• Voters constitute the court

    6

    “Freedom to differ is not limited to things that
    do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow
    of freedom. The test of its substance is to differ on
    things that touch the heart of the existing order.” —
    JUSTICE ROBERT H. JACKSON OF THE US SUPREME COURT

    Whenever someone writes a critique of anyone in this country, the immediate conclusion of the readers is that the writer is an enemy, a fanatical partisan or a paid hack. If a writer does the opposite, the same conclusion ensues – that the writer is a friend of that someone, a partisan in his favor or his paid hack. In most instances, it is probably accurate in the Philippine setting. The exception is that there are writers who do analysis of personalities who run for public office just for love of God and country.

    I am one such writer. I don’t get paid for writing, not now or ever except when I was editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines because I had salary. I write and publish my books without thought of ever recovering my expenses for their publication. I have been offered bribes as much as US$50 million up to $100 million just to leave for the United States of America before an election. I had been offered P50 million to release a Yakuza Chieftain when I was Commissioner of Immigration. I rejected both of them. There were other offers defined in terms of millions which I all rejected.

    The reason for the rejections is simple: I learned an indelible lesson from our father who was mayor of our town for about twenty years when he told his children “that when wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost something is lost. But when character is lost, everything is lost.” I write and do things for love of God and country. I don’t care about what people think about my writings or what I am doing. It is enough that I write and do what is right. To borrow some lines of John F. Kennedy’s Profiles In Courage and Senator John McCain in a recent Fox News interview, “I’d rather be right than President.” That’s me and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

    The comments of UNA and Binay partisans
    I am compelled to do this because of comments from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), Binay’s political party, and some of his camp followers that my analysis of Binay’s chances to become president is biased and designed to belittle his chances. They have missed the point by a stellar parallax. I have written also about the other four candidates for President and I have said over and over again that none of them deserve to be President and leader of this country. If they are not squint-eyed or blind they should have been aware of my writings. As Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War, “know thyself, know thy enemy. A hundred battles, a hundred victories.”

    Almost all traditional politicians in this country repeat this line whenever they are attacked or criticized, “Charge me and prove it in court.” This pitch is as old as the Marcos era as though we have not made any progress from there. This is the politics of ignorant candidates and ignorant voters.

    In an election, candidates appear before the court of the people. All the critics need to do is to bare the evidence in convincing terms. You don’t need evidence that prove the guilt of the offender beyond a reasonable doubt. That quantum of evidence is required in a court of law, not before the court of our people. This, Binay and his partisans should know because thus far Binay has done nothing but come up with denials, denials and more denials. Thus, he is appealing to the sense of pity of the people and saying that he is accused left and right because he is the tribune of the people waging wars against the oligarchs in this country. When he comes out with some explanations, he and his partisans give us a cock and bull story, even the stupid will find funny and insulting.

    Imagine some of Binay’s partisans compare him to God and Einstein. That is a lot of shit. It is plain and simple hogwash. It is as tasteless as Duterte’s curse of the Pope. It is not only the height of shameless braggadocio it is insulting to those who do not even think politics.

    Questions Binay should answer
    There are questions Binay should answer to quell the doubts of the people about his character as a public official:

    First, is it not a fact that it was an oligarch, President Corazon C. Aquino, who appointed you OIC of Makati City with the help of her running dogs, then Executive Secretary Joker Arroyo and Secretary of the DILG Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.?

    Second, what was the net value of the properties which you claimed you have inherited from your parents at the time you became OIC of Makati?

    Third, what was your net worth – your wife and you – at the time you assumed the position of OIC of Makati?

    Fourth, did you include all these properties and your income in your income tax returns (IRC) and your statements of assets and liabilities (SALN) at the time you assumed office as OIC of Makati?

    Fifth, how much was your salary as mayor of Makati and the total amount of your salary from the time that you were OIC until the time you quit as mayor?

    Sixth, how much were the earnings of your wife as doctor from the time you became OIC until now?

    Seventh, how much were your net income and that of your wife from the time that you were OIC until you quit as mayor on a year to year basis?

    Eighth, what is your answer to each and every document that Vice-Mayor Mercado and Atty. Bondal bared during the Senate hearings that overwhelmingly stunk of graft and corruption, not to speak of plunder?

    Ninth, is it true that initially you asked for units for free in every building constructed in Makati and later one floor of every building constructed in Makati during your time as mayor?

    Tenth, is it true that you promised to bring the crowds to the Peninsula Hotel to give support to Trillanes and Danny Lim when they pulled the coup against the GMA government in 2007 and you did not honor that promise?

    Eleventh, why did Limlingan and your other confederates refuse to testify in the Senate hearings when they were implicated by Vice-Mayor Mercado and Atty. Bondal in your alleged crimes? Why are they hiding or unavailable up to this day?

    Twelfth, is it true that the value of the cake that you keep on giving to Senior citizens of Makati during each of their birthday is only a little above P300 but your government billed each cake at P1,000 each?

    Thirteenth, is the rumor true that you bought the 2010 Vice-Presidential elections from some Comelec operators for P1.5 billion?

    Fourteenth, why do you insist on the legitimacy of dynasties when the same is condemned by our existing Constitution?

    These are the initial questions you have to answer if you want the voters of this country to elect you president.

    The UNA spokesman complains that I do not discuss the achievements of Binay. Here is the letter in full, without any editing:

    The UNA letter
    “February 20, 2016
    ATTY. HOMOBONO A. ADAZA
    Columnist
    The Manila Times
    2/F Sitio Grande Building
    409 A. Soriano Avenue
    Intramuros Manila 1020
    Dear Atty. Adaza:

    I have read your most recent column, “VP Jojo Binay: Can he ever be president?” and I was left dumbfounded.

    For someone who has proclaimed that he does not believe in the power of the vote, your analysis on the chances and means by which Vice President Jejomar Binay can win the presidency is extremely myopic.

    You detailed and went through his career without acknowledging his experience and accomplishments as a former human rights lawyer, a local government executive, and as the vice president of our country.

    You described VP Binay as “a pauper becoming a prince” but for the people of Makati, he is a real working Cinderella man. To them, he was a local executive who came from rags, persevered, and was able to uplift the quality of their lives.

    Let me further enlighten you. When he was appointed Makati OIC by President Corazon C. Aquino in 1986, Makati’s annual income was P208 million. With an expenditure budget of P269 million, the city had a 25 percent deficit despite being a primary business hub of the country. Makati, then, had public services that were comparable to those of fourth class municipalities.

    He turned the situation around. He improved the city’s revenue generation by rationalizing and expanding the city’s tax base. Better revenues translated into enhancing the LGU’s capacity to serve the people. By the time he left the mayor’s office in 2010, the city government was generating P11 billion in revenues. The city has been providing public and social services unlike any other in local government in the country. In fact, Makati became the standard for progressive and enlightened governance.

    Under VP Binay’s leadership as housing czar, the key shelter agencies (KSAs) were able to provide homes to 792,014 families, with a valuation worth P268.826 billion, from July 2010 to May 2015. Compared to previous KSAs’ performance, the numbers already speak for themselves.

    You said that the ball is in our court and we no longer need to do your recommendations of rigging the elections. For us at UNA, we believe that Vice President Jejomar Binay can and will claim the presidency because of his Karanasan, Kakayahan, and Malasakit. Among his adversaries in the presidential race, he is the only one who can replicate the successes in Makati and apply these at the national level. He has the executive leadership and the political will to back up his words. He came from poverty and understands the suffering of the poor. No need for insinuations and generalized conclusions. For these reasons alone, we believe VP Binay can claim the presidency.

    Sincerely,

    JOSELITO SJ SALGADO (sgd)”

    There it is – in full and unedited. You be the judge.

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    6 Comments

    1. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      03 March 2016

      Well-known political activist, former Governor, former Parliamentarian, and now Manila Times columnist HOMOBONO ADAZA has just challenged Vice President and now presidential candidate JEJOMAR BINAY to answer all of the 14 QUESTIONS he has posed in this March 2nd column in the Manila Times.

      The the complete and honest answers to all of those 14 critical questions will clearly prove whether or not JEJOMAR BINAY is a big-time crook or not.

      If not then he deserves to be a candidate for President. But he is, then the voters will be making a fatal mistake if they elect him President because he may reduce former President Ferdinand E. Marcos to the status as a second-rate Kleptocrat.

      How about it , Mr Binay?

      MARIANO PATALINJUG
      patalinjugma@gmail.com

    2. Tell me a government that has no corruption. If ever there is truth to the rumor that there are units to be shared for every condominium to be built, I guess it was only an exercise of revolutionary taxation that a socialist in government will pursue to fund its own personal agenda. One can never expect any government to be a paragon of morality or honesty. Surely, life is a world of trade offs. Even in the business world, you may need to lose a pawn or bishop to win the Queen and the cost will just be treated as business expense on the part of the entrepreneur. Just as the covert world would say, I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HOW YOU DO IT BUT JUST DO IT. If Jojo made those revenues for Makati, that is the only thing that is important. In the world of realpolitik or governance, it is the bottomline that counts and the balance sheet is in favor of Makati. Everything else do not matter.

    3. Binay have accomplished projects as much as he can, because there was kickback for every project or accomplishment for him and his family. The more projects he accomplish, the richer he gets. God bless the Philippines!!

    4. I absolutely agree with you. If VP Binay is a straight arrow as he wants people to believe, then why did he refuse to appear before the Senate Committee investigating the illegal and questionable practices that apparently took place in Makati when he served as mayor. At the beginning of his law career, VP Binay was known as a human rights lawyer who, it appears, performed unpaid legal work for unions and others in need of legal representatiion. Wasn’t that the reason why the late President Cory Aquino made him the administrator of Makati? But that’s almost thirty ago, and “the past is another country”. What is important now is the question of what did he do as mayor of Makati such that he, who claims to have come from a poor background, has catapulted into the clouds and become a very very wealthy man.

      For this election cycle, VP Binay seems to be unaware or deliberately ignores the astute political intelligence of what I call “thinking” Filipinos. There is no question that the “masa” are low info, indifferent, naive, and gullible.This state of affairs can make one despair for the country because it is, in great part, a reflection of the masa’s preoccupation with basic survival: food, clothing and shelter. Further, it is also evidence of the Government’s failure to address adequately the problem of hunger and poverty in this large segment of society. Who has time to attend to questions of graft, corruption, and plunder when one has nothing to eat and no place to live? The poor and and hungry just want to live for another day. That is why they are so receptive to VP Binay’s blandishments of food money, and promises of more of the same if they vote for him. His usual spiel of “I grew up poor, I was once like you” is welcomed and certainly does not fall on deaf ears.

      But as the educated and more politically savvy readers of this column recognize: “where there is smoke, there is fire”. The VP has been labelled by a majority of netizens as a “thief” or “plunderer”. It is unfortunate that the wheels of justice grind slowly in the Philippines. If he wins the presidency, the whole issue of his alleged graft and corruption may just go farther and farther down the rabbit hole.

      As for your critics, Mr. Adaza, you, as an avowed revolutionary, must know when and how to respond to them. Or even if it is worth your while to respond. Everyone is entitled to one’s opinion.Your readers may not always agree with you, but I find it reassuring to note that there is a writer at The Manila Times who seems to march to the beat of a different drummer, and is unafraid to raise his voice for the disenfranchised and the great unwashed. Carry on, Mr. Adaza. More power to you!

    5. Bono, I have seen you live in TV as you singlehandedly rebut and derail Speaker Nicanor
      Yniquez bid to proclaim Marcos as the winner over Cory Aquino in the defunct Batasang Pambansa. A fellow columnist wrote that you are a sore loser after Cory distributed the spoils of victory led by Binay, an unknown in the center of opposition power.But you rather be right than becoming a president.You asked us to be the judge of a letter from a Binay partisan to quell our doubts on the character of Binay as a public official. Well this Salgado is a lot of bull and we voters who are desperately clamoring for change doesnt know whether to laugh or cry!