Binay: A fish caught by its mouth
Vice President Jojo Binay’s worst nightmare—accounting for his enormous wealth and being found lying—came true during Sunday’s presidential debate.
Binay’s reply to the question of where he got his wealth has created more questions.
“[Three decades] is a long time. I inherited some assets [from both my father and mother] before I [was appointed Makati mayor] in 1986. Others I bought. It doesn’t mean that if you’re in government, you don’t have the means to buy [property]. I practiced law and my wife practiced medicine. And it’s not true we [own] a lot of land,” said the Vice President.
Let’s scrutinize his words.
“Three decades is a long time.” Does it mean that the longer one works in government, the richer he becomes?
“I inherited some assets [from both my father and mother] before I [was appointed Makati mayor] in 1986.” How could Binay have inherited land from his parents when he perennially mentions he comes from a poor family?
One of his favorite tales is when as a 9-year-old, he watched his mother’s health deteriorate until she eventually died because they couldn’t afford to buy her medicine.
“Others I bought. It doesn’t mean that if you’re in government, you don’t have the means to buy [property].”
Which pieces of property did he buy as Makati City mayor, the country’s vice president, and president of the Boy Scout of the Philippines? How come they’re not reflected in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth?
“I practiced law and my wife practiced medicine.” Binay was a human rights lawyer during the martial law years. He gave his service for free to clients who were mostly enemies of the martial law regime. His wife, Elenita Binay, was never known to have wealthy patients like Vicki Belo when she was practicing medicine. And how long did she practice her profession?
“And it’s not true that we [own] a lot of land.” It’s a well-known secret that the Binays own vast tracts of real estates in Makati, Batangas province and other places allegedly registered under the names of their supposed dummies.
It’s also public knowledge that they have billions of pesos stashed in various banks, with some of the accounts having been sequestered by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
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During the presidential debate, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas pointed to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” as his defining moment of leadership as he was in Tacloban City—ground zero—before, during and after the giant howler.
Yes, Roxas was in Tacloban City, but he was too shaken to make vital decisions that could have saved more lives and brought a semblance of government to Eastern Visayas.
“You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino,” Roxas was quoted as having told Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez who asked for government troops to keep order and undertake rescue and relief operations.
No matter how hard he projects himself as a leader who can be trusted in a crisis, the Tacloban City episode will never be forgotten by the voters.
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Sen. Grace Poe on her inexperience:
“Yes, I’m the least experienced among the candidates. But while I have the least experience, I have the perspective of a mother who sees the needs of her family. There’s no proof that the longer your stint in government is, the more qualified you are.”
Experience is vital in running any organization, especially a government. A second lieutenant cannot become an Armed Forces chief of staff overnight.
He has to learn how to lead a platoon, then a company, a battalion, a brigade, then a division, before he can aspire to lead the Armed Forces.
Poe’s comparison of the presidency to running a household stinks.