Binay is being played

POINTILLISMS - Mike Acebedo Lopez (The Freeman) - August 16, 2014 - 12:00am

Vice President Jejomar Binay is an astute and seasoned politician. He has more than survived in Makati as its mayor; his name and the members of his clan have thrived throughout the past three decades, so much so that he is now merely a heartbeat away from the highest office of the land. I am therefore sure that he is well aware that he is being played by Noynoy Aquino and his family. Then again, for the benefit of everyone else, the intramurals taking place behind closed doors, in the corridors of power, bears mentioning here.

The Cojuangcos have always played it both sides, and that's how they've managed to retain their clout as members of the ruling class for more than two generations now. In the two decades of Marcos, Danding Cojuangco was a top Marcos crony, his first cousin Cory was with the opposition. During the Arroyo years, when Cory joined calls for PGMA to step down after failing to get Gloria to side with their family (and not the farmers) on the issue of Hacienda Luisita, her brother Peping, for expediency, continued to support PGMA and remained an officer of her party, KAMPI. So you see, in the Cojuangco playbook "pamamamangka sa dalawang ilog" is a must, the key to their oligarchy's survival.

Fast-forward to the present. Another Aquino is president but his future and that of his family's name and legacy are in grave peril after he steps down as president in less than two years. With possibly hundreds (over a thousand, in columnist Rigoberto Tiglao's estimate) of malversation cases against him (because of DAP and other grave anomalies), Noynoy faces either a lifetime in jail, a lifetime attending court hearings, losing a lifetime's worth of wealth to pay off penalties, or all of the above. And unlike the weak cases he has ordered his people to file against Gloria Arroyo in pursuit of vendetta, his unconstitutional DAP has his signatures all over the place, not to mention a live televised address defending and owning it. So, good luck on that.

Hence, true to form, the Cojuangco-Aquinos are at it again. While Noynoy and his Liberal Party are trying to divert the public's attention away from DAP through this "One More Term" madness, electrifying his base while at it, and perhaps hoping it does more than deflect and that it actually succeeds (best case), Plan B and Plan C are all carefully set in place.

Noynoy is mindful not to openly support Binay lest he looks like an ingrate toward Mar Roxas, who gave up his presidential ambitions in 2010 (pragmatically, not on principle, because you cannot possibly fight the tide of emotion that flooded this country in the wake of Cory's death, no, not in this country that loves its daily dose of drama). Not again, Mar won't have it. And he cannot afford to earn the ire of a desperate Mar Roxas, who knows too much about him and the skeletons he hides in his closet. If their best case (suntok sa buwan) scenario pans out, Noynoy is able to run again and Mar is his prime minister (the only way for Mar to ever be head of government, because there is no chance in hell he'd be elected at large, and no stunt or cosplay can change that). If it doesn't, at least he hasn't offended Mar and his Liberal Party.

And Binay? Good thing the sisters are there. These four are experts in public relations. Well, except for Viel who seems always stoic. This early, they have come out to support Binay's presidency, and with Kris there, it's equivalent to the endorsement of a sitting president. This assures Noynoy that when Binay wins, he will be taken care of (picture it, Ballsy and Kris reminding him, "oi Jojo, we were with you through and through, wag mo naman pabayaan si Noy..").

But the problem is, while Noy's sisters openly support Binay, and he is leaning toward his LP's choice, this duplicitous, backstabbing president is allowing his party and allies to demonize Binay. If Noynoy didn't want any of this to happen, if Binay is really valued by the Aquinos, the president would've prevailed upon his allies in both the Senate and Congress and they will definitely toe the line and put a stop to this offensive of black propaganda against the vice president (as with every other issue where the positions of these ideally independent legislators have been long since bought and paid for).  Has he? No. At best, Noy condones them; at worst, the orders come from him.

It's obvious the Aquinos are playing Binay, and so when he becomes president, when the cases against Noynoy start falling from the sky like hailstorm, I hope Vice President Binay never forgets about this episode. 


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