The nation is moving toward a political crisis that looks nearly as bad as when President Estrada was impeached for high crimes. It is also nearly as bad as when those traitors known as the Hyatt 10, President Cory Aquino, and those opportunist Makati business organizations, called for President Arroyo’s resignation in 2005. Developments could even turn for the worse similar to the situation when the Enrile-Ramos tandem broke off from the Marcos regime to make their last stand at Camp Crame.
The trail of blood of the 44 commandos killed in Mamasapano has led to President Benigno Aquino’s residence in Malacañang. It could even lead to the Cabinet member in charge of the police, interior and local government, Mar Roxas, who has done little to heal both the deep wounds of grief of the families of the 44 heroes and the rift between the PNP and the military.
The nation is fissured on the issue that involves local government: the setting up of a so-called Bangsamoro, or Moro State within the Filipino state.
Yet, what does the Interior and Local Government Secretary do, what has been in his mind the past months?
He pursues his obsession, which began last year to go after the front-runner in the 2016 presidential elections—Vice President Jejomar Binay —the person he hates most in this world for depriving him of his choice for the vice-presidency in 2010.
I had thought that Roxas had given up on his plot to pin down Binay for the alleged overprice of the Makati Building II. After all, the contractor Hilmarc Construction turned out to be a respected one with an unblemished track record, among them the construction of three Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) offices in the provinces, the renovation of the Batasang Pambansa building, and the construction of the anti-graft special court Sandiganbayan building.
Why, the contractor’s current engagement is to build Liberal Party leader and Senate President Franklin Drilon’s pet project, the Iloilo Convention Center. And the Makati II Building’s cost is the median of those for these projects.
Even the noisiest of Binay’s accusers, Senator Alan Cayetano, has realized he was on a wild-goose chase, most probably ordered by Aquino, that he has moved on to other issues that would give him higher media exposure.
There have been seven months of full-blown propaganda operation against Binay. There were 17 Senate hearings on his alleged corruption and a special audit undertaken on Makati City hall finances. The Anti Money Laundering Council has been used to dig into his bank accounts and the BIR has harassed his friends. The Philippine Daily Inquirer tried to brainwash Filipinos’ minds with banner stories for 44 nearly consecutive days that he was corrupt. I wonder though why Binay hasn’t found the balls yet to break away with Aquino, who along with Roxas is behind all these dirty tricks.
Yet, Binay remains as the front-runner if elections were held, according to the most recent survey done by a reputable pollster for the first week of this month, showing him way ahead of runner-up Grace Poe, who just got half his votes. Roxas is way further down, now behind Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Miriam Defensor Santiago and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Desperate, with a year and a half to elections, Roxas is becoming a mad dog with its mouth foaming, barking wildly after the Binays.
C’mon, the Ombudsman wouldn’t be as reckless as to do the following, if the aim is not serve justice, but to deprive the Binays their bastion. Makati City, and then scour through the city’s files to come up with other trumped-up charges against the Vice President:
• 5 March: A special – yes that’s the Ombudsman’s actual term, “out-of-the-ordinary”—panel of investigators submitted to the Ombudsman the complaint against Mayor Jejomar Edwin Binay and 19 other city officials for their alleged involvement in the Makati Building II overprice.
• 9 March, or four days later: Apparently with the 74-year-old Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales working overtime and reading the complaint even during the March 7-8 weekend, she ordered Mayor Binay to submit his counter-affidavit, i.e., his reply, within 10 days of his receipt, which was the next day, March 10.
• 10 March: The day after the Ombudsman asked Binay and his officials to submit their replies within 10 days (which would be March 20), she ordered them suspended for six months, and directed the DILG to implement it immediately. Did she forget she gave them 10 days to answer the accusations?
“The law is the law,” Roxas said solemnly in a press conference, although one could easily detect a smirk on his face.
Now dear reader, do you think that is lawful, or is it the “law” totally prostituted for the sake of this madman’s dream of being president?
Binay and his co-accused, of course, appealed to a court of law – which is not an office that has proven to be a political tool – the Court of Appeals to stop not just the patently illegal order, but an absurd one. (Why did the Ombudsman give a 10-day deadline for a reply, when she ignored it the next day?).
Guarded by a thousand policemen, the suspension order was taped on the Makati City Hall’s gates by Roxas’ officers.
The absurdity doesn’t stop there.
With the blatant abuse of power by the Ombudsman, and you’ll realize it is so by just the chronology of events, the Court of Appeals on March 16 issued a restraining order against the Ombudsman’s suspension of Binay.
What does the Ombudsman say about that?
She says the Court’s order is moot and academic, since the suspension order had been served.
What? The anti-graft prosecutor declares a court of law’s order moot and academic? An illegal order is stopped by a Court, and she claims the court cannot do so since the order has already been issued? Basta!, Roxas stomped his foot, and ordered our poor policemen to what I hope won’t be later called the Makati “mis-encounter.” If I were acting Police Chief Leonardo Espina, I’d have myself confined in the hospital for some illness — he’ll likely be blamed by Roxas if blood flows in Makati city hall.
And I nearly forgot:
The contracts for the Makati Building II’s construction, which the Ombudsman investigator claimed was overpriced, were made before this mayor was in office.
It was when Vice President Jejomar Binay was still mayor. And even if some of the buildings were constructed during his son’s first term, there have been several Supreme Court decisions (Aguinaldo vs Santos, Garcia vs Hon Mojica, and Ombudsman vs Evangelista) in which the High Court, following US jurisprudence, bowed to the concept of the supremacy of the people’s will, that the very fact of an official being reelected (as Jejomar Edwin was in 2013) exonerates him of any alleged previous misconduct in his previous term.
And the other mad man?
Roxas’ boss, who else? How can President Aquino pretend that the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry on the Mamasapano, which put the blame on him for violating the chain of command, didn’t exist in his speech at the Philippine Military Academy? How can he threaten at this time, that he will crush his critics? How can he take a cheap shot at the Special Action Forces, when he congratulated an army solider for killing five insurgents in a firefight, and remarked that the soldier “wasn’t even with an elite force?”