WRITING TO THE DARK HORSE (An Open Letter for VP Binay)

Kagalang-galang na VP Binay,

I have already read so many articles about you, and so I know na sa inyong mahaba at mayamang karanasan, there are countless lessons that our youth of today can learn from.

They can learn the values of hard work and perseverance, or sa mga labi ni dating Senador Manny Villar, “Sipag at Tiyaga”. Not all orphans can achieve what you have achieved.  Imagine, you were able to graduate from UP – hindi lang undergraduate degree but also Law. At nagawa nyo ito bilang isang working student!

May mataas kayong pagpapahalaga sa edukasyon at sa tinatawag nilang Continuous Learning. You were already a human rights lawyer pero hindi kayo tumigil sa pag-aaral. Throughout the years, you were able to earn master’s and doctoral degrees and various diplomas and certificates from different academic institutions.

You were fearless. During Martial Law, at pati na rin noong panahon ng EDSA People Power Revolution, isa kayo sa mga Pilipinong nanindigan at matapang na nakipaglaban sa diktadurya ni Marcos. Naging aktibista kayo, o sa linggwahe ng mga may pinag-aralang tibak, you were a street proletariat. Bilang gantimpala, you received the honor na maipakulong ni Macoy. Sir, astig ka!

May puso kayo para sa mga naaapi at kapus-palad. Naging kasapi kayo ng FLAG ni dating Senador Jose Diokno, and later on, kasama ang ilang mga bata, radikal at idealistic na abugado, itinatag ninyo ang MABINI upang makatulong sa mga political detainees nang libre. Truly, Sir, those feats were both noble and admirable.

You were keeping company with a bunch of honorable, distinguished and brave men and women. Hindi po ba’t kasama pa nga kayo sa grupo ng mga abugado na nagtanggol kay Ninoy?

Even the late Cory Aquino saw the potential in the young Jojo Binay that she made you her very first political appointee in February 1986.

Bilang alkalde ng Makati, lumago ito into the premiere, highly urbanized city that it is today. Mahal at suportado kayo ng mga mamamayan ng siyudad dahil sa inyong mga programang maka-mahirap. You received various awards and citations for your exemplary work as Makati’s chief executive.

You got off to an extraordinarily good start, Mr. Vice President.

So, ano ang nangyari?

Ang pamilyang Binay ay itinuturing ngayon na isa sa pinakamalalakas at deeply-entrenched na political dynasties sa bansa. Bakit nga po ba hindi e pagkatapos ng inyong short stint as the appointed Makati mayor, kumandidato kayo (at nanalo) during the three consecutive elections thereafter. Nang matapos ang inyong tatlong full terms, the law would not allow you to run again for the same position. So you made your wife, a medical practitioner who had virtually zero political background, your “proxy candidate”. Matapos ang kanyang three-year term, you managed to comfortably re-lodge yourself into the Makati mayoralty seat – muli, for nine uninterrupted years. In 2010, when you had no choice but to vacate your position again due to the same law restriction, you made your son take over. And he would, undoubtedly, have followed your sterling example of hanging on to your beloved city with a vice-like grip had he not been dismissed and rendered perpetually disqualified from public office by the Ombudsman due to the eight criminal charges filed against him.

You simply couldn’t let go of Makati, could you, Sir? Para sa inyong pamilya, it has become a personal territory of sorts, a property you wouldn’t let anyone else get hold of.

24 years, Sir. For twenty-four long years, no one else but a Binay has been a Makati chief executive. And with your daughter Abby’s current mayoralty bid, that length is more likely to get longer.

Oo nga po pala, huwag nating kalimutan na ang inyong dynasty ay hindi limitado sa mayorship ng Makati. Your family was able to branch out to higher political posts, with your daughter Nancy serving her first term as Senator, with daughter Abby on her third and last term as the Congresswoman of Makati’s second district, and with the latter’s husband now gearing up to succeed his wife.

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Photo credit: http://www.presidentiables.ph

Balik po tayo sa Makati. Bakit nga po ba hindi nyo mapakawalan ang siyudad na ‘yan? With a population of more than half a million, imposible po not to find someone who could equal, or even surpass, your family’s dedication to and vision for the city – lalo pa nga’t patuloy naman ang ginagawang pagtulong ng mga Ayala sa Makati.

Posible po bang may katotohanan ang mga alegasyon that Makati has been, for years now, your family’s cash cow?

Kailan lang, I came across an online list of all your allegedly undeclared properties. And I have to tell you this, Sir. The sheer immensity of the wealth involved was simply staggering. Nakakapanlumo po talaga. At nakakapanggigil.

According to the COA report (at base lang po ito sa audit ng Makati City Hall Parking Bldg II, which by the way, ballooned from the original approved cost of P283 million to an “actual” cost of P2.28 billion), kayo po ay “administratively liable for grave misconduct, dishonesty and gross inexcusable negligence, and for graft and corrupt practices.” Base rin po sa report na isinumite ng Senate blue ribbon subcommittee na nag-conduct ng imbestigasyon on your alleged involvement in the same project, among others, “the filing of plunder and other criminal charges against you and your son, Junjun,” is recommended.

Siyempre po, you will claim that the investigations were all politically motivated; that it was all part of a grand scheme to discredit you to the eyes of the voters. And, you may be right, Mr. Vice President. Alam naman po nating lahat that politics could be a despicable monster.

Nevertheless, we collectively waited for you to answer all the allegations hurled at you. We wanted to hear how you would counter and invalidate the accusations of your political opponents. We needed to know that you still deserve our trust.

But none came.

Not a word.

Nakabibingi po ang inyong katahimikan.

During the second presidential debate, hindi nyo rin sinagot ang mga paratang ng katiwalian laban sa inyo. Sinayang nyo ang isang golden opportunity na ipagtanggol ang inyong sarili sa harap ng milyun-milyong Pilipino. Pero higit dun, your silence on the issue was an insult to our intellect and an unwitting admission of guilt on your part.

Sa nasabi rin pong presidential debate, Mr. Vice President, mas nakilala ko kayo.

Napatunayan ko na totoo nga palang kayo ay may “wangwang” mentality. I’m aware of the past instances na nahuli kayo ng camera violating some basic traffic rules dahil sa inyong pagmamadali. Your actuation during the debate reinforced my suspicion that you have what is called the Sense of Entitlement Complex. Imagine, Sir, na-delay ang buong programa by more than 1-1/2 hours dahil sa pag-iinsist nyo na magdala sa stage ng mga documents. Apparently, it’s a violation of the Comelec rules, at ang nasabi pong list of rules ay naipadala sa mga kampo ng lahat ng debate participants long before the first debate. Nag-apologize na rin po publicly ang debate moderator. But, still, you let the delay dragged on.

Nalaman ko rin po during that debate that you support the idea of giving the late dictator a hero’s burial. Really, Sir? Nasaan na ang maka-masang aktibista noong panahon ng Martial Law? Saan mo siya dinala? Pero, when I really thought about it, hindi na pala ako dapat na nagulat. After all, you chose Sen. Honasan to be your running mate. Siya po ang mortal na kaaway ni Jojo “Rambotito” Binay, di po ba?

Na-realize ko rin na may pagkabastos, arogante at pikon ka pala, Mr. Vice President. After the debate, when your fellow candidates wanted to shake hands with you, you walked out. Dinedma mo sila, pati na rin ang mga members ng press na gusto kayong makapanayam.

There are three other issues na gusto ko po sanang i-discuss pa with you nang malaliman pero masyado na pong humaba ‘tong letter ko. So, pagtiyagaan nyo na po itong aking condensed version.

Sir, totoo po bang epal kayo? During the negotiations kasi with the Muslims noong 2013 Zamboanga siege, you went there without any kind of authorization from PNoy at nag-declare kayo ng ceasefire. Ang sabi po, your action put the entire negotiation process in jeopardy and the lives of the government negotiators at risk. At the wake din po ng Yolanda tragedy, pictures of relief bags bearing your name were all over social media. Dahil po sa inyong mga epal moves, you now hold the distinguished title “Epal King”.

Secondly, you once admitted to having an extra-marital affair before. I am a woman and so I know how your wife must have felt when you betrayed her that way. Sir, huwag mo nang uulitin, ha? The only womanizing president I know was not able to finish his term. He was impeached. Ikaw rin, you wouldn’t want to suffer the same fate, would you? 😉

Lastly, you were PNoy’s cabinet member for five years. During all those years, you were closely and harmoniously working with the President. But when you resigned your posts, apparently dahil naramdaman mo na na hindi mo makukuha ang kanyang endorsement for your presidential bid, you openly attacked his administration tagging it “manhid” at “palpak”. What would have happened kaya, Sir, kung ikaw ang inendorse nya instead of Mar Roxas? Siguro, you’d still be singing him praises hanggang ngayon.

Alam mo, Sir, hindi pa rin naglalaho ang tiwala ko that, someday, the country would be able to produce great public servants and patriots such as Jovito Salonga, Lorenzo Tanada and Jose Diokno. Their lives stand “as a reproach to all those who would put personal gain ahead of public service; who would lower the standards of public discourse; and who would sacrifice human rights and the rule of law either for personal or partisan advantage”.

Sayang ka, Mr. Vice President. Sayang ka talaga.

Sincerely,

Lorelei B. Aquino (Mom On A Mission)

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