Poe’s Oath of Allegiance

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Poe: The Filipino American President

First lets set aside all the legalities.  Poe is a natural-born Filipino, that’s a fact.  It would be impossible for her biological mother to have given birth to her outside the Philippines then travel to the Philippines, Iloilo of all places, and leave her at the Jaro Cathedral.

As to whether she renounced her Filipino citizenship when she became a US citizen and whether that has cancelled her natural born Filipino status is something for the legal luminaries to debate upon.

A bigger issue looming for Poe is the fact that once upon a time, she pledged allegiance to a foreign country.  For one to be a leader of a nation, ones patriotism should be unquestionable.  Having pledged loyalty to a country different from the one she wishes to serve can put into question his loyalty to his constituents.  In other countries, it can be an issue of national security.  Aggravating it is the fact that all members of her family, if true, are all US citizens.

Having been colonised by the US for a good part of the 20th century, we may think that it’s not that bad at all.  However, what if the citizenship of her family members were China, for example.  Wouldn’t that pose a precarious situation for the nation in light of our territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea?  Wouldn’t she be questioned on her fitness to decide on these matters?

She has so far dodged questions of loyalty and patriotism so far.  The focus has so far been on her citizenship.  But if and when she is deemed to be qualified, at least on the issue of citizenship, i feel that the above mentioned issues will be at front and center.  How she will respond will define her resolve and integrity more than the issue of her mental  and emotional competence to be president.

Kris the Bobotante

Kris Aquino said recently that she is still undecided on who to support; Mar Roxas, her brother’s chosen one, or GPoe.

She claims that she has become personally close to GPoe since they met and hit it off during the 2013 elections.  She further explains that Susan Roces, Gpoe’s mother “holds a very special place” in her heart.

She also made a similar claim about Binay, the VP.  She was reported to have said that he supports the VP to replace Pnoy come 2016.  The reason, she said was because “I like him. We like him. He’s helped us a lot. He is always there for us,” she said.

(http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/634122/a-flighty-qa-with-kris-aquino-why-endorse-jejomar-binay#ixzz3ikVotyu1)

The so-called educated voters lament the power and the influence of the “uneducated” voters when it comes to elections.  And how easily they can be swayed with money and goodies, or at least the promise of it.  They are the best examples of patronage politics’ willing victims.  But not a lot have been said about so-called educated voters who vote like their “uneducated” counterparts.  Worse are those who wield a significant influence over a wide range of people of different demographics and social standing who are an even more willing victim or perpetrators of patronage politics.

Exhibit A:  Kris Aquino, Queen of all media.  As mentioned earlier, she may go GPoe because they are close and the mom is likewise.  She supports (or at least she used to) Binay to continue his brother’s legacy because he likes him and has helped him in the past.  Hello?!

I am not saying that he should support Roxas.  She can do whatever she pleases but given her influence over millions of people, from whom by the way, she has earned a pretty lucrative career for herself and her Bimby, she should be more responsible to her choices and the choice she chooses to announce to the public.

She should base her choices over a range of issues that concern the constituencies she has the power to influence.  It should not only be based on her personal reasons.  The former is being a responsible citizen, the latter is being selfish and myopic.

If we have a Kris Aquino acting like she did, who needs Bobotantes?

Eh Di Wow

Binay, true to form, lambasted former friend Pnoy and his administration.  Nothing surprising.  We’re in the political season already.  Every politician would jockey for position just before the filing of COCs and going into the campaign period where the campaigns and materiel will be relegated.  Right now it’s fair game.

I was having my physical therapy while listening to the TSONA.  Without the benefit of a pen and paper to jot down vital details of Binary’s speech, I will just be recalling from the top of my balding head.  He repeatedly said manhid and palpak.  Yes, that’s true in a lot of cases.  But wasn’t he a part of it for the past 5 years?  While before he used to applaud Pnoy and even complement him on his programs, why has he suddenly been the meanest and worst president in history?

He too pointed out that a lot of the programs of Pnoy emanated from the previous administration.  True.  It’s not a surprise since most of the Hyatt 10 who worked for GMA has moved on to Pnoy’s cabinet.  That Pnoy did not acknowledge GMA for the programs that Pnoy adopted is a case of billing problem.  It would be nice that Pnoy should have done so.  But it smacks of childish jealousy for Binay to have to point that out.  Like I said, like in the movies, the issue of billing is of primordial importance to superstars.  Micheal Douglas should be first then Al Pacino, that sort of billing.

“Buhay pa naman kayo di, ba?!”  I remember Pnoy saying this to a businessman who was insistent on the president to provide and establish better security in Tacloban.  But he never said this to refer to the starving and dying populace of Tacloban.  Saying this to that businessman may mean that he is saying it to people in similar circumstances.  But definitely not to all the rest.  The point to that statement was that Pnoy had other pressing concerns to address than to be held up by the businesses complaints on security.  Was it wrong for Pnoy to have said that?  Yes of course!  But to say that Pnoy meant it for the rest of Tacloban is just plain inaccurate or worse, malicious.

That video that showed Mar asking for a letter from the LGU of Tacloban.  Binay included it in his speech.  Binay said that Mar withheld help if the letter was not signed and sent to him or Malacanang because the mayor is a “Romualdez and the president is an Aquino”.  Help was already ongoing by that time.  Heck, Mar and Gazmin even picked up Mayor Romualdez after they chanced upon him in the streets walking, wet, tired and looking for his family.  Why Mar wanted that letter in the first place could be because of a number of reasons.  For one, it could be to lay out boundaries in accounting procedures for auditing purposes.  When the national government repairs an LGU facility, who does the liquidation?  The LGU or the DILG?  This can be a source wrinkle later on when one liquidates certain projects done by the other.  And since one is a Romualdez and the other an Aquino, this might become a controversy later.  I’m just hypothesising here.  Now was it prudent on the part of Mar to have endeavoured to asked for that document?  Probably yes.  Could it have waited for a few more days?  Definitely!  Was it insensitive of him?  Yes it sure was!  But did he withhold help due to the absence of the letter as what Binay has claimed in his TSONA?  I didn’t think so.  Admittedly however, the help that national government was able to deliver was just way too mediocre.  Now that’s another issue altogether.

He pointed out that the growth of the economy only benefitted a few.  I waited with baited breath for him to elaborate on the “few”.  Alas, he stopped short of naming them.  For doing so would violate his right to self incrimination.  I’m just being funny here.

He mentioned the PDAF and DAP.  He had those pork barrel funds himself before the SC ruling came out.  To his credit, he gave it up after the SC ruled on it.  So what does that say?  That it was ok until someone finds out about it then you declare and disown it?  At least the president was forthright in defending it even after the SC came out with a negative decision on the matter.  The former is hypocrisy, the latter is integrity or maybe just being plain stubborn.

And of course, he mentioned the SAF 44.  He enumerated all the 44 names, exalted them, thanked them and gave a snappy salute.  Well played.  He was on the dot when he said that Pnoy did not bother mentioning him in his SONA.  Shame on you Pnoy for not having done so.

But even more so to you Binay for using the death of the SAF44 to advance your political agenda.  You could have just mentioned their plight then went on your way, but you had to enumerate their names in such a solemn-like fashion and milked it for all its dramatic value to underscore your concern and sympathy and the lack of it by Pnoy and his admin.  All that was missing was the playing of TAPS.

When he said that Pnoys Sona was full of finger pointing to the GMA’s admin, he was exactly the same to Pnoy.  The worse part is that he was part of it for the most part of his term and until the last few days before his resignation and was even publicly yearning for his endorsement.  He sounded like a jilted lover.  Hell hath no fury like a Binay scorned!

Now let’s see in the next few days how his TSONA fared.  Will it be a success or a fluke.  And for his sake, he’s got to have a success after having numerous flops.

Sa pagbatikos at panunumbat ni Pnoy kay Binay…tatlong daliri naman ang nakaturo sa kanya.  Now replace Pnoy with Binay and vice versa.  Rings true, right?!

Scenarios 2016

So it’s official, Mar Roxas joins VP Binay int he presidentiables’ table.  We await the others particularly the decision of Sen. Grace Poe.

Let’s do scenarios.  Let’s limit the discussion between Mar, Binay and Poe.  Although Du30 may just decide to join the fray but from most indications, it is almost safe to say that he’s out or he’s safely in the distance to disrupt the three.  At least for the meantime.

I. Mar-X vs Binay-X

Both have the machinery.  Mar with LP and the entire government bureaucracy. Binay with his boodle fight gang (BSP, APO, Sister-cities).  Let’s call them even in this regard.  Mar is with Pnoy.  Binay is with …no one.  He should have an Erap with him but it seems Erap is playing his political cards with the endgame of either having his son Jinggoy getting exonerated or at least not being given a harsh treatment. But then, Binay is leading the surveys.  So i call this for Binay, slightly.

II.  Mar-Poe vs Binay-X

This should be a formidable team-up.  Poe is a cinch for the VP while Mar will be benefitted not only by party machinery and Pnoy’s endorsement, but also have an enhanced reputation due to Poe.  Binay is a known ally and friend of FPJ.  Having Poe with Mar would cement Binay’s reputation as being so corrupt and detestable that not even the daughter of his friend would touch him with a stick!  Advantage Mar.

III.  Mar vs Binay vs Poe

Status:  It’s complicated.  While Poe may have led the last survey, it is doubtful that she can sustain it.  When the race gets heated, Poe will be attacked with issues of competency, citizenship, and political experience all at the same time and from different camps.  One might argue that this was the same scenario with Cory Aquino; no experience in both governance and in terms of politics.  But then, that was a different time.  With this scenario, a Binay victory may be in the offing.  It’s ironic that the younger Poe may just become the Ping Lacson of his father’s run in 2004.  Recall that Ping Lacson insisted to run for president thereby dividing the opposition between him and FPJ.  In the end, GMA won by a million votes courtesy of hello garci. Had Ping given way to FPJ, GMA’s question to Garci “so, would i still win by 1 million?” would have been “so, would I still win?”  Of course, the same can also be said of Mar.  Either way, it’s advantage Binay.

VI.  Mar-X vs Binay-BBM (Bongbong Marcos)

This will be a challenge of packaging for Binay.  For one, he prides himself being a staunch advocate of Human Rights and his being incarcerated during the Marcos years.  And then here he is, teaming up with the son of the very person he fought against once upon a time.  They might call it “unity ticket”.  For me, they might as well call it “move – on team” or “team walang forever”.  Binay will lose the Mabini group and other like-minded individuals who are with him now due to his past advocacies.  He will lose his faction of the Cojuangcos who are still at odds with the Marcoses, except for one.  He will also lose the Mar-haters but who are as much Marcos-haters.  BBM will be forced into a situation wherein the infamy of his dad’s regime will be highlighted this early thereby jeopardising his future plans of running for the presidency, if ever and whenever.  This will also strengthen Mar’s cause as the issues against his enemy will be clearer:  Corruption and the creeping  return of the Marcoses.  Of course the Marcos loyalists will claim that they have the numbers.  Maybe.  But one thing is sure, those numbers have not figured in the surveys.  Chalk and cheese of a combination.  Advantage:  Mar

For Mar, he should do more to convince Poe to team-up with him or at least for her to stand down.  Poe should also drop Chiz.  Chiz is making things complicated.  He seems obsessed to make himself matter in the negotiations between Poe and Mar.  And for Binay, to try his best to not get indicted and worse, arrested.  It’s more fun in the Philippines, especially in 2016.

Pnoy and his SONA

I am not a Pnoy fan.  But of all the SONA’s I have heard, I like Pnoy’s better than most.  He has a “sidewalk” style but without the cussing and the brashness.  He weave’s a story as a premise of his argument then occasionally ends it with a joke, emphasizing his point.  He may use some punchlines but not to a point that it becomes corny and hypocritical.  Erap’s “Huwag ninyo akong subukan” is too pretentious and movie-punchline-like than “matuwid na daan” (well, ok the last one can be hypocritical).

SONA 2015 was no different.  If at all, it was even better.  He starts with the pits and falls of the past admin, as he almost always does.  But hey, we need to be constantly reminded of this.  We tend to be very forgiving and we seem to treat feelings of grudge as some immature thing and that one must “move on” or “grow-up”.  In this case, Pnoy feels that he needs to remind everyone of where we were before he came along.  Early on in his presidency, I thought that his penchant for recalling the past admin’s mistakes was one way of setting himself a good excuse in case he doesn’t achieve much.

Much like how Erap remarked in his first SONA that “Bangkarote and gobyerno” and then arguing that he will be hard pressed to deliver on his promises.  This was an unjustifiable slap on FVR’s face and an indictment of Philippines 2000.

But for this SONA, Pnoy has a different purpose.  It was to show how far we’ve gone since 2010.  He wanted to tell a story.  He wanted to present his administration in a collage-type of theatrical presentation and highlights its achievements by putting it in contrast to her predecessor.  It was a swan song.  And a song it really was.  The drama, comedy and tragedy were all there.  And the denoument would probably be when the TV screen was divided into three panels:  Binay, Poe, Mar.  (The thank yous and acknowledgements were the closing credits.)

I must say though, that he missed a few items in his speech that should have been included or even emphasized particularly the Mamasapano massacre and the DAP controversy.

The former, I wanted him to present a more human tone in sympathy to the families who lost so much.  It was a perfect opportunity for him to somehow “atone” for his responsibility without necessarily saying it was all his fault.

The latter (DAP controversy), I wanted him to put it into context.  The DAP issue was not about funds being pocketed ‘ala Napoles’ PDAF.  It was about certain funds previously earmarked for certain operational budget items of certain departments diverted directly to be used for projects.  It was creative accounting.  Was it pocketed?  Some may have been misused much in the same way as PDAF was fully utilised by some and pocketed by others.  In other words, the DAP freed up capital to be used for even more projects.  Now, how those projects were implemented by the eventual recipients say DPWH or  LGU, was something that should be treated separately from the DAP.

There may be more that he could have covered in his speech but for me, only those two i previously mentioned stood out as “no-shows”.

im a sucker for dramatic speeches.  This was no exception.  I cant help but agree with him when he said something about whether in 2010 we could have thought that we could have reached this level of growth.  Yes, one might agree that it has not trickled down to the lower wrung of the community.  But hey, we need to have the businesses flourish first to provide more jobs and create even more business opportunities for a greater number.  That’s when inclusive growth can be achieved.  All the more some reforms need to be sustained and some still need to be achieved beyond 2016.  And if only because of that, this speech has gathered some dramatic intonations.

To conclude, I rate SONA 2015 a 2.25.  And so does Pnoy’s admin.  (just as a reference, i rated GMA a 3.0, Erap a 4.0)

PoEscudero

Among the probable presidentiables, it’s probably Sen. Grace Poe who has the biggest dilemna.  To run or not to run, for what position and with whom?

As the surveys have shown, she’s leading.  If we have the elections tomorrow, she’d win.  However, we still have months to go before election time and barely 3 months to go before the filing of COC.  This means, she has a short time to decide and think things through but a long time to go either further up or further down.  And by the looks of things, it’s more likely that she’d be pulled down.  Why?  Let me enumerate:

1.  Track Record.  ‘nuf said.  Of course one can argue that Cory Aquino was just a plain housewife when she ran and won against Marcos.  Different time.  For one, Marcos and his record was the only enemy and the only issue at that time.  The stars have aligned for Cory primarily because of the people’s desperation to get rid of Marcos.  Two, she was percieved to be everything Marcos was not.  Pnoy, although having a similarly mediocre track record, was benefited with the passing of Cory who still has a mass following.  And let’s not forget the legacy that his father, Ninoy, had left to scores of Filipino consciousness.  Rightfully or otherwise, those factors got Pnoy the votes.

Grace Poe is no doubt intellectually endowed.  She’s an alumnus of UP Manila and Boston University.  And it stops there.  Her only public service record was her stint in the MTRCB, a token appointment where she can never go wrong whether or not she does anything.  Her stint in the Senate was only given notice in her handling of the Mamasapano massacre probe.  Which, for all intents and purposes, was an easy stand given the clear fiasco of the operation.  In fairness, she handled it objectively and seem to spare no one, not even Pnoy himself.  But still, the issues were clear cut and the emotional factor of the country favoured the indictment of the president’s handling–a lack of coordination and the insistence of Pnoy to tap an operationally-challenged suspended PNP chief.

One can argue that she’s the daughter of the presumed winner of the 2004 presidential elections, action-king FPJ.  But who cares?  FPJ was not known as a political leader who was known to have fought for any socio-political issue prior to his run.  He died in a gathering of friends while having a few bottles of beer and not on the streets fighting for something or on any political platform that would endear him to his constituencies.  He was cheated in the elections and soon after he passed.  Both events have little or no relation to each other.  Raul Roco would have had a better “emotional” impact during his own death.

2.  Citizenship Issue.  This makes her vulnerable to legal attacks.  The merits of the law may favour her in the end but one thing is a fact, she turned her back on her country by pledging allegiance to another.  That may be legal but to many Filipinos, it doesn’t sound well that their president (if she runs and wins) was once a non-Filipino.

3.  Chiz Escudero.  There’s a term I heard in one of the AM radio programs that describes him.  Political Photobomber.  Although he has a better than average track record in Congress and Senate, it is still lacking in substance that one can say that he enabled game-changing legislation to benefit a cross section of society.  Binay has Makati, Duterte has Davao, Mar has the Cheaper Medicines Act, while Escudero has Heart–but even that has its own bad publicity.  And of course, he’s a good speaker.  I used to like it how he presents his arguments by saying one thing and contradicting it with another and concludes with a rebuttal.  But it’s gotten trite and corny.  And also, check out his wedding sponsors.  Ongpin, Ramon Ang, etc.  Would he be crossing horns with them if and when the time comes for him to pick a side between them, his ninongs, and his people?  2nd Poorest Senator wed in Balesin.  Bigyan ng jacket ‘yan.

So what am I saying?  Whatever Grace Poe decides, it is hoped that she has the interest of the country in mind.  Not her ambition or not just her deep yearning to vindicate her father’s memory.  She should be discerning enough to listen to advises that matter and shun those that are lined with vested interest of the advise-giver.  Great powers come great responsibility, as has been said.  Her lead in the survey and her position in government, among other things, have endowed her with great powers over our people and our nation, may she not drop the ball but instead further distinguish herself as a new  breed of truly non-trapo, independent and integrable leader.

Postscript:  If she runs for president with Chiz, then it’s Chiz who would have the easiest run in 2016!

Du30 Phenomenon

The emergence of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as a viable presidential contender speaks volumes of the people’s desperation over the increasing incidence of unsolved crimes all over the country.  This also highlights the failure of the government as an institution to address the peace and order (or lack of it) issue all over the country.  In fairness to the current Pnoy administration, these pent up emotions did not just build up recently.  This has continuously built up over different presidents since the Cory administration.

The Marcos regime has to be separated since after his ouster, the country and its people went into a “reset” mode.  The majority of the Filipinos gave themselves some respite from the problems during the Marcos administration and have set themselves new expectations with the restoration of democracy in the country.

With Duterte’s personality and his track record in Davao City, the people see in him a movie-style hero out to seek vigilante justice for everyone.  Think of him as Stingray.  The character Nick Mancuso played in the 80’s movie series of the same name. Google it.

Now the questions is, is Duterte the answer to this straight-to-the-gut issue of crime prevalence in our society?  Keep in mind that peace and order is only one facet that needs attention.  We have issues of poverty, joblessness, corruption, deteriorating social services etc as legitimate issues that demand equal attention as peace and order.  One can say that they are interrelated.  Yes, it may be, but only up to a certain extent.  Solving crime cannot directly solve all the other problems.  But surely it can enable other societal actions to work to solve other issues.  But that’s just it.  It is just one spoke of a wheel of governance.

Also, being president only rules over one branch of government—the executive.  For crime fighting to be a success, it is not enough that we have a professional police organization.  We need an effective justice system.  For what use is it that our police round up criminals only to be released by corrupt prosecutors and judges hiding under the cloak of giving “due process” to the innocent until they are proven guilty.

And with the size of the bureaucracy, I doubt it that Duterte will be able to fully professionalize our police organization which serves thousands of LGUs most having chief executives with warlord-like mentalities.

With all these arguments on crime fighting, we haven’t even touched on the corruption in the different levels of government in ALL of its three branches!  Case in point, will a Duterte cause the “elimination” of politicians involved in graft and corruption?  Going by his standards, Binay, Enrile, Jinggoy, and Bong shall all have been 6 ft under by now.

So what’s my point?

For Duterte to fully take advantage of this phenomenon he has gained, he has to evolve from a one dimensional character in the presidential saga to a multi-faceted personality able to balance his macho, brusque, vigilante-type leader with insights that would define his stance on issues on job creation, foreign relations, commerce and reform.  This would further enrich the coming presidential derby thereby giving a more inclusive debate of issues from different levels of society.  Ultimately, the people, all of us voters and the future generation, will be the better for it.

Junjun Binay Steps Out of City Hall, He Has To.

It’s like de ja vu.  But the outcome is different.  The Binay camp’s strategy remains the same.  Man the fort, surround with supporters (paid or otherwise), brief the press of the oppression, file TRO.

The DILG has learned their lesson.  While before the PNP escorted the suspension order server to the Makati City Hall, this time the PNP went ahead to secure the premises first in preparation for the coming of the server the day after.

VP Binay, upon seeing this and realising that the PNP can choke out their supporters, decided to be part of the mob himself.  Wearing a red cap (fashion statement), confronted the police operatives assigned.  In a bold move, akin to an action-drama movie (FPJ’s perhaps?  Probably not, Height issues) lashes out at the police operatives with matching fingerpointing and Liam Neeson-type dialogue.  It’s “I will find you.  Then I will kill you” of Liam Neeson to Binay’s “Kilala kita, Jamias. Magkalaban na tayo!”

So what gives?

The Binay camp, realizing the determination of the Ombudsman and the DILG to hit them with a suspension order after suspension order, had to face dire realities and respond accordingly.  They cannot afford a long stand-off.

First, their accounts are frozen.  And anyone whom they wish to tap for funding are having second thoughts or, just like a status update in Facebook, having an “it’s complicated” scheme to ferret funds out.  AMLC is watching.

Second, Binay has quit his post and has morphed into a seemingly rabid dog against Pnoy and his admin.  His pull is not as strong as it where when he was in the cabinet.  The previous suspension order may have been stalled partly due to his being in a cabinet position who can have a wide ranging and far reaching clout with the other institutions of government.

Third, his survey ratings have gone down.  He has become vulnerable to compromises here and there and his stock is not as fearsome as it used to be.  While before, some bureaucrat may tow Binay’s line for fear of reprisal when he becomes president, now the “when” has been relegated to “if ever”.  A notch down, and it seems, it may go down even more.

Fourth, they have a party brewing later that afternoon!  It’s the coming out party of UNA in his bailiwick!  How would it look like if in the orgy of a party, they lacked the “boom” of an Erap attendance, the absence of a “bam” of a JPE resilience, and a “wambam” of a Jinggoy-presumptive-VP-sana-candidacy!  Instead of a concentrated emotional hub and PR drama in the launching, they would have to pan two cameras; one in city hall, somber, sad, melodramatic and the other in the UNA launch which is supposedly festive, fiery and defiant.  Production nightmare!  And Tiangco is too dishevelled (literally and figuratively) to help, and JV Bautista, well, needs a shave.

So in order to make this setback work for them, JunB has to step out, attend the otherwise scant party and milk the emotional me-against-the-world drama to the hilt and hopefully, just hopefully, live to boodle fight another day.

It’s more fun in the Philippines.  Even more so in Makati!

Binay Resigns, Finally!

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!