In new ad, Binay calls Senate probe 'masakit'

MANILA, Philippines – “Masakit, malupit, pagkatao ay minamaliit (Painful, cruel, my person is belittled)."

Vice President Jejomar Binay released a new television ad lamenting the yearlong Senate inquiry into corruption allegations against him. The ad began airing on Tuesday, September 22, on GMA7's noontime show Eat Bulaga the first time his campaign materials discussed the accusations posing the biggest challenge to the presidential bid of the veteran politician. 

Here is the ad as posted on Binay's Facebook page: 

The ad begins with a tight shot of Binay talking straight to the camera, seeking to gain the viewers' sympathy for the Senate probe into claims that he earned kickbacks from reportedly overpriced Makati infrastructure projects. The ad is underlaid with dramatic music. 

His spiel goes: 

“Isang taon na akong pinagtutulungan; 24 na hearing na puro haka-haka at malisya.

Sa dami ng aming paliwanag at dokumentong pinadala, 'di nila pinansin. 

Wala talagang balak pakinggan ang katotohanan.

Iisa lang ang layunin: sirain ang aking 4 na dekadang paglilingkod sa inyo.”

(They have been ganging up on me for one year; 24 hearings full of speculation and malice. 

They ignored all of the explanations and documents that we sent.

They really have no plan to listen to the truth. 

They have one goal: to destroy my 4 decades of service to you.) 

While he is speaking, the video shows newspaper clippings on the Senate probe, and piles of documents supposedly left untouched. 

Binay then goes on to repeat a message he first delivered in his speech resigning from the Aquino Cabinet last June. 

Masakit ngunit ang pinagdadaanan ko ay wala sa kalingkingan ng pagdudurusa ninyo sa araw-araw. Ang pagtitiis at kawalan ng pag-asa (It is painful but what I go through is nothing compared to your daily suffering. The endurance and loss of hope)," he said.

The ad shows photos of poor Filipino families, and a woman with eyes closed and her hand holding her forehead. 

Binay then segues into his candidacy, speaking on top of a video of a smiling student, nurse, elderly woman, and child – meant to symbolize his promise of bringing to the Philippines the education, health and senior citizen programs he began as Makati mayor of 21 years. 

Kaya lalong tumitibay ang paninindigan ko na ipatupad ang tunay na pagbabago. Pagbabago tungo sa pagginhawa ng buhay ng bawat Pilipino (This is why my resolve to implement real change has become even stronger. Change leading to a better life for each Filipino)” he said.  

The ad closes with text of his tagline: “Ginhawa sa buhay ng bawat Pilipino (A comfortable life for each Filipino)."

'Communications problem' 

This is the second national TV ad Binay released since the Court of Appeals froze his bank accounts in May. His first was a series of ads that began airing in May featuring testimonials on health, education, and overseas Filipino workers. Until his resignation from the Aquino Cabinet in June, Binay was housing chief and presidential adviser on OFW concerns.

The new ad was timed before the filing of certificates of candidacy in October for the May 2016 polls. 

Recently, Binay has been lagging behind other presidential aspirants in the frequency of his TV ads. His camp criticized former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II for “heavy advertising” and the “questionable use of government resources.” 

It remains unclear if the ad will address the Vice President's communications problem. 

Even Binay's allies admit that his failure to directly respond to the corruption allegations has hurt his candidacy. The Vice President snubbed invitations to the Senate hearings, instead preferring to submit an affidavit, to deliver speeches, and to file libel cases against his critics.

The problem persisted even with the presence of 6 individuals who speak on behalf of Binay, excluding his 3 children in government. (READ: 'Binay must be his own spokesman')

Lately, the Vice President speaks more about the investigation to issue general denials, and to discredit the inquiry. 

In a forum at the University of the Philippines Los Baños last week, Binay defended himself from the accusations even before students could start asking questions. 

Sinasabing pinakamahal na parking building. We maximized the structure. 'Di lang parking building iyon, kasama na ang mga tanggapan (They say it's the most expensive parking building in the world. It's not just a parking building but includes offices),” he said. 

Binay again compared the Senate probe to the hit “Aldub” loveteam of Eat Bulaga. 

“Magkakasama na ang magkasintahan sa Aldub, ang Senado wala pa ring nararating (The couple in Aldub are about to get together but the Senate has yet to wrap up its probe)." Rappler.com