#AnimatED: The ghosts of Binay’s past

Rappler.com
Vice President Binay has evaded the long arm of the law for close to 30 years

It’s time that Jojo Binay is held accountable. He has evaded the long arm of the law for close to 30 years.  

In the almost 30 years that the Binays have ruled Makati, this is the first time that an insider has blown the whistle on corruption in city hall: overpricing (from cakes to hospital beds), rigged bids, commissions from infrastructure projects, excess purchases. 

The price tag? Hundreds of millions of pesos stolen from public funds.

What Ernesto Mercado, a one-time-close-ally-turned-political-enemy of Vice President Jejomar Binay, has done is to give muscle and life to dry reports of the Commission on Audit and provide answers to the question, Where did the taxpayers’ money go? 

The revelations continue to shock us – and we haven’t seen the complete picture yet. 

Competing versions of who really owns the 150- or 350-hectare farm in Rosario, Batangas, vie for our attention. Many roads, however, lead to the Binays: land titles in the name of Binay’s friends, various photographs culled from social media and a magazine, testimonials from the local folk in Rosario. It is becoming clear that they are the beneficial owners of the vacation estate valued at P450 million.  

Let’s do our arithmetic. On a mayor’s monthly salary of P32,000, how can one amass such staggering wealth?   

As for Antonio Tiu, who claims to be new owner, all he has shown, belatedly, is a one-page memorandum of agreement between him and the supposed former owner, Laureano Gregorio, which turned out to be legally infirm. Even for businessmen with enormous appetites for risk, this one is a tenuous hold over a vast tract of land where he claimed to have pumped in millions of pesos in investments. 

In countries where rigorous ethical norms prevail and institutions are strong, all these would be enough to drive out politicians from their offices. Not here. We are subjected to a protracted and ugly display of lies and half-truths.  

What have we come to? Our political culture has gone berserk, wading in a sea of impunity. 

It’s time that Binay is held accountable. The ghosts of his past are catching up with him. 

The recent plunder case  filed against him has taken on wings. These should not be clipped, as what happened in the past, since 1988, when the first graft case reached the Sangidanbayan.  

With public vigilance, these wings will continue to flap. – Rappler.com

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