The worst thief
Vice President Jojo Binay has painted himself into a corner when he challenged Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to a public debate on charges he and his family have enriched themselves in office.
Binay must have issued the challenge because he was peeved; he is known for being easily irritated.
Now that Trillanes has accepted his challenge, he has apparently asked his spokespersons to tell the public that the debate is pointless as his adversary is a liar.
In short, Binay wants to back down but doesn’t want to lose face. Hence, his mouthpieces are arguing against proceeding with the debate, saying nothing can be gained from it.
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The Vice President, a lawyer who graduated from the University of the Philippines, would be able to put to good use his courtroom skills and his gift of gab in arguing his case before the public.
Trillanes, a former military officer, is not as articulate as Binay and might falter or grope for words during the crossing of swords with the Vice President.
That’s why Binay picked Trillanes to a public debate instead of Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Koko Pimentel because both are lawyers and equally skillful in arguments.
But truth is on the side of Trillanes.
No amount of demagoguery on the part of Binay can cover up mounting charges that he and his family used the power of their office to amass wealth.
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When Binay took over as Makati City mayor, he said his administration would be dedicated and honest, a dig at the late Mayor Nemesio Yabut.
Reporters who covered Yabut, including this columnist, were hurt by imputations of graft against Binay’s predecessor.
I covered the Makati municipal government during Yabut’s term for the Times Journal, now defunct.
I knew Yabut well. One could accuse him of being gruff and arrogant, but he was never corrupt and unfaithful to his job.
Unlike Binay, who came to power a poor man, Yabut was already a resident of Forbes Park, an enclave of the rich, when he became mayor of the country’s premier town.
It now turns out that what Binay was accusing Yabut of he would later do in Makati.
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When Yabut was mayor of Makati, he never tolerated abuses or graft committed by his policemen whom he paid handsomely.
It was even rumored that he ordered the assassination of a Makati cop who engaged in criminal activities.
Abusive Makati cops during the reign of the Binays, on the other hand, get away with murder, literally and figuratively.
Three years ago, Chief Insp. and now Supt. Angelo Germinal made target practice of, and killed with his .22-caliber rifle, a 13-year-old scavenger, Christian Serrano.
Germinal, who was charged with murder, was able to post bail despite strong evidence against him, in part because—according to my sources in the Makati police—he was “bata ng mga Binay (a Binay boy).”
When Mayor Junjun Binay, the Vice President’s son, visited the boy’s wake, he allegedly urged the scavenger’s parents to agree to a settlement with Germinal.
Instead of censuring Germinal, Junjun Binay reportedly asked the victim’s parents to settle with the killer.
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Taguig City Prosecutor Cesar de la Cruz is one of a kind among his fellow prosecutors.
De la Cruz allegedly mediated an out-of-court settlement for the murder of a 15-year-old boy between the victim’s parents, who are poor, and the parents of the assailants.
The latter reportedly paid P115,000 to the victim’s parents, out of which P21,500 allegedly went to De la Cruz.
The worst thief is one who steals from the dirt poor.
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