SECTIONS
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Seares: Binay on poll fraud, pork barrel

IGNORE for a moment the inadequately answered accusation of corruption and unexplained wealth that may have whittled down Jojo Binay's poll ratings.

Just consider his stand on two serious questions involving elections and politicians: vote-rigging and pork barrel.

What would he do if he were cheated in the 2016 elections? The news reporter who asked must have assumed that fraud is a "given" factor in every Philippine election. But listen to how Binay answered it: "Ahhh, magra-rally po ako."

No qualification about evidence and extent of the cheating, he'd rise against the winner, probably busing to Edsa the same crowds he massed against those who enforced the suspension order against his son, the Makati mayor.

In sum, he couldn't accept any election result that wouldn't place him as the winner. He should be president, otherwise the Pcos machines must have been programmed against him.

Earlier, at a meeting of the National Unity Party, where he and two other presidentiables made their pitch, Binay said he'd introduce "another form of pork barrel" if he becomes president.

The Supreme Court declared that the pork barrel violated the Constitution. The multibillion-peso scandal caused widespread fury and disgust. Binay would "test the limits" of the Supreme Court ruling instead of adopting measures to remove the constitutional bar and, equally crucial, stop leakage of public funds.

Sharp lines

His responses should tell us something about the character of the would-be president: one relating to some form of hubris, in which he believes no one else but he would win the election; the other involving the kind of politics that flirts with dubious morality, if not legality, to enlist politicians' support.

If for nothing else, that should sharply draw lines between the major contenders to the presidency and help people decide whom not to vote for in 2016.

(paseares@gmail.com)
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