, is as out of control, where he thinks nothing of talking about his own political family’s ways and means of running the city of Taguig.
He forgets that when he reminds us all of Taguig, we are also reminded of the many reasons why this is so obviously a demolition job.
The dynasty monkey wrench
Beyond the revelations about the overpriced Makati Parking Building, and given the revelations of political friend-turned-foe Mercado against the Binays, one is given a sense of how this system is something that works, that is condoned, that is but part and parcel of the workings of a city hall as we know it in this country.
For why else would anyone want to be mayor? Why would anyone want to keep that position so bad so as to have his wife run for office? Or his children? His brother?
Yes, we are talking about the VP himself, who has had his wife Elenita and son Junjun sit as mayor of Makati, and his daughter Abigal as Congresswoman of Makati, and yet another daughter Nancy won a Senate seat despite all black propaganda against her in 2013.
But also we are talking about Senator Cayetano having his wife Lani as mayor of Taguig, for which same city he had sat as Congressman, a position that his brother Lino now holds. There’s also another Cayetano senator, lest we forget.
This kind of political dynasty on the level of the local government exists across this nation, yes? And while we will be fed the press release that this is about families that seek to serve their cities, a finger at the Binays can only make us wonder what exactly is going on in the other dynasty-controlled local governments of this country.
Patronage politics at its finest
And when it’s not a family affair, then certainly it’s political patronage at its finest, where the ones who do become mayor or congressman are indebted to the bigger, wealthier, more powerful families of the city—if not of the national government itself. It’s the kind of indebtedness that keeps discussion only on the level of the status quo, that makes certain issues untouchable and un-discussable. It’s the kind of indebtedness that will have a senator or two—or three!—going all tunnel vision on one case, and conveniently setting aside the bigger more critical issue that reveals too many of them to be complicit. That one that we are all waiting for the Senate to discuss at length and in depth, because it’s what we truly want if we are to see change about in our government. The DAP. The continued existence of allocations for members of the House of Representatives. The use of public funds to keep Senators and Congressmen on a leash held by the Executive.
This is why these countless Senate inquiries about the Makati Parking Building and its contingent issues against the Binays reek of patronage politics. There is something that is being silenced in place of this noise. We all know that the Senate can handle multiple issues, make ‘em all noisy if they want to, at the same time.
And at this point really, the VP can do nothing else but address the nation and explain, defend himself. In fact he should have done so early on, but he seems to be so ill advised and has been wont to keep quiet, as if waiting for any scandalous accusations to blow over. He has had his children speak, but they seem to be such neophytes at damage control, unlike the best of our politicians. The best of ‘em are standing against the opposition, holding the purse strings of nation, and eyeing political positions that are only possible if the Binays do not get the Presidency ever.
The circus is in town. It’s got its eye on 2016.