IT is all too obvious in the surveys. The war of attrition sponsored by top Aquino people against Mr. Binay is hurting Mr. Binay slightly and hurting the chosen presidential candidate of Mr. Aquino’s coalition – Mar Roxas – even more.
From their unbeatable highs, Mr. Binay’s numbers have dropped, but he remains competitive. Mr. Roxas’ numbers have remained flat and those numbers, this is the long and short version of it, are not even enough to make him third in the presidential race. In some polls, Bibi-lite, Davao City Mayor Duterte is even polling better than the Chosen One.
So why then are the top Aquino people bent on going after Mr. Binay? To jail him or to humiliate him, or to paint him as – literally and figuratively – the blackest man in Philippine politics. From a pragmatic point of view, there is no political sense in targeting Mr. Binay as the gains/ benefits/ whatever of those actions against Mr. Binay and his political family have not been gains for the presidential dream of Mr. Roxas. There has been no net gain, not a tiny, wee bit, for the LP’s chosen.
Still, there are clear signs that the last 11 months of Mr. Aquino would be spent in an effort to jail or humiliate Mr. Binay. And it seems that Mr. Aquino is abetting the anti-Binay game plan. What gives?
Pursuing the right path and purging the corrupt is not the real agenda. I believe what many believe – that the Binays could not have gotten that rich and powerful by following the purchasing and bidding law. But for the LP leaders to cast the first stone is hypocritical. Look at them in the eye and their eyeballs would likewise bear the stigma of corruption.
In many an LGUs, especially those controlled by a single political family, the ruling family owns everything, from the provincial engineering office to the COA auditors. There is no single transaction that is imbued with integrity. While these major cities and provinces do not have the resources of Makati, and cannot reap the rewards of being in Makati, the level of impunity may even exceed the alleged impunity that is taking place in Makati.
This is the reason the special focus on the Binays of Makati stands out. And this is the reason the Binays can truly cry “selective justice.”
Let us go to the economic sense of crushing the Binays. Subverting the presidential ambition of Mr. Binay through means fair or foul will not lead to a spike in the GDP. Far from it. Pushed to the wall and nowhere to turn to, Mr. Binay can summon followers to mass at either EDSA or the financial district of the country. They are capable of paralyzing the nation’s main business areas. They are capable of placing the economy at a standstill. What if Mr. Pacquiao, a Binay supporter, joins the protest and shadow boxes before the crowds to entertain them? (Disgusted with the BIR, Pac-man can really do that). If Mr. Aquino’s people think that would be a plus to the image of their president – a president applying the law even on friends like Mr. Binay to ensure the triumph of justice – they should think again.
A government that can’t even run the metro trains on time – and run the few train trips that manage to scrape by safely – cannot be truly a government of some competence. Throw into the mix the DAP issue, the P19 billion CCT leakage and the Mamasapano carnage, all claims of official integrity are immediately shattered. The hype on sustained growth, notwithstanding, there are 11 million families that self-rate themselves as “poor” and more than five million squatter families are either in urban slum colonies or hollowed-out rural areas.
While we cannot spell out the rationale, we very well know the result of the war of attrition that the top Aquino people have launched on the Binays. Senator Grace Poe, currently the unofficial queen of Philippine politics, has been the prime beneficiary of the war of attrition. While the men are killing themselves to death, Ms. Poe has pole-vaulted above and beyond all presidential contenders in the surveys.
Better, she can remain coy about her presidential ambition – and she can meander at no cost to her standing in the polls. The Binay-Roxas wars simply mean, right now, this: God Spare the Queen. God Elevate the Queen.
Ok, until what time would she be spared from the internecine political conflicts? And be over and above the fray – and the warring men?
If they decide to fight to the death till early next year, Mr. Binay and Mr. Roxas would be the prime casualties. Which means leaving the Queen unscathed. Which means vesting her with the halo of political transcendentalism? Which means Ms. Poe breezily walking into the park and into the presidency.