caption photo: Vice President Jejomar C. Binay ,ambush -interviewed at the Intercontinental Hotel, during Wednesday’s joint monthly meeting between FINEX (Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines) and MAP (Management Association of the Philippines.
VP Binay eyes fixed:2016
P 1.6 Billion plunder case filed;
“It’s politics”; readies VP,senate bets
By: Bingo P. Dejaresco III
(MANILA) – Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay brushed aside the P1.6-B plunder case filed against him and his Makati mayor son Jun -jun by the Save Makati Movement as “politics as usual” even as he assured that his VP and senate slates (see story below)are full of candidates.He also said he has proven himself a “good manager” of Makati (19 years) and as a shelter czar thgrough Pag-ibig.
He all but short of declared himself the presumptive presidential candidate in 2016 of the UNA (United Nationalist Opposition). Friday, he said he was still hoping to be the common candidate of a hoped for “coalition” of the administration and UNA. (VP Binay continues to be a close friend of the Aquino family- especially the presidential sisters.)
But that, however, is unlikely to happen, with the Liberal Party (nominally headed by President Benigno Aquino) likely to field its own presidential bet- of which DILG Mar Roxas is an unofficial current bet. Former president Joseph Estrada,himself, had threatened he will run for president (again), if the president endorses Binay as the next president.
The VP said that jailed senator Jinggoy Estrada and even prime businessman Manuel V Pangilinan (MVP) are among his short list of vice presidential timbers. Pangilinan, however, has not indicated any hint of political ambitions. He is into basic industries like infrastructure, media, communications, power, education and utilities.
P1.6-b PLUNDER FOR “MOST EXPENSIVE PARKING BLDG”
The Save Makati Movement said that the 11 story New Makati City Parking Building along Z Zobel street near the Makati City Hall costing P P1.6 Billion translates to a cost of P43,000/sq meter which is “grossly overpriced” compared to regular commercial buildings in the city which costs only P25,000/sq meter and even the P7,000/sq meter set as standard by the NCSO (National Capital Statistics Office).
The Vice President, justified, that the building is of superior quality and that only the 2nd to the 6th floors are used as paid parking space. The ground floor is for commercial rent, the 7th to the 10th floors as offices of Makati City Hall and the 11th and 12th as storage and penthouse.
Twenty three other Makati officials and the then COA resident city auditor Cecile Caga-anan were included in the plunder sheet over the building that took seven years to finish from 2007 to 2013. His detractors dubbed it as “the most expensive parking building in the country.”
Binay said “this is politics of local losers with the legal and financial aid coming from a national figure.” He did not elaborate. He said, the group was baiting Binay to “blame the plunder case on the president so as to divert from the DAP issue” and “make me and the president fight.” He was not biting.
Rep Toby Tiangco said “this is just one of the demolition jobs against the front running candidate for the 2016 polls.” “More are coming”. A Manila radio report Thursday said there are alleged plans to file a case against the Binays for reportedly using a lot meant for the poor Makati sector as Bliss Houses and used the latter as a form of political patronage -to house friends and allies of Binay from the provinces when they are in Manila -for free.
FRONT RUNNER IN PULSE SURVEY
In the last Pulse Asia survey for the 2016 presidency, Binay moved from 40-41% preference – much ahead of second running senator Grace Poe who slid from 15% to 12% and senator Chiz Escudero who dropped from 9% to 6%. The other declared candidate senator Allan Cayetano (NP) registered at only 3% voter preference.
Last week, the duo of Poe and Escudero hinted they might run as a tandem in 2016 not specifying who would be the presidential bet between them.
Binay’s national approval rating dropped by 6 percentage points but was still the highest among the major national figures.
GOOD MANAGER OF MAKATI CITY
The UNA head took the chance to prove to the businessmen-audience that he was a good manager of the Makati city, the premier city in the country, as he cited that from 1986 city revenues of only P208-M , it is now a P60- Billion revenue city. Binay was the first local government official appointed in 1986 by president Cory Aquino under the Freedom Constitution.
Makati operates on a P10-B surplus and by progressive taxation and good land use planning had benefited the poor settlers of Makati and not just the rich in the Makati Central Business districts and the uppity subdivisions. He claimed to have provided cheap and quality medical services to the indigent folks and to senior citizens.
Binay told FINEX and the MAP members that he believed in the PPP as it shows business and government cannot live without the other. Pressed on the DAP issue, he said the process of investigation must go on so that issues will be clarified. THE UNA as a party did not support calls for the impeachment of the president over the DAP issue; Binay,however, egged the president to accept the resignation of Budget secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad over the DAP.
Abad is a leading LP stalwart backing its president Mar Roxas for president.
GOOD MANAGER OF PAG IBIG
Binay said that he inherited an almost bankrupt Pag-ibig institution in 2010 due to fraud and huge bad receivables. He said it has reduced the past due by 38% or P4.8B of the P 7-B original bad portfolio. The institution, now ranked 7th among the best (revenues and net income)Good Financial Institution, through imposed higher lending standards, outsourced collection efforts and selling foreclosed assets to improve its liquidity.
From “only 8 million members of Pag-inbg in 2010 , there are now 14 million total members”, he proudly declared. Its equity is now 18-20% of assets which is higher than that required of commercial banks of 10%.
“Interest rates of Pag-ibig loans have been reduced from the past’s 11.5% to only 6.5% today and even to a low 4% for minimum wage earner borrowers”, he concluded.
PRESIDENTIAL GOAL 2016
It is obvious that VP Binay is strengthening his image and fortifying alliances as he makes clearer his fixation on being president of the nation of 100 million Filipinos by 2016.
His rivals are expected to do the opposite. Shatter the image of the former human rights lawyer, so that his path would go down southward way like the other initial front runners in the past experienced like the late Ramon Mitra (1992)and Manny Villar (2010).
They will harp on the fact that the successor of an anti-graft president like Noynoy Aquino must have an unsullied record as Aquino has in terms of clean governance. Is VP Binay the right guy?
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