‘Candidate’ Binay

The Binay camp is changing strategies. Vice President Jejomar Binay is on the offensive.

From being the front runner among possible 2016 presidential candidates, VP Binay has slipped to second place with Senator Grace Poe overtaking him with significant margins based on recent surveys by Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations.

The Binay camp’s first reaction was that this was a wake up call. It is thus not surprising that they are shifting strategies.

I believe that the VP is a deliberate tactician as he is an astute politician.

His winning the vice presidency came as a surprise to many who were expecting a Mar Roxas victory. Who would have expected that Binay had a team within then candidate Noynoy Aquino’s camp running a Noy-Bi campaign alongside the “official” Noy-Mar push?

That Binay has begun planning and preparing for his presidential run since his Makati days is an idea that I have been entertaining.

In my travels to different provinces for years, I have seen vehicles donated by then-Mayor Binay to local government units. This is just one. I have also heard of other projects he sponsored. People would casually say that they would see the mayor visit their place every now and then. This is Binay politics. He has been planting “seeds” for many years.

That he never let go of Makati was another indicator. After being mayor, it was his wife, and then the son. Between them, they have led the premier city for at least 36 years. How can one forget the Binay brand in Makati?

We should also not forget his successful name-recall “experiment” when he made his daughter, the then unknown Nancy Binay run for the senate. She won only because of the Binay brand. The VP then proved that his name is not only nationally recognizable. It was winnable. 

Thus, expect Binay as a force to reckon with in 2016. Outside of his long preparation, Binay has some advantages over other possible candidates.

It is reasonable to think that because of his long preparation, his machinery may already be in place. Those experienced in running campaigns know that machinery can make or break a candidate.

Another Binay advantage is his experience as an executive. The presidency is an executive position and Binay’s stint as mayor of the country’s business capital is a major feat. This is why the VP has been capitalizing on what he claims they did in Makati.

Except for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, none of the other possible candidates can claim this kind of experience.

Last week I outlined what I hope ‘Candidate’ Poe would do to help our electorate choose well come election time. I also have a list for VP Binay.

First and foremost, squarely respond to graft-related allegations. General denials that these are politically-motivated and hurling counter accusations that those against him are just out to get him will not cut it anymore.

The decline in the VP’s numbers may be significantly attributed to the many accusations of graft and his continued refusal to adequately respond to these. People are looking for answers and they deserve to get these.

Clear, unequivocal, concrete response to corruption allegations from the VP is the single most important thing that people expect from Binay. No one will question his experience but INTEGRITY is as, or even more crucial. This is not negotiable.

Why would we vote for someone who is tainted with all sorts of unanswered graft cases? What if the allegations are true? Why leave the welfare of more than 100 million Filipinos to chance?

Secondly, like what I ask of Senator Grace Poe (and all other possible candidates), the VP should make public his position on socio-economic-political issues, platform of government, goals and master plan for his six-year presidential term.

Our votes should be a vote for the kind of life we desire for ourselves and the future generations. Walang tsambahan.

Considering VP Binay’s experience, coming out with positions on issues, platform, goals and plan should not be difficult for him. He can actually showcase his Makati success through his program of government. The VP can show us what he can do for the country simply by connecting his Makati achievements with his platform, objectives, and plan. Then voters can intelligently consider the VP.

Thirdly, it will be best for the VP and his family to stop the arrogance in responding to issues. The country needs a leader who will unify, not further divide us.

I said that the VP is shifting strategies and is now on the offensive. After five years of not directly criticizing PNoy and being in his Cabinet, he resigned and immediately started hitting the administration.

Notice the statements of the Binay daughters saying that they will not forgive critics? This is not the kind of leadership people are looking for. The VP’s “magpakalalake ka” letter to Senator Koko Pimentel in response to the latter’s call to audit housing-related government agencies did not sit well with many. The Binay family comes out as too arrogant for comfort. It is offensive.

If the VP’s new strategy is to market himself as the opposition to this administration, I dare say that his camp is misreading public pulse. Unlike in 2010 when it was popular to go against the former president, the situation is not the same now.

The current administration though criticized is not that unpopular. The people are not looking for an opposition. They want an inspiration, someone clean who can lead and unite our already divided society. Arrogance, mudslinging will further harm the VP’s chances. Positioning himself as the opposition I believe is a mistake.

‘Candidate’ Binay should respond to corruption charges against him and family, use his Makati achievements to showcase his platform of government; and immediately stop the word war against political enemies.

‘Candidate’ Binay needs to be closely watched.


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