Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Binay vs. Roxas

Left: DILG Sec. Roxas; Right: VP Binay
In the Presidential elections of 2010, for all its worth, I endorsed Noynoy Aquino for President and Mar Roxas for Vice President of the Philippines.

I said, “I belong to what I call the 4H and E-Generation. I am one of those who want a President who brings Honesty, Humility, Honor and Hope to his job. I am one who is deeply concerned with Education, Economic growth (employment, entrepreneurship, equity expansion), Electronic media or communications, Environment, Empowerment, Enlightenment, Energy Independence, Excellent Health Care, Electoral Reforms and Effective Security Force.

Mar Roxas must be elected as Vice President to work with Noynoy. To institute the educational, environmental, economic, electoral, military/police, judicial, civil service, social and constitutional reforms needed, it would take more than six years; in fact, a whole generation. Mar is needed as a Co-Manager to tackle them. He prepared and invested to be President. He sacrificed and gave way to Noynoy. He deserves to be Vice-President.”

Aquino won the elections but Mar Roxas did not. The latter was beaten by then Makati Mayor Binay unexpectedly. Why? Because two months before the elections, ABS-CBN reported that In the vice-presidential survey, Sen. Manuel 'Mar' Roxas of the Liberal Party still has a double-digit lead over Nationalist People's Coalition's (NPC) Sen. Loren Legarda. Roxas was the top choice of 43% of respondents while Legarda was preferred by 27%. Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay got 15% support while Bayani Fernando got 4%. Administration candidate Edu Manzano was chosen by 2%, the same as in the January survey.”

Internal survey of the Aquino-Roxas camp was showing a similar result.  The battle was always between Roxas and Legarda for the Vice-Presidency as it was between Aquino and Villar for the Presidency.

The focus of the propaganda campaign therefore was against their major opponents Villar-Legarda, disregarding other candidates like Estrada and Binay, The latter’s 15% was too far behind from Roxas’ 43% support. This, according to some friends of mine in Roxas’ camp, gave him “overconfidence” considering also his 16% lead over Legarda, his major opponent.

The campaign paid off against Legarda but without specifically targeting Binay, the latter, with the support of old friends from the Yellow Brigade and some relatives of Cory, became competitive. The primary, if not the only, concern of these supporters was the victory of Noynoy.

The rest is history.

Both Binay and Roxas became President’s men. For all intents and purposes however, while Binay has the title of Vice-President, Roxas was always the first among equals in the Cabinet. When he became the Secretary of Interior and Local Governments, he was effectively the designated domestic President given the trust, confidence, powers and resources provided to him by PNoy. Being in the Cabinet, closeness to some of PNoy’s relatives, and without any issues targeting him for a certain period, Binay, on the other hand, enjoyed an unusual popularity meriting substantial leads in Presidential surveys.

I have consistently predicted with inputs from friends at the barbershop that in 2016, history will repeat itself. After Cory’s presidential term, her choice – Fidel Ramos, became President. After PNoy’s term, his choice – himself (if qualified through Constitutional changes), Roxas, or anybody else, will be the next President.

The continuation of reforms is a historical necessity. PNoy started it with the strong support of his political partner, Roxas. PNoy either continues them through an extension of his term, through Roxas, or another alternative. But they must continue. The people and the whole nation cannot afford otherwise.

Honesty, Hope, Honor, and Humility catapulted PNoy to the Presidency. Only an honest President can continue an anti-corruption agenda. Only an honorable President can inspire and motivate a whole nation to strive for progress. Only an honest and honorable President can bring hope to a new generation despaired by an older but tainted generation.  Only a humble President can eliminate or substantially reduce the arrogance of abusive and power-hungry politicians.

Lately, an effort to unmask or expose the alleged corrupt practices in Makati under Binay and his family was initiated. The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has been investigating the overpricing of the Makati Parking Building construction. It has generated a lot of adverse publicity against Binay – a development that he never experienced when he ran for Vice President and while in PNoy’s Cabinet until recently.

The latest survey by Pulse Asia shows Binay down by 10 points while Roxas up by 6 points propelling him to be second only to Binay. If the expose’ on Binay continues and his ratings continue to go down, the need for PNoy to run again or to look for an alternative to Roxas might be unnecessary.

The truth is that Roxas deserves to be the next President after PNoy. The 2013 Senatorial elections was basically a battle between Team PNoy vs. UNA. The Three Aces (PNoy, Roxas, and Drilon) led Team PNoy while the Three Kings (Estrada, Binay, Enrile) led UNA.

Let the numbers tell the story. 

Final Results: Team PNoy: 9 Winners
                        UNA:            3 Winners

Battle of the Bailiwicks:

MAKATI (Binay’s Bailiwick):
            UNA:                      4 Winners
            Team PNoy:           8 Winners
SAN JUAN (Estrada’s Bailiwick):
            UNA:                      4 Winners
            Team PNoy:           8 Winners
MANILA (Estrada’s Bailiwick):
            UNA:                      4 Winners
            Team PNoy:           8 Winners

CAGAYAN (Enrile’s Bailiwick);
            UNA:                         4 Winners
            Team PNoy              8 Winners

TARLAC (PNoy’ Bailiwick)
         UNA:                 3 Winners
         Team PNoy:      9 Winners

CAPIZ (Roxas’ Bailiwick)
            UNA:              1 Winner
            Team PNoy: 11 Winners

ILOILO (Drilon’s Bailiwick)
            UNA:              2 Winners
            Team PNoy: 10 Winners

The numbers show that even in all the bailiwicks of the Three Kings (Binay, Estrada, and Enrile) Team PNoy won over UNA, 8-4.

NOTICEABLE should be the results in the bailiwick of Roxas where Team PNoy clobbered UNA, 11-1 and in that of Drilon where Team PNoy also clobbered UNA, 10-2.

Drilon became PNoy’s choice for Senate President and it happened. What about Roxas? If he becomes PNoy’s choice for the Presidency, it will happen. 

Roxas is not necessarily a bad choice. His excellent academic background and work experience as an Investment Banking executive, a Congressman, Senator, Secretary of Trade and Industry, Secretary of Transportation and Communications and most importantly, Secretary of Interior and Local Governments make him one of the most qualified candidate to ever become President of the Philippines.

Binay vs. Roxas – A comparison of achievements will bear out the difference, as 2016 gets closer.

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