How Gwen Garcia can unmake the Jojo Binay presidency
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2013-01-03
Time and again I’ve counseled my good friend and kumpadre, Vice President (VP) Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, that his political battle is in 2016, not 2013. The biggest blunder that Jojo Binay could make is to take an antagonistic position against President Benigno S. Aquino III (P-Noy) prematurely and find himself outside of the cabinet.

UNA United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the coalition of ‘hybrid mongrels” that Jojo leads can lose 10 senate seats to the administration coalition in the 2013 elections and it wouldn’t erode Jojo Binay’s electability if he remains a P-Noy administration cabinet member.

“Hybrid mongrels” refers to the shadowy opportunistic characters that have found home in a political coalition that doesn’t even clarify if they’re opposition or administration. To protect the guilty, we shall no longer list down these shadowy characters that UNA harbors. The past deeds of these “hybrid mongrels” betray their loathsome pedigree.

By taking a premature break with P-Noy, Jojo Binay will be relinquishing what could be his rightful claim to have contributed to the landmark achievements of one of the cleanest administrations this country has ever had. I am projecting that by 2016, the P-Noy accomplishments will be even more impressive — making it a formidable political capital. By taking a premature break with P-Noy, Jojo Binay would have conceded to Mar Roxas, the projected Liberal Party presidential candidate in 2016, the full claim of anointed inheritor of the P-Noy legacy.

It’s a no-brainer to deduce that there’s no choice for Jojo Binay but to remain in the P-Noy cabinet. So what’s this Gwen Garcia bovine ordure all about? You see this is what I’ve been saying — that the bad company VP Jojo keeps clouds his intelligence, prodding him to make bad decisions. Did VP Jojo really think that Gwen Garcia and her clan has that much hold of Cebuano votes and can equate with the impact of a P-Noy endorsement of Mar Roxas in 2016?

The problem with VP Jojo Binay is that he has yet to outgrow his local politics mindset. He seems to have no appreciation that insofar as presidential elections are concerned — it’s a battle of political brands, not of local support. Local support cannot make an unpopular presidential candidate win, as in the case of Joe de Venecia versus Joseph Estrada in 1998. On the contrary, local support tends to gravitate to the clearly popular presidential candidate, as in the case of Noynoy Aquino in 2010 who rode on greatly limited Liberal Party machinery that was only augmented by people power.

VP Jojo Binay may have defeated Mar in 2010 and is maintaining a strong pubic approval rating as a member of P-Noy’s cabinet. It would be a mega blunder to test how strong his political mettle is now — with all those “hybrid mongrels” seen around him and against the strongest political brand in the country today. Unless VP Binay has lost his appreciation of the law, he should know that the case of Gwen Garcia was not made by the P-Noy administration but was only implemented according to the rule of law. Even if the timing stinks, Jojo Binay cannot fault the administration for implementing a court order. On the contrary, VP Jojo ‑ as a cabinet member — is duty bound to defend the administration.

I suspect that VP Jojo may have been deluded by some of the “hybrid mongrels” in their coalition into thinking that the Catholic Church — still smarting from their wounds during the RH Bill battle — will carry him and UNA to victory. The truth is the Catholic Church cannot make those “hybrid mongrels” look clean or fully trustworthy.

Some rabid Church leaders hate P-Noy to the point of supporting a coup plot if that was a viable option. VP Jojo should distance himself from such misadventures. The military and the police have been immensely impressed by this administration and its determination to address their needs and clean up their organizations. No country will ever recognize a new government that will oust this well respected president. It will be condemned here and abroad. This misadventure is going to be considered as the most ungrateful act that VP Jojo made against Cory Aquino.

To attract many voters, Jojo, has to convince them that he’ll maintain the same level of trustworthiness as that of the P-Noy administration. Those “hybrid mongrels” of UNA transmit the opposite image ‑ the threat of acquiring political rabies.

Lastly, VP Jojo, my good friend and kumpadre, should wean himself from the company of the Estradas. The Estradas are for the Estradas and they have an ambitious son positioned at the wings, waiting for VP Jojo to fumble. I would even suspect that they might be purposely leading VP Jojo into political Waterloos, like this Gwen Garcia bad decision, in the hope that VP Jojo’s political stock plummets and it leads to the rising of the son. 

Many of VP Jojo’s other friends felt the same way about this Gwen Garcia fumble. Already, some text messages are circulating that Binay has declared war on P-Noy. A declaration of war against a popular and loved P-Noy administration is nothing more than plain and simple political seppuku for Jojo Binay.

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Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.” 

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