VP Binay's foes are right on cue
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-04-12
When VP Jojo Binay announced the latest recruits of UNA (United Nationalist Alliance) along with their roster of 2013 senatorial candidates — he inadvertently presented some very controversial persons for his foes to capitalize on. Most notable of these was Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, one of the biggest defenders of the unlamented Arroyo regime.

Following the announcements of these questionable new allies of Vice President Jojo Binay, a series of messages that could be classified as grey propaganda were text blasted last April 6. Black propaganda is the use of vicious lies and half-truths against another person. Grey propaganda appears to be saying something nice about a person, but in truth it’s derogatory.

The April 6 text message said: “Let’s pray for unity this Holy Week. VP Binay will unite all factions against the vindictive Yellow Army.” This message came from this mobile number (unlisted in my directory as these text blasts usually are): 09179650804. The clear message is to seed the idea that VP Binay is no longer supporting President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy). It’s also intended to sever VP Jojo’s support base in the Yellow Forces, the strongest political brand today.

Later, another text message (from 091667492057) was received, stating — “Paalaala mula sa tanggapan ni VP: Magpaka Boy Scout ngayong Holy Week. Huwag aanga-anga sa daan para hindi manakawan. (Reminder from the Office of VP Binay: Be a Boy Scout this Holy Week. Don’t be stupid so that you won’t be robbed).” On the surface, the message appears to be a public service reminder but to a trained eye this is grey propaganda. No politician, unless mentally imbalanced, would be caught telling people not to be stupid. It’s calculated to deliver a negative net impression.

The next day, April 7, this was received from 09167492057: “We pray that GMA’s (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, detained former president) Strong Republic will be realized under Binay’s strong leadership. Time to unite. Patawarin ang nagsisisi (Pardon the repentant). Binay sa (in) 2016.” The objective of the group behind the text blasts — and there is no reason to believe that there is more than one instigator — became clearer with this text message. It’s intended to associate GMA with VP Jojo, knowing that GMA is equivalent to a political kiss of death.

The text campaign obviously reached the attention of VP Jojo. Last April 7, this was sent to me by the VP’s office: “It’s unfortunate that during Holy Week, when as Christians we should reflect on the sacrifice of our Lord, there are those who chose to engage in a smear campaign using text blast. But the Christian thing to do is to forgive them and pray for them. Thank you.” As you can see, the VP is no babe-in-the-woods and knows how to outflank his vicious opponents.

Now there are several possible suspects behind this series of text blasts against the VP. Your fertile mind should be able to tag the mastermind. Bear in mind though that in this game of political subterfuge, the most obvious suspect could turn out to be innocent while the seemingly most detached to this issue could be the sinister mastermind behind the text campaign.

VP Binay has been quite open about his presidential ambition but he has to choose his allies well and remember that the biggest ally that he cannot afford to lose is P-Noy. VP Binay must understand that even without Rep. Magsaysay, he has more than enough associates that could cause P-Noy to wonder if his VP is truly a partner in the making of DAANG MATUWID (straight path). To begin with, some of these associates of VP Jojo have reputations that are clearly incongruous to DAANG MATUWID.

How VP Jojo’s known Senate allies vote in the Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice (CJ) impeachment trial is another potential flashpoint between the president and the VP. It’s openly discussed in political circles that the VP’s group prefers a Supreme Court under the embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona than one under Justice Tony Carpio — for the simple reason that Carpio is perceived close to Mar Roxas, whom Binay defeated in 2010 and has since filed a protest case that the High Court will handle.

Some in the VP camp think that, at some point, the political goodwill of P-Noy will fade and don’t be surprised if these people are actively working to undermine the president’s political stock. It’s undeniable. They’ve written articles that clearly undermine the P-Noy administration. P-Noy’s political stock might plummet if he’s found to be involved in shenanigans like the ZTE-NBN deal or the Chopper scam. Do you see P-Noy doing that? No way.

How can you project a plummeting P-Noy political stock when S&P, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Research, the World Bank et al have been releasing very rosy projections for the Philippines under P-Noy? VP Jojo cannot be seen as opposing this positive economic turnaround of the country.

VP Binay can retain his sizeable following in the Yellow Forces only by staying in P-Noy’s cabinet. If VP Binay transforms into P-Noy’s Opposition, he should ask himself if he can win in 2016 without the Yellow Forces. Could he have won in 2010 if not for the NoyBi (Noynoy/Binay) group?

Shakespeare: Madness in great ones must never unwatched go.”

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  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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