When the whistle blower Ernesto Mercado presented at the Senate hearing of the overpriced Makati Parking Building the alleged Binay’s Hacienda in Rosario, Batangas, it made a big ruckus on the Binay’s camp. The worn out ruse “it’s only politics” staled on people’s thoughts it lost its currency. The allegation keeps on piling up and left unanswered. The hemorrhage unabated. The Binay camp has to devise something to stop the bleeding. As Binay’s trust rating declined, The Binay’s camp launched a three prong offensives. They didn’t fly. It gets them even deeper in the muck
The Binay came up with “Òplan Stop Nognog in 2016”, apparently hatched by Mar Roxas, his rival in the presidential race to discredit Binay, as he is still ahead on survey despite the ratcheting up of allegations. Also, for Binay to gain public sympathy. Sen. Cayetano said, “Oplan” was just an invention. Why put it on the open, the word “Oplan” implied secrecy. Mar Roxas, of course, denied this. He has no time for that concoction. He had been busy as a designated caretaker of the government. P’Noy then was out of town when this offensive erupted. And those Senators; Trillanes, Pimentel, Cayetano, who grilled every resource person attending the hearing do not even belong to the LP Party of Roxas.
The Binay camp trained their guns, too, on Sen. Trillanes. They resurrected his case at the Sandigan Bayan about his luxury vehicles not being included in his SALN. Sen. Trillanes rebut this by showing pictures of the vehicles in question, which could not even classified as luxuries. Further, Trillanes showed evidence that those people who made an allegation presented a spurious document at the Sandigan Bayan.
Here is the good part. The Vice President, Jejomar Binay as the Captain Ball for their offensive copied Jinggoy Estrada’s mantra of “selective justice” of the PDAF’s scam fame. In a speech Binay delivered before the 5th MCLE (Mandatory Continuing Legal Education) at the Manila Hotel, he took a swipe at P’Noy’s mistreatment of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who languished in a hospital arrest for not giving her due consideration who at one time represented the office of the President. Meanwhile, he cuddled in kid’s glove his police chief Alan Purisima who, too, had a graft rap.
The funny thing was after Binay’s speech, he texted P’Noy to ask for an audience. Of course, pundits of tabloids and broadsheets were anxious to know what transpired at the meeting. Edgar Erice, member of the LP ruling party, when asked by a reporter, what his takes, said, nobody knows what they talked about. He (Binay) could have asked for forgiveness, you know, for the swipe. Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. Malacanang’s Communication Officer, said, the meeting did not tackle official issues. It was just a personal meeting between two long-time friends.
No break out news from the media about that Binay-P’Noy meeting on the first day. On the second day, however, Sen. Trillanes, dished out in the media that Binay tried using his friendship with P’Noy to influence the Senate hearing to terminate. And, to stop the NBI from probing the allege corruption relating to the overprice of the Makati Parking Building. Trillanes added further that P’Noy snubbed Binay’s overture.
Taking a cue from Trillanes, the print media’s columnists had a heyday juicing out copies of their interpretations of the Binay-P’Noy meeting mixed with embellishment.
P’Noy confirmed the salient feature of Binay’s meeting with him. In essence, it covered what Trillanes had said. P’Noy said, each Senator is a republic of their own, and if he is innocent what is he afraid of.
The Binay camp changed the tone of the meeting. They said, P’Noy offered Binay help, in which, P’Noy said, the spokesperson had it in reverse. It was Binay, who asked for advice.
The SWS latest survey says 79% of the respondents want Binay to face the Senate. Teofisto Guingona, Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee offered the mother committee to conduct the hearing instead of the sub-committee just for Binay to attend. Binay challenged Trillanes to a debate. Trillanes agreed, and the KBP (Kapisanan ng Brodkaster sa Pilipinas) is anxious to arrange this debate.
However, it is doubtful that Binay would go into any of these. Binay said, he would rather talk directly to the people to explain his side. People wonder why Binay insists on this gambit.
If Trillanes new allegation that Binay bribed Nelson Irasga, the Makati City Engineer, a potential witness, of 10 million every time he refused to attend the hearing, then one can imagine the enormous war chest that Binay has. This must be his ace kept on his sleeve.
The former President, Joseph Estrada after his plunder conviction toured around the country giving goodies. This style almost works for him when he runs again in 2010. He came in second, defeating even Manuel Villar. Had P’Noy been out of the picture, the Philippines could have had a plunderer as a comeback President.
The Vice President Jejomar could have been relying on Joseph Estrada’s strategy. Do sorties, making speeches with layer to generate sympathy, play an underdog, and on the side, do his effective EPAL system.