Monday, May 24, 2010


A few days before the actual Presidential elections in the Philippines, some friends, relatives and associates noticed a surge in the Binay Vice Presidential campaign. In the past weeks and months, he was never in the political radar, predicted to having no chance against the likes of Senators Mar Roxas and Loren Legarda. Roxas was elected nationwide as a Senator with the highest number of votes in history. Legarda topped the Senatorial battle twice also with the highest number of votes aside from having been the running mate of Fernando Poe, Jr in the last presidential election.

Binay who never run for a national position before, is now projected to be the next elected Vice President of the Philippines. In my last column, I wrote that I was not surprised. Despite the fact that I endorsed, campaigned and voted for a NOY-MAR ticket, I understood the reasons why. After listening to the views of my barber, friends, relatives and associates, let me share with you what I gathered.

First cause mentioned was ATTITUDE.
Second cause was Binay’s effective and efficient delivery of his MESSAGE.
Third, was the effective and efficient use of ORGANIZATION and NETWORKS.
Fourth, was the effective and efficient use of RESOURCES.
Fifth, strong and “macho” progressive LEADERSHIP.


“Attitude not Aptitude”, they say, “determines the Altitude of one’s achievement.” This I know first hand, and reinforced by other Roxas supporters. When Villar was closing in on Noynoy (at least according to surveys), Roxas was way ahead of Legarda and even more so of Binay. I talked to a friend and fellow Noy-Mar supporter and this is what the former said, “Mar is already sure of winning. He is just concentrating on helping the others. In fact, he is taking full control of the Liberal Party campaign operations”.

I remember saying, “Sobra comfiansa mata el hombre.” (Over confidence kills the man). The Filipino voter never likes any display of arrogance or over confidence. True or not, Mar was perceived as arrogant. In Philippine politics, perception is reality. While when partnered with Noynoy, he shared the reputation of Honesty; giving Hope; and bringing Honor; Mar as perceived by my barber, friends, relatives and associates just couldn’t share Noynoy’s “humble” image. Eventually, “Mr. Palengke” was more realistically described as an Araneta, related to Greggy (Irene Marcos’ husband) and Mike Arroyo; Wharton-educated, Wall Street investment banker and “free marketer”.


I used to say in seminars, “If you have a Vision, make it a Mission. Let it be your Ambition but never an Obsession. Otherwise, you will end up in Frustration.” Since entering public service and politics, Roxas was rightly being prepared to follow the footsteps of his grandfather, President Manuel Roxas. After topping the Senatorial elections with the highest number of votes, the Liberal Party started grooming him to be its presidential timber. I was told that prior to the death of Cory, he and the LP already invested about P100 million building the organization for his campaign. The problem was, he was running third or fourth in the surveys. Then, Cory died. Later, a clamor for Noynoy to run became a movement which the former couldn’t reject.. He gave in to Noynoy and became the latter’s VP instead.

The clamor was a clear message from the Filipinos that they wanted a Cory-like leader who would provide them Honesty, and Humility; who would give them Hope and Honor. Cory’s son fit the bill. But he needed an organization that already prepared for the battle. Mar Roxas’ Liberal Party offered it to him and together with the one million volunteers, he accepted the challenge.

Binay knew this message. Targeting the Aquino followers, he positioned himself as the real Cory’s and Ninoy’s choice for VP. He ran under the PDP-Laban Party which was Ninoy’s party during Martial Law while in prison. He was a courageous human rights lawyer, Cory’s campaign manager in Makati against Marcos in the snap elections and more importantly, he was the first appointee in any local executive position of then Revolutionary President Cory Aquino, as Mayor of Makati. When there was a coup attempt to oust Cory where even Noynoy was shot, he rushed with his troops, risked his life, to defend Cory in Malacanang.

The best message I think, is the one forwarded by famous columnist Jose Montelibano by asking two questions when deciding. “First, which Vice-Presidential candidate would take a bullet for Noynoy? Second, which Vice-Presidential candidate would take a bullet for Noynoy even if it meant giving up the chance to succeed him?”

The Cory people, the selfless volunteers, the followers inspired by Conrado de Quiros’ NOYPI. the non-“trapo” Liberals, even “Kamag-anaks” like Peping and Tingting Cojuangco with their COPA, some of the leaders of the TuloypNoy group, accepted, absorbed, espoused and spread the message. NOYBI not NOY-MAR is better for Noynoy and the country.


“Organization determines everything”, Lenin once said. Organization indeed is as important if not more as the message. Binay was head of the United Opposition. Together with Senator Chiz Escudero, they ran the Presidential campaign of Fernando Poe, Jr, the perceived real winner against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He is the President of PDP-Laban, and ran under Erap Estrada who already won by landslide a Presidential election. He headed and still heads the Boy Scouts of the Philippines whose motto is “LAGING HANDA” or BE PREPARED.” He is an alumnus and awardee of the National Defense College. He also managed concurrently the Metro Manila Commission aside from being Mayor of the Financial Center of the Philippines, Makati City.

If he did not run for Vice President, he would be Noynoy’s choice as DILG Secretary as Noynoy himself admitted. Binay is an effective and efficient organization man. He knows how to plan, lead and control. He does them well, effectively, efficiently and competently.


If you lived and/or held office in Makati, Philippines, like I was, you most probably heard of the Binay political machine. My contacts involved in Makati politics tell me that in every precinct, Binay has it covered. In every poor family, at least one is either directly employed by the Binay government, indirectly by Binay community or non-profit organizations, or by contractors doing business with the Binay government.

Binay had perfected the concept of “community organizing” even before Obama became one. In Makati, Binay’s machine could deliver votes the same way the Daleys deliver in Chicago. In the 1987 elections, if you were Cory’s choice, you won. In Makati, if you were Binay’s choice, you also won. The rich people in the villages who opposed him are automatically or unknowingly neutralized by the drivers and maids who serve them. Why? These are the people who receive greeting cards, gifts and cakes from Binay every year on their birthdays. You are elderly, you are lonely and feeling hot but have no money. Binay made sure that you could go to the air-conditioned movie houses in Makati for free.


He is obviously not as rich as Roxas. But he has human resources – a network of friends, human rights lawyers and activists, scouts and fellow Coryistas. He also has financial supporters. Remember, he created an environment conducive for local and foreign investments in Makati. Many of them became richer holding offices in Binay’s Makati. Win or lose for the Vice Presidency, the Binay family and machine would continue to rule Makati. A financial contribution to Binay is worth the investment.


In my blog endorsing the Presidential candidacy of Noynoy Aquino, I traced the history of how the Filipinos voted for President since General Aguinaldo. I noted that somehow the Filipinos preferred their leader to be strong and “macho”, with some perceived supernatural gifts or anointed by God. This also explains the choice of someone who would assist the son of “Super boy Ninoy” and “Blessed Sagrado Corazon”. The choice between Mama’s boy Mar versus Boy Scout “Rambotito” Jojo who fought Anti-Cory rebel forces and bravely opposed the Marcos dictatorship seems clear.

“Why do you call Binay the first “black” President?”, I asked my barber.

He jokingly said, “it’s really because he is MAITIM or in Ilocano, NANGISIT” (Dark-skinned).”In fact, he is even “blacker” than Obama”, this time he was a little serious ‘

He explained that literally, unlike Obama, there is no “white race” in his blood. Figuratively, his programs for the poor in Makati such as health reform, free medical care, free college education, employment, and care for the elderly are more progressively liberal than those of Obama.”

In voting for Binay to help Noynoy, the same way the Americans voted for Obama, the people were voting for HOPE and CHANGE on a national scale!

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