Battle between ‘good,’ ‘evil’ in 2016

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014


JEJOMAR BINAY has been making the right moves since he surprisingly won the vice presidency in the 2010 presidential elections. But his decision to bolt from the Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas (PDP)-Laban, while inevitable because of his rift with party stalwart Aquilino “Koko” Pimental III, could spark a series of bad choices later on.

Binay’s politics is basically about making the correct alliances. He defeated Mar Roxas, President Noynoy Aquino’s running mate in 2010, because he rode on two boats; namamangka sa dalawang ilog as Tagalogs would say.

While Binay was with traditional politicians (trapos) in the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), he portrayed himself as more yellow than Roxas was, using his participation in Edsa 1 and friendship with PNoy’s mother Cory to win over a big chunk of Aquino supporters.

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He was UNA to trapo fanaticss but he was yellow to Aquino partisans. And it wasn’t only about credentials. He was head of PDP-Laban, which is identified with Edsa 1, and allied himself with PNoy’s uncle, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.

Roxas, on the other hand, mainly relied on the yellow crowd, which Binay successfully divided as far as the vice-presidential race was concerned. No wonder Binay won and Roxas lost.

But as the 2016 presidential election nears, Binay is increasingly being pushed to choose only one boat this time around. With PNoy and his Liberal Party (LP) bent on choosing their own, possibly Roxas, for the presidency, the “pamamangka sa dalawang ilog” would no longer work.

Bolting from the PDP-Laban could be the start of his drifting away from the yellow crowd. He may form his own party independent from those of his UNA allies, but he could no longer draw in political leaders identified with PNoy and the LP.

He can get leaders from the political opposition, but that would not make a difference in terms of organizational strength because he is also identified with the opposition from the very beginning. Being with PDP-Laban is different because some of its stalwarts are PNoy allies too.

Can Binay win the presidency with him being fully with the political opposition? I doubt it. And that’s where the sniping by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, a possible presidentiable, gains significance.

Cayetano has been pushing Binay to make statements supporting his opposition allies, Sens. Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, who are facing plunder cases in the pork barrel scam. The other senator in the mess, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., is also with the
opposition.

To complete the picture, another UNA stalwart, Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada, is a plunder convict himself. Then you have Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the Real Macoy, who does not need any introduction. And while Binay has successfully parried corruption issues during his stint as Makati City mayor, the accusations exist.

Some sectors are peddling the idea that the collective memory of Filipino voters is short and that alliance work, organizational strength and money could prevail over the discussion of issues related to governance in an election. Indeed, in 2010, Estrada was second to Aquino.

But in stressing Estrada’s feat, they forgot that Aquino won the presidency by an overwhelming margin despite weak alliance work, reliance on a small party and lack of resources. They also forgot the fall of former front runner Manuel Villar mainly because of the C-5 issue.

Aquino won more on the platform of honest governance and less on his record as public servant. He represented the “good” as against the “evil” that was the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I am sure that battle will be resurrected in 2016.

If Binay runs under an alliance populated by the Enriles, Estradas, Revillas, Arroyos and Marcoses of this world, it would be a no-brainer which side would he be in that “good” vs. “evil” scenario.

(khanwens@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 05, 2014.

Opinion

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