Mr. Binay is a Running Man. The pros and cons


The close advisers  of Vice President Jejomar  Binay, the putative front runner in the 2016 presidential race, have been mostly  drawn from  the camps of three former presidents: Marcos,  Estrada and  Mrs. Arroyo.  If you say that is a good thing and a positive  one ,  and it would add to the intellectual and moral heft of Mr. Binay, I would not even know how to answer back.

Sure, Joey Salgado, who trained under the late  journalism great Joe Burgos, is with Mr. Binay.  But Joey’s role is crafting words  and media strategy, not on nation-changing  policy directions.  Mr. Binay would not turn to Joey, say,   to get an adequate briefing on how Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea would impact on the defense preparations in the Pacific Rim.

Or, at what “peak oil prices” would a Binay presidency    consider a review of the Oil Deregulation policy.

Speaking of media, the choice of Toby Tiangco as spokesman of the UNA, the political coalition that would carry the presidential dreams of Mr. Binay in 2016, is not a positive thing either. You get distracted by the hairstyle of Mr. Tiangco. When he talks of UNA and Mr. Binay, the  people  do  not listen with intensity. The listeners  say something  like this: the guy needs a decent haircut.

In the current political context, optics – sadly – are just as important. And the optics of Toby Tiangco’s rockista hairstyle would matter in a presidential campaign.

Mr. Binay, in 2016, needs a fresh and defining theme. The one he used in 2010, showing off the greatness of Makati, would no longer wash. A few new developments, The Fort, for example have been stealing the thunder from Makati’s CBD  in terms of luring in the named locators. Quezon City is building its own CBD and other select sprawls (in other towns and cities) may finally  diminish, if not totally erode, Makati’s claim as the hub of everything.

Just more than two years before the 2016 campaign, Mr. Binay still lacks a solid platform
and plank upon which he would campaign on. Of course, he has no problem tapping the best and the brightest for that task as Filipino thinkers, mostly kulang sa pansin, would eagerly jump at the task of helping a major presidential candidate (or any presidential candidate for that matter), write a campaign platform.

He should write a coherent, credible platform now.

The political organization of Mr. Binay is a humungous one, and as such, it is unwieldy.

The perception that he is a frontrunner has attracted all sorts of campaign types to his camp, from the idealistic ones who have been with Mr. Binay since his street protesting days, to the opportunistic ones that expects the gravy after their principal’s election to the presidency.

In my home province of Pampanga for one, the ones claiming to do grassroots work for Mr. Binay belong to the class of political slime and sleaze.

We don’t know the deeper reasons why the PDP-Laban was dropped by Mr. Binay, given that party’s pivotal role in the democratic restoration. By dropping the PDP-Laban, the opportunity for great symbolism and getting all the still-surviving members of the opposition Batasan members for one last political fight, was lost.

Despite all these, there is one good attribute of the  Running Man Binay that ordinary  voters would appreciate in 2016 – he is a politician. I will explain.

After six years of Mr. Aquino’s unwavering technocracy, Mr. Binay, the politician, would be a burst of fresh air by the time the campaign season commences.   By 2016, there would be a fatigue for technocratic policies that have placed a premium on growth rates, on the ratings of the credit agencies, on the alleluias from the multilateral institutions. And a regime that lacked even the most elementary  concern for unfortunate, desperate lives.

The lives of me and my neighbors and the lives of most of the people I know.

The toll on the general public of a mirthless, jobless and joyless growth – and the bless the  Top 1 percent meme – would be deeply felt by 2016 and the entry of Mr. Binay and his populist policies would be, generally, most welcome.

The words “politician”and “populism” which had been duly skewered and made synonymous with political corruption  and slime, will have a change of definition – very positive ones – by the time Mr. Binay starts stumping for votes.

Why, people, would probably say, we  need a candidate who we can talk with, one who can  feel our pain, our alienation from the mainstream,  and can feel our deepest frustrations.  Mr. Binay, who claimed to have been from humble origins,  would probably listen to  their  (our, rather) heartaches and plaints.

The do-gooders and the so-called civil society would lose their knickers in anguish over the possibility that a politician with a populist bent would assume power after Mr. Aquino.

But that would be the payback for the great omission of a technocratic government –  where the summum bonum  has been  the pursuit of growth and  where rising GDP charts – not overall human well-being –  are paramount. Unfortunate human lives are an  afterthought.

In short, Mr. Binay will thrive in 2016 precisely because of the past six years. The ordinary people like me and my neighbors  would want a  president  who would care to listen.

A little sleaze and pliability, we would not mind. Governing, as we have learned in the past few years,  cannot be really done from an unflinching, but high-handed, moral ground that is obsessed, not with empowering  human lives  but with nice GDP charts.

Marlen Ronquillo


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  1. So what is wrong for a gov’t. that focuses on GDP, credit ratings and etc.? The USA and other progressive nations also focuses on these parameters. Good Credit and GDP makes the country more desirable for foreign investment. Should we ask foreigners to close their BPO operations? These businesses gives better employments for almost a million Filipinos now. If there are no big time businesses where will the government get the money to be able to deliver services to the majority of the people? Where will the Aquino gov’t. get the cash money transfers given to the poorest of the poor? You can’t eliminate poverty overnight. Even in America there are thousands of street/homeless people. Why are most PNoys remain poor? 1. Because most are lazy. Nagtanim ba sila ng anomang gulay sa bakuran nila o nag alaga ng manok man lang? Hindi ba naghihingotohan lang o nag-iinoman maghapon?2. Nagkontrol ba sila sa pangagnanak nahindi naman nila kayang buhayin o pagpa-eskuelahin? Kennedy said “don’t ask what the gov’t. can do for you but ask what you can do for your gov’t.” Meron bang Pilipinong nag-isip ng ganito? Si Binay quiestinable ang pagkatao niyan. Look who is surounding him now? He has recently depended Enrile. Estrada, and Revilla in the PDAF Scam. Makikipag-deal ito kahit sa demonyo para lang maging presidente. Marami pa nanaman diyan na malinis ang pangalan.

  2. vote duterte and a win for these guy will wipe out these crook politicians. vote ping for vice pres. and he will finish up the job…….

  3. vote for binay is vote for corruption to include his wife. vote makati payong also to continue his muscle above the law. if these guys will run the country for the next 6 years you’ll see the crooks allies marcoses, estradas,revillas,enriles, etc.etc. sre on parade cotinues honeymooners happy cmapers. what you say Juan dela Cruz.

  4. The writer is right on some of his points, however me thinks that Binay being one of BS Aquino or better yet the Aquino clans cur will not change our lives BSA will get away with all his abuses and his corrupt underlings will be laughing their way to the bank…We need a dark horse that will stand up for the people and not the oligarch alone. I can’t see Binay as the Savior of our nation no fat chance. As for Toby Tiangco? he is one promising honest down to earth Politician, hairdo and all he will stand on his own. Lets get rid of Aquino and his yellow mob. God save our Country from even a tinge of BSA and his yellow mob.

  5. Mr. Ronquillo:

    Your words below should be embraced by all Filipinos who would want change in the present governance of the country!

    “By 2016, there would be a fatigue for technocratic policies that have placed a premium on growth rates, on the ratings of the credit agencies, on the alleluias from the multilateral institutions. And a regime that lacked even the most elementary concern for unfortunate, desperate lives.”

    I like your piece today.

  6. If Binay’s platform agenda would focus on the returning of the industries (imbued with public interests) that are sold to companies of oligarchs, certainly, that would give him a lot of positive points. Let those prime industries be handled by government people or group of enterprising cooperatives of good performance records and technocratic abilities and safeguarded with strict laws and special auditing rules that would not let anyone handling them to grab even the least opportunity for malfeasance. Advocacy for the passage of laws like Anti Political Dynasty and FOI are good promises also including solving the power crisis, high power costs, government red tapes are also priorities that the present regime failed to address.

  7. Jojemar Binay is just another Trapo aiming for the Presidency of our country. Consider these: 1) He is a top practitioner of political dynasty with her daughter as a senator, a son as representative with another son as mayor of Makati. 2) He has been charged with E-paling and too much politicking; 3) His choice of running mate for VP (rumor says it will be Vilma Santos) is much to be desired. 4) His choice of Manny Pacquiao in his senatorial slate is ridiculous; 5. He has been accused of womanizing.

    Binay, like Bong Revilla, will not bring out reforms in our country should he win the presidency. There won’t be any reforms, and Philippines would still remain an impoverished and very corrupt country.