Many are questioning the wisdom of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s decision to have shown his cards early in the presidential game as a result of the apparent launch of smear operations against him four years before the actual battle.
On one side, the premature muckraking on him reflects the fear he instills on his would be opponents mainly fed by the good ratings he has been getting from various performance surveys.
For most Filipinos, however, his candor in expressing his desire to seek the presidency in 2016 was a positive move since it gave Filipinos enough lead time to assess his qualities as their next leader as opposed to a last minute candidate whose claim to the presidency is through political inheritance spiced up with theatrics about one candidate giving up his impossible presidential bid in favor of another.
Binay’s chances for the vice presidency were not even considered in the 2010 elections when he was seen as a dark horse. He eventually sneaked past Noynoy’s vice presidential mate Mar Roxas to win a six-year term.
This time around, many consider Binay as unbeatable thus far for the presidency as a result of the public support he has been getting in performing his mandate.
What appears clear is that based on performance and popularity, if political surveys are to be taken as a gauge, Filipinos appear to believe that Binay, as a vice president of the Republic, has thus far outperformed by a great many leaps and bounds, even the President of the Republic, who claims to be a popular president, but who is largely seen as a non-performer after over two years of his presidency.
Conversely, as a result of his early admission of his presidential bid, he’s now a prime target for the incumbent’s wrecking ball. Suddenly, Binay’s old and resolved cases as a Makati mayor are being resurrected at the Commission on Audit (CoA) through one of the appointees of Noynoy in the supposedly independent body.
Heidi Mendoza was appointed commissioner of the CoA after she shot to undeserved fame during the Senate investigations into corrupt practices in the Armed Forces of the Philippines when she testified as an auditor of certain AFP transactions involving disgraced Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, although even then, her auditing skills were already shot and flawed, as usual.
She is now leading the probe into past transactions of Binay, who said that it was the same Mendoza, used during the time of Gloria who did the review on the Makati Friendship Suites which was among the issues used in the failed efforts of the previous government to boot Binay out of office because of his intransigence as a Gloria critic.
The clear mandate he got from the elections and Binay’s strong support from the public with the highest trust and satisfaction ratings in the surveys seems to be what is keeping the scheming hands within the Palace from launching a frontal attack against the Vice President.
It has to be some other way, such as coursing it through a CoA audit, and the grapevine has it that a possible impeachment attempt on Binay will be done by December, which seems to be a way of showing the bloodthirsty character of the current dispensation since it was when also efforts to oust former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona were launched at the Noynoy-dominated House.
Impeaching Binay is like giving away the 2016 presidency to him in a silver platter.
It would turn him from a dark horse into an underdog that Filipinos root for. The scheming is expected to heighten on Binay as election day nears.
The most potent weapon of Binay against the assault coming his way is strong performance as Vice President which appears to get the widest public approval among government officials.
Also going for Binay is fear itself among those who want to bring him down. Fear breeds irrational actions that are transparently politically motivated.
Something like Heidi Mendoza’s CoA audit.