Noy-Bi, The Un-Ticket (Retitled/Updated)
It’s just as well.
His ‘demand’ to be named interior and local government chief spurned by President-elect Noynoy Aquino, incoming Vice President Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay is marking out his own ‘territory’ and is going to renovate the old Makati City Hall to make it the OVP.
Never mind that the existing Office of the Vice President is housed at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Never mind that a neat sum of public money will be used to make an old city hall fit for the VP.
Never mind, too, that the ‘Rambotito’ of EDSA I had reportedly been offered the transportation and communications portfolio.
To be fair, Binay was mayor for two decades with P’Noy’s own mother having appointed him to the post after EDSA I
Mr. Binay is used to being his own king pin, having turned Makati City into his virtual family fiefdom, he appears to be sending a clear message that he won’t settle for being the ‘spare tire’ that the country’s second highest post traditionally is.
Not after his Alpha Phi Omega frat kinsmen worked had to get him elected with a winning margin of 700,000 votes over Aquino running mate Mar Roxas.
It’s not only Binay who’s smarting from the seeming rebuff.
Even his backers at Pastor ‘Boy’ Saycon’s Council on Philippine Affairs (COPA) are reportedly “unhappy” given how they championed the so called Noy-Bi tandem even though it really was a figment of their ambitions, ambitions that are now widely rumored to be shifting to a Binay presidential bid in 2016!
That there’s “infighting” between the Liberal Party and the Binay camp is a known fact:
There’s now also matching scuttlebutt that VP Jojo may take his oath before Chief Justice Renato Corona while President P’noy will have his before Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, first cousin of Justice Antonio Carpio.
Will Veep Binay decide to also be sworn in at Quirino Grandstand rather than join his boss at the Quezon Memorial Circle?
Talk about palpable signs of our two top officials taking their own paths.
Me thinks, however, that Aquino and Binay will try to work together and put their perceived, or real, differences aside.
Filipinos are, after all, watching them to lead by example particularly in the anti-corruption battle.
The onus will particularly be on the good Vice President notwithstanding observations from such opinion leaders like Professor Solita ‘Winnie’ Monsod that Binay himself could be a liability for P’Noy.
In recent piece in BusinessWorld, Monsod noted:
The problem arises because Aquino’s main campaign battle cry was to fight corruption, and of course Binay’s alleged corruption is legendary. Just ask Glenda Gloria, who did a piece on the very subject sometime in 2001 or 2002; just ask Conchitina Sevilla Bernardo, who was Binay’s vice mayor after the EDSA Revolution, and resigned in disgust because she couldn’t stomach what she considered the betrayal of the principles of the People Power Revolution through the comeback of corruption by someone who claimed to be the opposite of the traditional politician or “trapo.” Just ask any businessman in Makati, come to think of it — especially those in real estate development and/or construction.
Or Teddy Boy Locsin. Or another Binay vice mayor, Ernesto Mercado. Of course, in the case of Locsin or Mercado, the counterclaim may be that these people are sour-graping, since they were formerly very close to Binay, but had a falling-out because of broken promises.
Or how about the Commission on Audit, who discovered the overpricing involved in the building and equipment of the Makati Hospital and the Makati City Hall. Or the BIR, who claimed that Binay did not remit the withholding taxes of the Makati government employees, to the tune of around P1 billion?
Many are watching, closely watching.
The side of the incoming veep is now reported by ABS-CBN as having
“shrugged off Monsod’s statements and branded these as just ‘political propaganda’ especially since the daughter of Monsod (UP professor Toby Monsod) was a former consultant of Sen. Mar Roxas, Binay’s arch rival for the vice presidency. However, Monsod said her daughter’s ties to Roxas were “immaterial,” and that her views about Binay are based on facts. Lawyer JV Bautista, a Binay spokesperson, said overpricing raps against the outgoing Makati City mayor were already dismissed by the Sandiganbayan in 2006, while the case of non-remittance of withholding taxes was allegedly without basis. Binay, for his part, said he will no longer insist on his bid to be DILG secretary, and will accept any position that will be offered by Aquino so that “I won’t add to his (Aquino’s) problems anymore.
When asked about Binay seeking the DILG portfolio, Aquino said:
“That is his right as a citizen to express his opinion. But at the end of the day, it is my Cabinet. I am responsible for how it performs and I have the right to choose who I want.”
The incoming veep was reported today to have clarified that he remained ready to work with P-Noy and would join him at the inaugural at the Quirino Grandstand.
This conciliatory tone . laudable.