PODCAST: Junjun Binay in jail is open warfare – Bondal
MANILA, Philippines – In 2013, lawyer Renato Bondal runs a futile mayoral race against Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, son of Vice President Jejomar Binay. It is a mismatch from the very start. Previous attempts to break the Binay dynasty in the country’s premier financial district lead to disastrous results.
“It was a sacrifice run,” Bondal says in an interview Wednesday, January 28. It is token competition if only to show that not all of Makati is under the control of the Binays.
Official election results show a lopsided victory for the Binay scion. Bondal gets only one-eighth of the votes cast.
But it's not the results that pique Bondal.
During the campaign, word spreads he is a "paid opponent." He says he had to disabuse the minds of Makati residents and wait for the right time.
In the middle of 2014, Bondal files a plunder case before the Ombudsman against the Vice President and his son for the alleged overpriced new Makati City Hall Building, which is constructed during the patriarch’s time.
It would have been easy to dismiss the case as a political stunt. After all, Bondal then was a losing mayor candidate. Besides, Bondal only had a vague idea of his allegations. Documents related to the plunder case were not forthcoming and no one could piece together the narrative.
That is, until former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado surfaces.
In this interview with Bondal, he says more charges against the Binays will be filed with the Ombudsman – from the alleged overpriced cakes given to Makati senior citizens to other big-ticket projects.
One of these involves an apparent land grabbing case in Barangay Comembo. It centers on a property purchased by the Mormon Church amounting to P100 million. Another is a socialized housing project amounting to P17 million that has not materialized.
Bondal says the Binays dipped their hands into these projects, partly to finance the Vice President’s presidential ambitions. The Vice President has declared this early that he is contesting the presidency in 2016.
What’s in it for Bondal?
The self-styled anti-graft crusader says he has no more political ambition and that he made a vow before his deceased mother. “Sinabi ko sa church, this is the end of my political life (I told my Church, this is the end of my political life)."
With the Binays at their most vulnerable, Bondal hopes that the family's hold on Makati politics will be broken.
A slight opening may surface if the Ombudman proceeds with the filing of the plunder case against the younger Binay before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan and an arrest warrant is issued against him and his co-accused councilors, who are mostly Binay allies.
In such a case, that could give any Binay opponent a momentum. "Open warfare ito(This is open warfare). We do not know who will capture the imagination of Makati residents."
Since launching the offensive against the Binays, Bondal says he has been receiving death threats which he takes seriously.
He says he hopes that what he has started creates a ripple effect. “The face of corruption is the face of the Vice President. If I bring down the Vice President for his corrupt activities, siguro maraming matitigilan. Sana maraming gumaya sa akin (Maybe many will hesitate. I hope many will follow my lead)," he says.
The Binay camp has ignored repeated requests for an interview. They have denied allegations against them and have said the charges are politically motivated. – Rappler.com
Listen to the full interview above.
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