WHEN Vice President Jejomar C. Binay takes the stage in his proclamation rally tonight, he shall have been a battle-scarred warrior, worn and weary, wounded and bleeding, but fighting on, urging to win.
Jojo will win, no doubt about it. All factors of victory are in his favor. Surveys come and go, now he’s up, now he drops, but whether down or up, his core numbers stay.
Sure, he pays attention to survey results, but he maintains the ultimate survey is the casting of votes on election day. And one little noted aspect about Jojo is that he has never lost in an election.
And if the current presidential contest were a one-on-one with Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas, then Jojo enjoys the great advantage of having already once beaten his foe.
In one article, I cited historical patterns to bolster my contention that Jojo is the guy history has destined to prevail among the contending presidential candidates. No vice president who ran for president has lost, namely Vice President Joseph Ejercito Estrada who won President in 1998 and Vice President Diosdado Macapagal who beat the incumbent President Carlos P. Garcia earlier in 1961. To somebody’s citation of Vice President Salvador P. Laurel ending up at the cellar of the presidential contest in 1992, won by then DND Secretary Fidel V. Ramos, I argued, which was not contested, that Laurel was a non-elected vice president, just as Cory was a non-elected vice-president, and so both of them did not fit into this reckoning, which is election.
We may then reiterate for emphasis, no vice president who ran for president ever lost.
Another pattern I cited is that of a mayor rising to President after first becoming vice president. This was true in the case of Erap. Jojo was mayor of Makati for three terms then became vice president afterward. That being the case, like Erap, where else will he go but upward to President?
All the above are bare facts, void of embellishments.
And all point to the fact that Vice President Jejomar C. Binay is the man who would be the next Philippine President.
But notice the verb, “would.” It is in the subjunctive mood, meaning conditional. It is a recognition of the fact that Jojo’s winning is conditioned on the coming presidential elections being fair, clean and honest. Otherwise, Jojo will lose.
Recognizing this eventuality early on, Vice President Binay had taken pains to gather numbers approximating his actual performance come election day. This will not guarantee that the numbers so gathered will reflect a hundred percent the actual votes he will generate during the election, but they will surely reflect cheating if there is one.
Jojo went on record declaring, “Kung dinaya tayo pero panalo pa rin tayo sa bilang, okay na. Pero pag dinaya tayo at tayo ay natalo, mamamatay na ako, lalabanan ko ang kanilang pandaraya.”
This to us should be most fearsome. Jojo’s winning is a big IF: if there is fair, clean and honest election. If there is none such, Jojo will strive just the same to counter the cheat and achievc a win. If I were the cheat, would I let Jojo reach that far where he will combat my cheating? I’d do him in first off.
This is the peril Jojo must overcome – the danger of being, in military parlance, “neutralized” early on.
Hasn’t this, in fact, what the enemy been doing to him the minute he made known his intention to seek the highest post of the land some two years back? Neutralize. That’s when Trillianes, in cahoots with Mercado et al, began the demolition job at the Senate with their accusations of graft and corruption against Jojo. After 25 hearings over a period of more than a year, Trillianes, Mercado and company have not proven anything about those accusations. What the hearings accomplished was the demonizing Jojo suffered in the eyes of the public as a result. The obvious intention was to discourage him from seeking the presidency.
But Jojo, steeped in the sterling tradition of courage and patriotism that were the hallmark of the First Quarter Storm, proved far greater than his physical size. For every blow he received, he delivered a more telling counterpunch. The Batangas property played up by Trillianes in the media as Binay’s asyenda, for instance, was revealed to be owned by somebody else; the condominium unit identified in the Senate hearing as belonging to Jojo was exposed to be actually possessed by a cousin of Mercado; and the much-publicized alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2 was ruled by the Supreme Court as untrue.
Toward the period of filing of certificate of candidacy, Jojo was a much-battered man, but he showed up at the Palacio del Gobernador Heneral Comelec offices and filed his COC. To which his enemy immediately countered with the Ombudsman finding probable cause for graft charges filed there against him. The lawyer that he is, Jojo kept his cool. He knew they could not file charges against him. His enemy knew it, too. The Ombudsman ruling was one more publicity stunt meant to demean Jojo further and send him down to his knees. Jojo stayed standing.
And now the Binay D-Day. At the Welfareville in Mandaluyong City he will call it “All in!” What will he make of his proclamation rally? An occasion for reiterating his defenses against the Trillianes attacks? A good great bulk of the nation has already seen through the Trillianes façade, barking as a Malacañang attack dog. The discredited rebel soldier would be better left undignified with further reply.
What the Binay government will be is something not quite ventilated yet among the people. Their needs are basic: jobs for the jobless, cure for the sick, education for the youth, care for the elderlies, end to poverty, better life for all.
“Maginhawang Buhay Para Sa Lahat Ng Pilipino!”
The people have faith that Vice President Binay is sincere in these respects and they’d be glad to help him get all these through.
But Jojo must be candid enough to warn the people that certain forces are at work to frustrate all these simply by ensuring that he does not become president. These forces have an agenda of their own for the next president to follow. They must make sure that the next president is their amboy. Otherwise they’d rather not have elections at all.
Now, that’s the ultimate cheat. How would it come about? And how would Jojo fight it to death?
That’s what Vice President Binay needs to tell the people tonight.
That is, if he lives through the night to tell it.