Binay’s fall in ratings leaves race to 2016 wide open, say lawmakers | Inquirer News

Binay’s fall in ratings leaves race to 2016 wide open, say lawmakers

Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano III  FILE PHOTO

Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano III FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers expect a wide open race in the 2016 presidential election with no single candidate likely to benefit from the steep fall in Vice President Jejomar Binay’s ratings.

“It is very early to determine who will really benefit from Binay’s fall but anybody except those from the opposition is definitely better,” said Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, a Liberal Party member who has been vocal about making the Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II the party’s standard-bearer in 2016.


Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, a member of the House minority bloc, said no one candidate would gain from the drop in Binay’s ratings. “It will be a free for all with Binay taking a slight lead,” Albano said.


A Pulse Asia survey in September showed 31 percent of Filipinos picking Binay as their choice for president, down from 41 percent in in June. The survey was made amid the Senate’s probe of corruption allegations against Binay and family.

The same survey showed Roxas improving his standing to 13 percent from 7 percent.

Other names mentioned in the Pulse Asia survey were Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago (11 percent from 7 percent in June); Sen. Grace Poe (10 percent from 12 percent); Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada (10 percent from 9 percent); Sen. Francis Escudero (5 percent from 7 percent); Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (unchanged at 5 percent);

Erice expected other names to gain ground in the coming months as Binay struggled to maintain his composure in the face of mounting corruption allegations against him. “Senators Cayetano and Grace Poe could be dark horses but I think they need more experience in government. They are still young,” said Erice.

Albano, however, reckoned that Binay would still be the man to beat in the run up to the elections. “His trust ratings are high and he campaigns vigorously in all places. In the end, he will end up as a `Robin Hood’ of the masses, just like Erap (former President Joseph Estrada),” he Albano.

Deputy Speaker and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao said that Roxas would be the main threat to Binay.


Aggabao, a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, said the drop in Binay’s ratings showed that he was “paying a price for all the corruption charges being leveled against him.”

“Those overselling his (Binay) supposed sins are doing some damage, to the advantage of Roxas who is being projected as a good, decent and intelligent man trying to make his way and do good,” said Aggabao.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said it would be too soon to write off Binay.

“Binay’s drop in the ratings may be temporary. We have to wait for more time and later surveys. If Binay’s drop is arrested and he bounces back [if there’s] the perception of the masa that he is being persecuted, he will regain his invincibility,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said that Roxas would benefit the most from Binay’s fall. “But if his (Binay) drop continues, Mar’s rating will further go up as he is seen as President Aquino’s only candidate, heir to his ‘daang matuwid’ [governance].”

The issuance of a second invitation to appear at a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearing is an opportunity for Binay to counter the allegations of his foes in the same arena where they made the disparaging statements, according to Sen. Francis Escudero.

“For me, what the Senate is giving him is an opportunity to answer because it was in the Senate where many things were said about him by [former Makati] Vice Mayor [Ernesto] Mercado and the other witnesses,” Escudero said over dzBB.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, the subcommittee chair, said on Saturday that he would issue a new invitation to Binay to appear before the subcommittee hearing on the alleged overprice of the Makati City parking building amid allegations that the Vice President, a former Makati mayor, had amassed vast properties and had been involved in corruption.

Escudero said that with Ombudsman proceedings held behind closed doors, the Senate would be the only remaining venue for Binay to respond to the issues raised against him, aside from holding a press conference.

Binay and his spokespersons have slammed the Senate subcommittee probe, describing it as a kangaroo court and branding allegations as politically motivated.

Escudero said senators could investigate whoever they wanted. “My belief is simple: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” he said.

The head of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, meanwhile, scored senators for conducting their investigation “in aid of elections” rather than for legislative purposes.

IBP president Vicente Joyas, in an interview, said some senators had been ganging up on Binay when there were other more pressing issues that should be investigated.

Joyas also expressed the belief that the blue ribbon subcommittee could not force Binay to attend since the Senate had no “prosecutory powers.”


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Binay to get formal Senate invite

TAGS: Approval Ratings, Edgar Erice, Francis Escudero, Giorgidi Aggabao, House of Representatives, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Liberal Party, Makati City, Mar Roxas, News, Plunder, Politics, Senate, Vicente Joyas

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