The plot against Binay

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The Senate committee inquisition being staged by Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III against Vice President Jejomar C. Binay appears to have at least three main goals.

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One, to force Binay to abandon his plan to run for president in 2016.

Two, to provide a diversion from the continuing scandals rocking the Aquino administration. Three, to catapult either Trillanes or Cayetano or both to higher elective positions.

These are bound to fail, if they have not already failed.

As the demolition job intensifies, the more determined is Binay to run, and the more rabid are his supporters (hopefully also his funders) in expressing their support for him. So focused, however, are they on his running that they do not seem to mind how the playing field looks today, and how it would look by 2016.

This, to me, is the more important—prejudicial—question.

Can President B. S. Aquino 3rd guarantee a clean and honest election? Or does he expect us to simply settle for what the National Transformation Council sees as a cheap rerun of the 2010 and 2013 “hocus PCOS” operations, using Smartmatic’s precinct count optical scan machines, on behalf of the administration?

For now, Binay has outplayed his tormentors, as far as the political play is concerned.

By naming a young Nacionalista Party leader, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, to speak for him, and by making it known that he is considering former Senator Manny Villar, the NP chief, as his possible running mate, Binay has effectively pulled the rug from under the feet of Cayetano and Trillanes, who are both dreaming of running for president or vice president under the NP banner.

But this is not the main topic of this column.

Contrary to the growing preoccupation of many, I see no point in discussing anybody’s presidential prospects at this time. I refuse to be drawn into that corner. I believe the real question for now is whether we could survive another two years of Aquino’s constitutional crimes, and still hold a decent election by 2016, not merely a rerun of the “hocus PCOS” operations of 2010 and 2013.

Unless and until such elections could be guaranteed, those who want to see our political institutions rise again will have to seriously consider the NTC Lipa position that Aquino should step down now, without being immediately succeeded by any presumed constitutional successor, but to be replaced provisionally instead by a non-partisan, morally and spiritually directed council whose job will be solely to fix the broken system so that we could elect a new set of leaders in a clean and honest election later.

As the presumed constitutional “successor,” Binay cannot possibly be expected to agree to such a transition. But neither can he disagree that the electoral system is rotten, and that the need of the hour is to clean it up as a first step in reforming the constitutional and political system, which has been thoroughly degraded by Aquino’s one-man rule.

At Lipa last week, the NTC’s Catholic, Protestant and Muslim spiritual and moral leaders took the position that the 2010 and 2013 elections were not only fraudulent but above all illegal, having been conducted by a private Venezuelan corporation, using tampered PCOS machines, rather than solely by the Commission on Elections, which has the exclusive constitutional authority to conduct elections.

In their view, the Aquino government is but a de facto rather than a de jure government. Thus inserting an interim non-partisan council, and one supported by a broad national consensus, would not deprive anyone of his constitutional “right” to succession.

Binay’s tormentors are no supporters of the Council. Their attack on Binay is meant to force him out of the presidential race, which they seem to believe has already started, and should be concluded in 2016, whether or not the prostituted electoral system is changed. Although all is fair in love and war, what the three senators are doing is truly in violation of the Constitution and the rules on inquiries in aid of legislation.

What they are investigating are allegations already filed against Binay before the Ombudsman. The investigation is not in aid of any proposed or hypothetical legislation, but is prosecutory in nature. It is meant to try Binay by publicity through the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing.

We do not need to be law professors or lawyers to know this is flat wrong. The Constitution, the rules of the Senate and common sense will tell us the Senate blue ribbon committee is not the proper forum to investigate any alleged crime, especially if it is already being investigated by the Ombudsman. Senators themselves are not meant to be criminal investigators or prosecutors.

This is a tired subject, which I have tried to address so many times before. A few Saturdays ago, at the Kapihan at Anabel’s (Quezon City), I had a brief exchange with Trillanes on this question. I said then what I am saying now, that first, we shouldn’t be talking of who should be running or not running in 2016 at this time but rather of how to reform the rigged electoral system so that we could have clean and honest elections; and that the senators, having been so dirtied by the pork barrel scandal, have lost every right to investigate anybody else outside of themselves.

I tried to tell Trillanes that as Senate Majority Leader to five Senate presidents during my two terms in the Senate, I was a member of all standing committees. But I avoided those inquiries “in aid of legislation” which tended to be accusatory in character, and habitually turned into noisy police proceedings. I thought it was a grave abuse of parliamentary privilege for a committee or senator to “investigate” anybody who was already being investigated by the Ombudsman on the same allegations. This is exactly what the three young senators are doing to Binay.

Instead of showing my position to be flawed, Trillanes said it was “the refuge of the corrupt.” It was an offensive statement, and I had to tell the brash younger man that in my long years in public life–I was a Cabinet minister for 10 years from age 29 (the youngest on record), a legislator for 15, and continuously a writer-journalist for 50 now–I have never been involved in corruption.

He corrected himself by saying he was not referring to me at all, but said that I wasted my time as a senator by not participating in “investigations.” (Indeed, I failed to grandstand or shake down some people.) He seemed to believe this was the real duty of a senator. I said a senator could do much better by speaking to important public questions on the Senate floor.

There a senator could perform what Walter Bagehot (in The English Constitution) calls the “expressive function,” to express the mind of the people on all matters that come before the Senate; the “teaching function,” to teach the nation what it does not know; the “informing function,” to inform the Executive of the grievances of various sectors and what was wrong; and not least, the “legislative function,” to dissect and act on bills, memorials, and resolutions.

By using the plenary hall, I told Trillanes, I had managed to produce two fairly readable books of substantial speeches delivered on the Senate floor–a record of sorts in the last 30 or 40 years. After that brief run-in, I told some of his friends I would let the incident pass without further comment because he probably did not know what he was doing. But because the inquisition has become such a scandal, I am compelled to amend my position.

The bottom line is this: the three senators, having each received P50 million in Disbursement Acceleration Program “incentives” from Malacañang after convicting Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial, do not have clean hands. Not only do they have no business investigating anybody outside of themselves, they have no business remaining in the Senate and using our money to project themselves obscenely and dangerously for higher elective office.

fstatad@gmail.com

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45 Comments

  1. Absolutely right. The 3 senators look foolish. They should stop what theyre doing. They are just proving that binay is really a strong contender

  2. I am not sure if this blue ribbon committee is really a help for the government’s checks and balances. For one, if it is for the sake of aiding legislation then where are the laws that safeguards us from ‘evil’ politicians? If it is to expose corruption, then why are they not able to jail GMA or Jocjoc? I say this is just another mockery and insult to our intelligence by making us believe they are doing the good thing when in fact they are just conspiring to enslave our minds by seeking higher office and protecting themselves. At the end of the day, Binay will win by being the punching bag at first. Boom- a black (nognog) president who came from rugs- the one that most hated by the rich.

  3. roland villarama on

    I do not care if Trillanes or Cayetano want to become the President of the Universe. What is important to me is the truth why the parking lot building is as expensive as a 5 star hotel.

    Good work for Trillanes and Cayetano for trying to week out crooks in the government.

  4. dont choose a brilliant president coz he/she is brilliant in corruption but if u will choose a down to earth pres..he will help the poor and needy countrymen

  5. Mr. Kit Tatad, so what do you want? To go back to the good old days when Marcos remnants like you can easily cheat on elections and put you and other dogs back in office?

    Tunay na reporma; Tunay na progreso ng Matuwid na Daan!

    #NeverAgain

  6. if the issue is overpriced construction, let a proper agency or an independent body do the investigation. no one in the senate has the expertise and knowhow to determine if the construction is overpriced anyway. on the other hand is the issue is corruption, file a case against the perpetuator (i think a case has been filed at the ombudsman office) and let the process roll to find guilt or innocence. they can exert pressure to expedite the resolution for all the people to know.

    cayetano, pimentel and trillanes are doing it again. making innuendos and accusations on people they target to malign just to get elected… remember the same tactics cayetano did on the arroyos? he never prove his accusations -and the irony of it is that when he got elected, he dropped all his effort to uncover the truth! the thing is these senators are never fair and have used the influence of their office to weigh down on others. it would be best for them to challenge whoever they want to challenge in court which is the proper venue to be fair… question is – what have these senators done for ordinary citizen to enable a common laborer to bring food on the table and earn a living for his family day by. i can only see these three senators benefiting from this senate charade -who by the way have not explained where the 50 million DAP money they admittedly received were spent. election time is near and they are in panic mode since their ratings are consistently very low on the scale!

  7. It is too obvious what the three HONORABLE senators ar doung, they want to destroy VP Binay in order for them to become HEROES in the eyes of the public specially Cayetano and Trillanes. By doing this investigation, they have the media mileage using the BLue Ribbon Committee to demolish VP Binay who they think will be their biggest problem come 2016. Question? Where did the Good Senator Trillanes get the almost tripled SALN for 2013 against the SALN during the first year of his term? Did he produced any documents on how did he used his 50M share? Did he return it or simply pocketed it along with the other GOOD SENATORS? For the record, i dare Honorable Trillanes and Honorable Cayetano to explain the big difference on their SALN.

  8. I usually rather enjoy your articles. I hope I’m not misconstruing your article as being Pro-Binay. Because if you are sir then brilliance aside you’re delusional to boot. The Binay’s have pillaged Makati and Makati residents since they first came into power. Most people look at the CBD and say at least Makati has something like this and automatically credit the Binay clan for its development and success. I call total BULLSHIT on that. The Binay’s did not build Makati. The Ayala de Zobel clan did! Now that’s a fact. The Binay’s have simply been reaping the spoils of their political position. They are dirty. For anyone to defend them is sad…and I’m a guy who has a friend staunchly pro-Binay. Political Dynasties will continue to put us, the people and the nation in last place. Write something a little more objective next time sir. Afterall, you’re no saint either.

    • it is not proper to accuse and declare somebody of thing unproven when they are not found guilty yet by the courts. on the other hand, if you can read people’s mind and thoughts, then judge everybody as you please.

      but remember the saying that an accusing finger has more fingers pointing the accuser!

  9. These three senators are all hopeful to be considered by Pnoy to run under LP banner in short what they re doing now to Binay is for their own personal interest and not for the public, Mr. Tatad is correct in saying that all their hands are dirtied by the 50 milliom pesos they received to convict Corona so they cannot be trusted , maybe another humungous amount were given to them to attack Binay.

  10. You have to be an ‘utak pulbura’ to argue with senator Trillanes. There is no point discussing any issue requiring intelligence with this incidental senator because he simply doesn’t have it.

    • You’re right, pointless arguing with such a big head who resorts to bullying, intimidation and threats. I wonder how we can call his kind – “honorable”.

  11. wilmer andrada on

    It is very important for Binay to come clean if he wants to be the next President.The fact that the buildings that he built as mayor of Makati are questionable ,overpriced, and ridden with irregularities, kickbacks and sleek maneuvering,then he has a lot explaining to do to the Filipino people. Where did all his wealth came from?

  12. Eliseo Jr. P.Tenza on

    Im an OFW since 1974 and I do not have any political leaning and I do not know VP Binay. I understand that a corruption case has been filed in the Sandigan Bayan or the Ombudsman for an alleged over priced Parking Building.There has been no action on either of these two agencies that i have heard of, who are supposed to be investigating corruption cases.If the Senate did not do this investigation, for the sake of legislation, ot for whatever reasons, i would not have known about the Parking Building.Being an Architect in Singapore I am well informed in understanding what First Class Building is. I would not have an idea of the moral personalityof the people running for President. All candidates for the highest position of the land should be scrutinized by the people and not just take the words of their supporters. If there is a case against Sen. Trillanes running for president then expose it. Let the people know. There is a corruption case against Sen Cayetano, report on the progress of that charge. Please let all this be known to the people.

    • Truly professional investigators do not make unnecessary statements while investigating a case. However, Cayetano and most especially Trillanes, takes the word of every accuser, and self confessed crook as divine truth.

  13. Living in a country of democracy expects no certain place in bringing out the truth. These senators are tools in uncovering wrongful acts. They have the power to investigate whatever u want to call it it is part of their power, using the checks and balance system of the three co equal branch. Are we not happy that public are informed and aware on what is happening? This investigation will help the voting public to decide for the future of this country. For me this probe is not a waste of time and money this is actually an investment for all of the Filipinos.

  14. CORRECTION : In case the people succeed in uprooting the yellow ribbon regime ala EDSA ’86 and move against the oligarchy, where will that leave you with your Opus Dei loyalties if the Church as I expect will side with the oligarchy, as it always does ? SORRY SENATOR, IM CONFUSED MYSELF…

  15. Why not expose different corruption on your column so then you are helping more Filipinos to whom to vote on next presidential election rather depending public officials

  16. BS is only a symptom of the country’s problem, the most fundamental one being the oligarchy’s stranglehold on the government. What enables them to apply this strangle hold ? Why, the yellow ribbon regime, what else ? I know you are not yellow, but Binay is. Why do you find it objectionable for crooks to to expose another crook, unless Binay is your candidate ? We don’t live in an ideal world, so we should be happy if it takes a devil and not a saint to examine a suspected kin who is seeking the highest post in the land. Your council sounds like an elitist group that Juan de la Cruz cannot relate to. How do you propose to translate your platitudes into issues that directly affect Juan, like excessive power and water rates, food security, peace and order, public health and education,and jobs ? These are topics the oligarchy and their servants in the yellow ribbon gang are loathe to include in the national conversation. In the unlikely event that the clerics do battle with the oligarchy, where will that leave you with your opus dei loyalties ? Why do you want us to trust the judgement of these clerics who gave us Cory Aquino and Gloria Arroyo, two presidents whom you mightily opposed? I hope you can clear up in you mind your confused position, because right now you are wasting your great talents by blowing hot air on national problems you cannot even state correctly. If you want to nudge Juan dela Cruz out of his apathy, try pushing for boycott of the 2016 elections. More Power to you, Senator !

  17. I don’t see any wrong on exposing corruption of Binay, we should be happy for that and We can see some fresh movement on Senators. Why not exposed some government scandal in this columns at least you are helping the Filipinos to be intelligent on who to vote.

  18. There is always a right time for everything under the sun. To correct what is wrong, to give justice to the oppressed and to free the people and the land of these few wicked individuals that their time is up and that they have to face their lot of discomfort, the people had enough of sufferings and it is about time that this generation prevents the plague and disease caused by only a few scoundrels. Power to the people.

  19. Electing Binay to the highest post in government would prove my assertion that the voting population has always been dominated by a stupid electorate!

  20. I sincerely hope this Binay DOESN’T become President of the Philippines, it will be the last nail on the coffin. The country, the people will suffer a lot more than they already are. NO VOTES FOR BINAY, PLEASE!

  21. More… I think Tadtad (chop, chop!) was recruited to join The Manila Times to chop, chop or cut down Pnoy and his presidential candidate in order to make Binay the next president. What’s wrong with investigating Binay’s alleged graft & corruption practices (no matter who investigate) if it is for the good of the country? You mean you want to have Binay dynasty and corrupt practices continue?

  22. Trillanes only won in the senatorial election because of coup. He should assigned as a soldier then in Basilan instead of he being a senator. One way of winning election is by coup.

  23. Sen. Kit Tatad, whether it is a plot or not, VP Binay “King of Modern Dynasties” need only to explain to the public where their family wealth came from pre EDSA to the present, all are multi millionaires.
    Everyone, specially those dealing with the government knows that politicians receive KB from contractors and suppliers for every the project they get and also politicians give 3-5% cash to COA auditors and they will sign even with closed eyes documents submitted by the local governments. Now the local gocvernments are more corrupt than the national.
    I will not blame others, like me, who will not vote this 2016 unless there is a new presidential candidate who are honest and honorable than Binay, Cayetano, Trillanes or even Roxas. I am considering the tandem of Mirriam and Mitos, if ever they will run, then I will vote come 2016

  24. Senate investigations are the best hopes of the people to gather the facts to support what they feel and know about their leaders.Graft and Corruption in our country has all been perceived and the people know, these TV exposures only make their suspicions confirmed. These young Senators are our best hope for our country’s future. They are doing good service for their country.
    There has been a lot of doubts about the phrase “in aid of legislation” being used against these inquiries. We should be mindful that LEGISLATION, the making of our laws implies a wide variety of congressional activities for whatever good it does for our people. Let us rejoice to have these Senators doing something beneficial for the people.

  25. If they are aspiring for the top position in the country why they did not just try to work for the best and show to the Filipino people that they are worth for it. Bad leaders exist only through the weakness of others. Throwing mad is not the work of a normal leader but rather a natural way of reflecting how a man acting like Vulture that survives only with eating animal carcass. I felt wasted my vote for the three senators.

  26. i agree with you mang kit about the actuations of this trillanes. it seems that the senators now, unlike before makoy destroyed the congress, does not know what they are supposed to do, hindi nila alam ang kanilang job description. akala nila porke senador or congressman sila, lahat ng gawin nila ay tama at lahat pwede nilang pakialaman kahit hindi nila jurisdiction like mga kasong nasa ombudsman na o nasa mga korte na ‘in aid’ kuno of legislation. the senate yellow ribbon committee under the senate presidency of drillon is to say the least a tool to harass, intimidate, shake down anybody. check out the record of drillon senate presidency also during arroyo’s term

  27. Jose A. Oliveros on

    Under the Constitution, congressional investigations should be in aid of legislation. But I challenge all past and present chairmen of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to cite even one law that was enacted as a result of an investigation conducted by that committee.

  28. Yes, I fully agree with your write-ups Sen. Kit Tatad. These 3 Aquino stooges- Senators Cayetano, Trillanes IV and Pimentel III should be ashamed to the people for pretending to be clean when they are not. Who are thy fooling anyway? If they are really honest and respectable, they MUST return to the National Treasury the PhP 50M bribe money that each one of them had received to convict SC Chief Justice Corona. We have the worst degree of corruption in the entire history of the country.

  29. You point out how silly the three are in this political attack. They are only looking for headlines to hurt a rival. It is the three that should be investigated in the DAP spending. The Senate is just wasting our time and money.

  30. Ito naman si Opus Dei Tadtad. As an Opus Dei, he should help unearth Binay’s alleged corrupt practices because if true, he (Binay) is certainly a bad future president of the Philippines, di ba?

  31. Why are you accusing the three senators of demolition job against Vice President Binay because of their expose of the over price parking building in Makati? Any body who is running for the highest office of the land must subject themselves to public scrutiny. Why should he be exempted to answer the corruption issues against him? If he has nothing to hide, he need not worry.

  32. Claro Apolinar on

    You are correct. There’s no use preparing for the 2016 elections while the Commission on Elections is still bent on using the accursed Smartmatic automated election system and its PCOS machines. Like Germany and other more seriously lawful and democratic countries that stopped using unverifiable and anti-transparency systems kike that of Smartmatic-PCOS machinesm we should revert of manual balloting and counting in the precincts but transmit the election returns from the precincts electronically and simultaneously to the municipal board of canvassers. the national canvassing center. and the approved watchdogs. Of course these ERs should be signed by the precinct board of election inspectors.
    If the 2016 elections will be held under the illegal and fraudulent Smartmatic/PCOS machine system we should rise and do People Power and let the National Transformation Council formed in Lipa rule until we hold the 2016 elections.

  33. The “inquisition” against Binay could serve as an acid test. It would exhibit the real “stuff” the vice president is made of. Will he buckle or prevail against intense pressure?

    • NABILI NA NI BINAY SR ANG LAHAT NG MGA MAYORS, BARANGGAY NASA BULSA NA ANG BUDGET…TUDONG BABOYAN AT DAYAAN ANG MANGYAYARI SA 2016…MGA PATAY NA TAO 100YRS AGO NAKAKABOTO PA SA MAKATI..TIGNAN MO AT NATALO PA NYA C ROXAS..PATI BALUARTE NI ROXAS GINAPANG NYA NG DAYAAN…SUS MATAKOT KA NOGNOG..BUHAY KAPA SUNOG NA KALULUWA SA ITIM NG BUDHI MO

  34. I hope you succeeded in putting Trillanes in his right place by exposing him as an intellectual lightweight who does not know what he is doing in the Senate. And he has the nerve to aspire for a higher position. He probably thinks that since Noynoy, a C student, became a President, he, a failed coup leader without objective, and succeeded in fooling the people into voting him senator can be President or Vice-president, too.

    • crisostomo ibarra on

      i think senator trillanes is on the right place to investigate and divulge to the filipino people all this corruption going on especially for someone who is aspiring to be president..and that is vp binay and his family…let the truth prevail…for the good of the country and the future of filipinos…

  35. Mr. Tatad, all the candidates or what I call it pretenders to the Presidency are all corrupt and have a lot of baggage in their backs. The NTC can do more and search for the person or persons who have the mind, the body, the will to make positive changes, not do the same from one administration to the next. The names, Binay, Cayetano, Trillanes, Drillon, Roxas and the others are all garbage and does not deserve our votes.

  36. I fully/totally agree on your column Kit, SPECIALLY ON THE LAST PARAGRAPH.

    Thank you Kit for being with the MANILA TIMES – MABUHAY!

  37. I might be biased, but I say that only those who have reached the age of sixty, can claim wisdom; others might be intelligent; hence, “been there done that”!

    In legal parlance, one should rely on his own strength, not on the weakness of the other. Along this line, one can only surmise what these senators have. It’s either they are being used as “tools” or that they are “grandstanding”, at the expense of the people’s money. They were either, or both, during the impeachment trial of CJ Corona.
    .

  38. noy v. brizuela on

    Yes! Indeed Senator Kit, they should look up themselves first in the MIRROR and act like a CIVIL servants for the ‘Pilipino People’ that actually Pay them to serve as Professional Members of the Philippine Senate!? Di ba?!