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On Target
Lessons in politics

By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:51:00 03/31/2010

Filed Under: Politics, Elections

THE WIFE OF A CANDIDATE FOR A national position found out that her husband has a fashion model for a girlfriend.

Furious, the wife confronted the candidate about his extramarital affairs. As expected, the candidate denied the accusation.

But the wife allegedly showed him photographs of the two caught on camera in a public display of affection. The photos were supposedly given to the candidate?s wife by a close rival of their son who is aspiring for a local post.

The wife reportedly asked her husband to sign papers for the separation of their conjugal property amounting to billions of pesos.

When the candidate refused, she threatened to expose how he amassed wealth while in office and added that she was moving over to his rival?s camp on the campaign trail.

Fearing a national scandal, the candidate signed the papers.

He now rues his acts of indiscretion, telling friends he should not have had himself and his paramour photographed hugging each other.

Moral of the story: If you?re a political figure, be discreet in your extramarital affairs.

* * *

The mayoralty contest in Makati City is probably the most-watched political contest on the local level.

It?s a three-cornered, close fight among Councilor Junjun Binay, son of incumbent Mayor Jojo Binay; Vice Mayor Ernesto ?Kuyang? Mercado; and lawyer Erwin Genuino, son of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Chair Efraim Genuino.

But the bitter rivals are the young Binay and Mercado, who was a loyal follower of Mayor Binay for many years.

The two are trying to cancel each other out, with Mercado exposing the elder Binay?s alleged Achilles heel.

In a debate with Jojo Binay on national TV, Mercado claimed Makati had become a ?sin? city because of the presence of prostitution dens in the area.

According to Mercado, the elder Binay could not go after prostitution dens in the town hammer and thong, because the son was reportedly the joints? ?protector.?

If true, Mercado?s revelations lend credence once again to the truism that your best friend could be your worst enemy.

* * *
How did Binay and Mercado, who were the best of friends, become bitter enemies?

A Makati City Hall insider said Binay had promised Mercado many times that he (Mercado) could run for mayor as soon as his three-term limit was over.

But Binay didn?t keep his word, according to the insider. He let his wife, Elenita, replace him when he reached the three-term limit in 1998. Now, it?s his son Junjun running in his place in Makati while he campaigns for the vice presidency.

Moral of the story: If one is to retain a friend?s or subordinate?s loyalty and respect, he should keep his promise.

* * *
In Manila, surveys show incumbent Mayor Fred Lim leading his rivals, former Mayor and Environment Secretary Lito Atienza and former national police chief Sonny Razon 46%-22%-16%?in that order.

Lim, a poor boy from Tondo who became Manila police chief, NBI director and senator, has not lost his magic among the Manila constituency because of his relentless campaign against crime and drugs.

* * *
In Davao City, if the surveys are telling the truth, Speaker Prospero Nograles will face the prospect of a defeat at the hands of a neophyte, Vice Mayor Sara ?Inday? Duterte.

At the mock polls among students of the Ateneo de Davao University, where Nograles graduated from high school and took his pre-law studies, he only got 167 votes.

Inday, the daughter of incumbent Mayor Rody Duterte, garnered 1,097 in the same polls.



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