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On Target
Binay’s suspension a political vendetta

By Ramon Tulfo
First Posted 02:54:00 10/19/2006

Filed Under: Politics, Government

Published on Page A23 of the October 19, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE suspension of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay by Malacañang smacks of political vendetta. The feisty mayor was at the forefront of the ?GMA Resign? rallies.

If only for delicadeza, the Palace should have inhibited itself from investigating the complaint against Binay for employing ?ghost? workers in the City Hall payroll. That job could have been best left to the Office of the Ombudsman, which is on the side of Malacañang anyway.

Binay?s suspension was a clear message from the Palace to its political enemies: Don?t mess with us.

In Tagalog street lingo, Malacañang?s move was garapal (unashamedly barefaced).

* * *
This is not to say Binay is a saint. He has several pending cases with the Ombudsman for plunder.
But Malacañang should have foreseen the consequences of its action. Binay is very popular among his poor constituents. They are willing to die for him because he attends to their needs.
If the police were to make good on their threat to throw him out of City Hall, they would have a rebellion of Makati?s poor on their hands.
The city is the country?s premier town and central business district. When Makati sneezes, the country?s economic and political system gets a cold.
Oh well, the Arroyo administration doesn?t care as long as it is able to show its enemies or detractors who?s the boss.

* * *

The police, in the course of enforcing the suspension order, are courting the ire of the soldiers based in Fort Bonifacio.
Among the people in the barricade are dependents of soldiers in Fort Bonifacio who are beneficiaries of Binay?s spreading of Robin Hood sunshine. Let?s hope the soldiers? dependents are not hurt during the scuffle for control of City Hall.

Another reason why the Makati standoff should be handled carefully is that Binay is a colonel in the Philippine Marines reserve. He didn?t wear his Marine camouflage uniform Tuesday for nothing. That was to show that he has the sympathy of the Marines since he is one of them.

I heard from my sources at the Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio many enlisted personnel were willing to march to Makati City Hall to show their support for the embattled mayor. They were, however, prevented by their officers and confined to their barracks.

The situation in Makati is a time bomb ready to explode if not handled correctly.

* * *
Who?s this Court of Appeals justice who antedates his decision just so he can delay the promulgation of a case?
Delaying the promulgation means there?s time for the winning litigant, especially in a civil case concerning money, to talk to the justice.
Another justice just sleeps on the cases in his division. Although he doesn?t extort money from litigants, he?s just too lazy to go over the cases. In that case, this justice should be asked to retire.
Let?s hope not all appellate court justices are acting like those two justices.

* * *
Mayor Talib Abo of Parang, Maguindanao had better not show his face in Davao City because Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hates him like the plague.

Duterte suspects Abo of unloading 3.5 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as ?shabu,? in the city two months ago.

The controversial Davao mayor has mentioned the Muslim mayor in his radio and TV program.

Suspected drug peddlers mentioned in Duterte?s radio and TV program end up getting killed under mysterious circumstances.

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