Saturday, October 10, 2015

72. Binay

I overheard a conversation among businessmen about politics, and someone said that, assuming all the Presidential candidates are corrupt, Binay is the only one who can get things done. True enough, Mar Roxas would always carry the mess that was the Yolanda rescue and rehabilitation, and the embarassment that was, is, and would forever be the MRT, no matter how hard he tries to dodge the blame to the agencies in charge with them. And Grace Poe, whose charm is her sincerity and  her non-initiation to the dark world of politics -- we sincerely hope she would not dare thread that path -- has no track record for getting things done on a local or national level. But Binay -- he has built a welfare system in Makati. He's given a lot of life perks for the senior citizens, such as free hospitalization and movies, and for Makati's children, free education with textbooks, uniform, and all. Then, to project himself on the national scale, he made every city or municipality a "sister" of Makati and gave each free ambulance and medicine. How this adds up on Makati's balance sheet could be the work of the David Copperfield of accounting or simply by a good manager. You compare that with six years of PNoy and you have to credit the idiots in his government for allowing the proposition to be reduced to no longer a question of integrity, but of competence. They wasted all that mandate for the work of the Ombudsman and promised weird stuff like rice sufficiency, which sounded well but was clearly not doable. Does anyone have any other lingering image of the Aquino administration other than the wheelchair-bound former President Arroyo gasping for a seat in the first plane out of Manila in hospital attire or the wheelchair-bound former Chief Justice Renato Corona on the days before he would be impeached by DAP-fed senators? No one cares anymore, for all that glory was fleeting. We cannot blame Makati if it wants to sustain a Binay Dynasty, even if Binay has not chased a single robber out of Ayala Avenue or jailed a pimp in Burgos Street. Binay built the model franchise for a semi-socialist state in the seat of capitalism in the Philippines, and, because its impact is more enduring, it goes with a bonus manual on how to perpetuate oneself and family in local politics. I doubt it if Kid Pena, the Liberal Party stooge who took over from the disgraced Binay Junior, would have the skill set to outdo the Binay franchise in Makati. In fact, I pity the kid, for so much is expected of him, but once his patrons are sent packing out of the Palace, it would be every man for himself, and he would be left to fend for his own skin against the remnants of the Binay Dynasty, which with all that loot can evolve and come back strong. And without a doubt, with the Binay franchise and its track record still fresh in Makati's life and imagination, Kid Pena would find it hard to even hold out on his own against the Binay family dog or cat or whoever or whatever is next in line. 

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