In 2010, fresh from his electoral victory over Mar Roxas, Binay seemed to be like a fish in the sea. What with Paquito Ochoa getting appointed as the Executive Secretary. Ochoa is a NoyBi. Sixto Brilliants in the Comelec (he’s a closet NoyBi, or Bi). and a host of other allies in various positions. It was rumoured that he requested for the DILG portfolio. He got the HUDCC and OFW Concerns instead. Not bad considering both offices go straight into gut issues confronting the “masa”: housing and migration.
Binay played his cards well through mid 2014. Visiting provinces, distributing land titles, and I heard, at least in my town, had people in the public market line up to be given P500 each! No, there was no boodle fight. The place must be too cramped and too stinky for such an activity.
When he started to criticise the Pnoy government with that remark on inclusive growth, or something, I figured, he’s testing the waters for a possible break from the administration. But boom! It backfired. To paraphrase what Pnoy said: “You’re free to go, shorty! Anytime.”
Such is the dilemna of Binay! He may have the highest approval rating in the administration but he can’t get a clean break from it lest his ratings fall. And that’s where it becomes weird. And the closer he gets to October (filing of COCs) and the longer the senate investigation lingers while AMLC, Ombuds, DOJ, etc is breathing down his neck, the pressure can be too strong to bear. And now, the bow has broken. He quits the cabinet.
For me, he should have quit during the height of the Mamasapano scandal.
For one, he should quit (as a cabinet official, but not as a vp) if only to exhibit his integrity as a public official who has openly declared his presidential run come 2016. This is as opposed to being seen as an opportunist incumbent official who is taking advantage of his position to campaign using state funds in the guise of “just doing his job”. All the while leading a (loyal) opposition whose members openly condemn the administration he serves under.
Secondly, quitting at that precise moment would give him a stage to present his alternative style of governance as opposed to the current admin. Also, at that moment, he would have a captive audience that could cheer him on willingly.
He missed that opportunity. Of course, he could always say that he did not do so because he did not want to abandon the president during his most vulnerable of times. Well, I thought he was just trying to act like a crying shoulder for a kolehiyala in deep sorrow. But it seems, that kolehiyala didn’t need his shoulder, after all. Pnoy has rebounded in the surveys, while Binay has floundered because of a mishandling of a foundling. And him quitting now would look like he was a scorned playmate who left, crying because he lost a game of marbles.
One thing going for him though is Mar Roxas’ lethargic survey stats and Grace Poe’s vulnerability as a newbie. Binay will bounce back. He is a maverick. He’s a tried and tested political warrior with powerful backers and and even bigger war chest. Hail to thee for resigning! But he should have done so earlier!