NOTWITHSTANDING a statement to the contrary by former president Fidel Ramos, I find arguable cause to think Vice-President Jejomar Binay will not make a good president. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the high probability of truth to allegations of corruption and notwithstanding major flaws in character that emerge when he sweet-talks or blusters the public, I think he could still be this country’s next president.
More than scary, it’s a dreadful prospect. Considering how elections are won in this country, I hate to have to admit that nothing short of a miracle is needed to keep him from the presidency and the nation’s coffers.
He is not backing down because he knows that elections are won neither on good moral character nor on relevant platform of government. He is mealy-mouthed to the general public but blustery to political enemies because he is confident he has the cash needed to get the support of two crucial groups.
First, the mayors of many big cities in the country that he has arranged to become sister cities of Makati with “benefits.” These mayors will work carrot (incentives) and stick (coercion) “miracles” on their constituents for a Binay win. It is not rocket science to figure out how much more “benefits” would accrue to them under a Binay presidency. After all, what is Makati’s financial resource compared to that of the country?
Second, the poor that Jejomar Binay knows comprise the majority of voters. This group only understands the language of food, medicines, jobs and entertainment for aching bodies and tired souls. They do not look for moral character or a platform of government but “bread and circus” to make life bearable even if only for a day or two. And, ill-gotten or not, Jejomar Binay has the money plus an unlimited supply of sugar-coated promises for just these people.
Moreover, Jejomar Binay’s campaign will most probably be backstopped by the money of politicians and syndicates that have been financially set back by President Aquino’s drive against corruption. The PDAF money, for instance, of all accused and would-be accused are still in the latter’s hands and can be made available to Binay in exchange for a pardon.
Jejomar Binay will also have the support of the extreme left because it is what the latter’s ideology demands. The left want a corrupt government as they hope Binay’s would be because then it would be easier to create a revolutionary situation. The left are just as single-minded as Binay in creating conditions for a take-over of political power in the country.
Jejomar Binay has solid reasons to be bullish about his presidential run. That’s why more than scary the prospect of a Binay presidency is truly dreadful.