The Crucial Binay Case
By Apolinario Villalobos
The Binay case will bring to light, who among the contenders to the presidency, deserves the post. While the Binay camp is obviously rattled under the pressure of mounting evidences that include authentic testimonies, it went beyond decency by requesting a meeting with the President. The latter move boomeranged, proving that Binay is surrounded with unthinking counselors, for arrogantly releasing statements that it was the President who initiated the meeting, which of course, the latter vehemently denied. The denial of the President, added to the already deepening humiliation of the desperate Binay camp.
A certain Atty. J Bautista even had the temerity to show himself during the Senate hearing and “lectured” on the committee. As he started speaking, viewers and listeners confirmed their suspicion that the guy is just a typical lawyer who want to make impressions even to the extent of making nonsensical statements. Sitting beside empty seats, J Baurtista was a forlorn picture of a helpless boy who lost a toy! His antics made viewers wonder if indeed, he is a lawyer.
Jonvic Remulla made a mistake in emphasizing smilingly in front of TV cameras that the billings and receipts showed by former Makati Vice-mayor Mercado do not hold water as regards the Binays’ ownership of a log cabin at Tagaytay Highlands. The fact that nobody can be issued such documents if he does not own any property inside the high-end housing complex has already been stated during the hearing, such being a prevalent practice, so that the effort of Jonvic in blatantly thwarting the documents’ purpose, just earned him added ridicule.
Jonvic Remulla should have distanced himself from the Binay case in the first place. As the Revillas are becoming more unpopular, the Caviteños turned to Jonvic Remulla as their hope in regaining the respect for their tainted image. For them, he was clean, until he dipped his fingers in the Binay case, even proudly championing the questionable honesty of VP Binay, as spokesperson. He should have used his wise judgment if he wants a clean image as a staunch fighter for justice which was expected of him, ever since he entered the political arena after so many years of absence of a representative from his clan. Now, his political opponents in Cavite must be rejoicing.
The latest Senate hearing, conducted on October 22, put to fore how greed could make a person sacrifice anything in favor of a selfish quest. Tony Tiu, an accused dummy of the Binays, vehemently claims with arrogance his being an honest businessman, until from his lips came information about his political ambition. Simple analysis would show that Tiu was banking on the Binays to prop up his ambitions both for more financial gain and a crack at politics. Despite the technical facts pointing to his just being a “rights owner” of the Hacienda Binay in Rosario, Cavite, he kept on insisting otherwise. His brave allegations when interviewed a day before were crushed one by one during the hearing, yet, he desperately tried to make a gallant stand to show his “honesty”. His classmates in a reputable school could be squirming in their seats while focusing their attention to TV monitors at home, seeing his helpless look. The disastrous performance of his businesses shown on TV, just pushed the guy deeper down the muck of embarrassment. Gone now is the image that he has been desperately trying to project as a “successful” businessman. Questions are mounting as to how he got the billions as his personal asset, that he has been mumbling to show that in no way could he become a dummy of the Binays, as he can afford to be equally rich as they.
The composure of Allan Peter Cayetano earned him more respect. His calm statements showed that he knows what he has been doing. Statements were carefully weighed and never did he stammer, even showing humility in making an apology for a slight and insignificant oversight. Not even the arrogant, nonsensical ranting of a JV Bautista changed his facial expression, at the end, even thanking the guy for showing up on his own, unlike VP Binay who kept on snubbing invitations. All the way, throughout the proceedings, he exhibited unquestionable intelligence.
Cayetano expertly showed how the Binays desperately, are trying to hide their ownership of properties by not registering them in their name, as in the case of estates, although, payments have been effected. The municipal towns in Cavite surrounding the Hacienda Binay have alleged that their records do not show any Binay property. Very clearly, Tony Tiu, though with a hint of confusion, insists on his ownership of the hacienda although honestly claiming that what he paid does not represent the total value of the property. The picture shown during the hearing was, with Tiu “owning” the hacienda at this time, with the title to be given him as soon as he completed the payment within at least two years. Meantime he “uses” the land to supposedly plant exportable vegetables. But the catch is that if he “fails” to pay the total value within the allotted period at least two years from now, the property reverts back to the “real owner”. The year is a little beyond 2016 – past the election period for president. Binay is moving heaven and earth to be in Malacaῆan, by then, during which, promised protections for sacrificing allies would have been secured – if he will make it. That is how Cayetano explained the scenario of how corrupt officials hide ill-gotten wealth.
As usual, the pluckiness of Senator Trillanes did not help him much to gain a good impression. He still is the guy who easily gives in to pressure, easily intimidated, as several times, he almost became unreasonable in his statements. He allowed himself, to be overcome by hatred.
Meanwhile, VP Binay has the gall to go around Mindanao and campaign for his quest. He is so shamelessly vocal about it this early, which shows a lack of decency on his part. He makes use of his power as housing czar to gain popularity by distributing housing units which the recipients deserve, in the first place. His desperation reached its climax when he approached the president for help to bail him out of the scandalous Senate hearing, thinking that he is a “valuable family friend”. He shamelessly failed.
The Binay campaign slogan about what happened in Makati during his time can happen to the Philippines when he becomes the president, has become more appropriate as the Senate hearing is gaining grounds in exposing unthinkable anomalies. What Filipinos now think is that, if indeed, Binay makes it as president, what happened in Makati could indeed, woefully happen to the whole Philippines. Some say, the Binays may even convert the whole country into a vast business empire!…with the Filipinos subsisting on cakes, instead of rice!