UNA: Political party or cabal of crooks?

una-binay inquirer

[Photo source: Inquirer]

I admit to getting frustrated with Philippine political parties because they are like smoke, hard to grasp. Personalities are more important than principles and platforms. Indeed, as we will see, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), a major player in the 2013 national election, apparently never even got around to formulating a set of projects, or a platform, that contained the specifics of what they were going into office to achieve. The basis for campaigning was image, words, popularity, friendships . . . and perhaps favors owed and debts collected.

Now I have learned to be careful about overlaying American standards on Philippine culture, lest I be accused of being self-righteous, so it is perhaps best if I refer to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) for a statement as to the dangers of personality politics and the frequent switching of people between parties that typically occurs:

I translate that to mean that personality politics is light on achievement because there is no commitment to it.

My blog today is in furtherance of my education about politics in general and the  . . . well, to me . . . strange way of conducting business displayed by UNA.

UNA was formed in 2012 when Manila Mayor Josepth Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) joined with the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay. Twenty smaller parties, generally from the provinces, are affiliated with UNA.

The 2013 Election

UNA fielded nine senatorial candidates for the 2013 national election. Those who were among the top 12 and thereby duly elected as senators include:

  • Nancy Binay
  • Jinggoy Estrada (son of Mayor Estrada and half-brother of Senator Ejercito)
  • Gringo Honasan

Those failing to win a seat in the senate were:

  • Tingting Cojuangco (uncle of President Noynoy Aquino and Senator Bam Aquino)
  • Jack Enrile (son of Senator Enrile)
  • Dick Gordon
  • “Manong Ernie” Maceda
  • Mitos Magsaysay
  • Migz Zubiri

Standing UNA senators who were not up for election in 2013 are:

  • JV Ejercito
  • Juan Ponce Enrile
  • Tito Sotto (switched to UNA party from National People’s Coalition in 2013)

Senator Koko Pimentel was originally a part of the UNA slate but dropped out when UNA accepted his bitter foe Migz Zubiri on the ticket. He switched to the LP coalition and was elected. Aspiring senators  Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda and Grace Poe ran as dual affiliates with both UNA and President Aquino’s LP coalition, but they did not attend UNA events and were dropped by UNA prior to the election. All three won.

UNA now has six senate members. LP has five members and Nacionalista has six.

UNA has eight House members. The party had 11 members before the 2013 election but had a net loss of three seats in the 2013 election. The entire UNA coalition has 10 House members versus the LP coalition of 113.

UNA Mission

As drawn directly from UNA’s Facebook page:

  • The UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE (UNA), as a political coalition, intends to form and unite their respective forces and resources in order to present to the Filipino people a decent and viable alternative leadership composed of men and women with known competence, efficiency and integrity. In furtherance of this intent, PDP Laban and PMP has committed itself to a common platform of government that shows their ideals, principles, aims, goals, and objectives.

In short, the mission of the party is:

To oppose LP

Wonderful.

What about corruption? What about infrastructure? What about the poor? What about China?

The UNA Platform

  • None stated.

Although the mission statement refers to a common platform that would include principles, goals and objectives, neither the Facebook nor Twitter UNA profiles provide that platform. Nor does UNA have a web site. Indeed, the lack of a platform became a campaign issue: “Team PNoy to UNA: Bare your platform“. A Google search for “UNA platform” turned up headlines that suggested UNA would run an “issues-based” campaign, but that does not appear to have been the case.

Assessment

What can we observe from this information. Well, first of all, if we say it kindly, the party did not establish itself as a strong alternative to LP for the 2013 election. If we say it unkindly, the party was not at all liked and ran its campaign poorly. It could not even give a stalwart name like Dick Gordon a good boost back into the senate. Gordon was demolished, receiving no tangible support from the party. He had only one major contributor to his campaign – about P3 million – and he quickly spent that on a few ads.

The three dual-party candidates chose to attend only the LP election events, a clear litmus test of which party had more clout. That choice eventually got them booted from UNA but elected to the senate.

The party lost seats in the House and got only three senatorial candidates elected: the popular Nancy Binay and Jinggoy Estrada NAMES (as opposed to credentialed lawmakers), and the popular veteran of coups and other ancient history, Gringo Honasan.

For all the managerial expertise and strong Makati results claimed by the Vice President, he led a miserable 2013 campaign.

Political party or cabal of crooks?

I for sure don’t want to slander people by association, for I know that Dick Gordon most assuredly is not a crook. He is a dedicated patriot and generous contributor of time and effort to meaningful causes, such as the Red Cross. My son was born in the Gordon hospital in Olongapo; it’s an upstanding name in that community. I have no idea why in the world Gordon tied in with UNA, and I’m guessing he also wonders why he did.

As I look at what I see, I find that UNA and its principals do not present a very pretty picture:

  • Vice President Binay – the godfather of the party – is under investigation for stealing taxpayer money to the tune of billions. He has failed to explain why taxpayers paid P2.3 billion for a city building valued at P900 million in todays market. His associates have used every dirty trick in the book to deflect attention and push the blame on others.
  • Senator Nancy Binay has been loosely implicated by whistleblowers as involved in the theft and certainly has engaged in covering up or otherwise failing to explain what happened.
  • Representatives of the party hold values that justify telling lies (the garage is a green building, it is world class, the expense was due to the foundations) while attacking good and earnest people: COA Head Heidi Mendoza, DOJ Secretary De Lima, and even President Aquino.
  • The party promised a platform and issues-based campaign in 2013 but ran on popularity and strong local connections. The party promised to deliver nothing and largely succeeded in that aim.
  • UNA Senators Estrada and Enrile are in jail, the evidence presented in court showing “probable cause” that they stole taxpayer money.
  • The 2013 campaign was not well run. Weak and unskilled cast of candidates. No unified thrust. And no platform. That flies directly in the face of the popular myth that Vice President Binay is a masterful leader. UNA chased the respected Senator Pimentel away, did bonehead publicity stunts like praying with Governor Garcia of Cebu after she was accused of misdeeds, and could not attract respected senators Poe, Legarda and Escudero to events; they avoided UNA like the plague.
  • UNA is now courting Representative/Coach/Champ/Colonel Pacquiao to the ticket for a 2016 Senate run. Never mind that Pacquiao was just advised by the House Speaker not to seek re-election if he is not going to represent his constituents responsibly (his attendance is horrible and he doesn’t really participate in work there) [“Manny Pacquiao criticized for always being absent fromcongress“]. So UNA’S method of operation has not changed.

What are UNA skills?

UNA is skilled with public presentation. Senator Nancy Binay has been the darling of the press although it appears that the Senator has recently been pulled off the front line of debate over the parking garage. Public speaking has been assigned to the UNA party head (Representative Toby Tiangco), Binay’s spokesman (Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla) and UNA attorney (Atty J. V. Bautista).

UNA legislators have been involved in lawmaking, but I don’t recall one bill that was initiated by UNA legislators that raised the spirits or well-being of Filipinos far and wide. It seems to me that Bam Aquino does more in a month than the whole pack of UNA people have done in the last legislative year.

Well, yes, the fact that two senators are in jail may have something to do with that.

There is also one other highly disturbing facet of the UNA method of operation that seems to raise its ugly head now and then: thuggery. I suppose that is a skill.

We saw it in the response of the entire family to a conflict with security guards just doing their job. We saw it in Nancy Binay’s threat to write laws to constrain social media because she was so hurt by criticism of her lack of qualification during the 2013 campaign. We have seen it in UNA spokesmen attacking established and well-regarded government officials. And we have seen it recently from the mouth of Vice President Binay himself who as much as declared vengeance would be his when he is elected president.

  •  “Those investigating me are simply there because as they admitted they do not want me to even launch a presidential campaign, obviously fearing that should the people support me they would be made accountable for their misdeeds and abuse of power.” Vice President Binay, October 21, 2014 [Inquirer: “Binay sees self as ‘threat’ to probers, aspiring bets“]

Strangely enough, it would appear that many legislators are cowed by the Vice President. Only a handful of legislators have spoken up about his refusal to explain the Makati parking garage overspending. The mayors and governors of the sister LGU’s remain quiet, and very likely loyal to their benefactor. House members are ready to jump to UNA, or have already endorsed Binay for president.

No matter the values or the methods of the head of the party. They like his skills.

What would a strong political party look like?

A strong, enduring political party would make hard, firm choices based on what its leadership believed was best for the Philippines. It could choose federalism or a stronger and less fractured central government, it could advocate for being a global partner of other nations or doing a better job of standing apart from other nations, it could advocate for more regulation of big business or a free and open market, it could advocate a thrust toward technology in schools or it could advocate for more skill, and better pay, for teachers. But whatever the core principles, they would not change dramatically from election to election. Indeed, they would help the party define itself, be tangible to voters, stand out. And win.

President Aquino had a single overriding principle, his straight path. And he won on it. It has been the fundamental anchor of his term in office.

A good party platform would contain a set of specific working goals. FOI, anti-dynasty laws, investment in Mindanao infrastructure (roads, electricity, manufacturing), or any number of worthy priorities.

It would seek candidates who are without question of high character and skilled at the disciplines of the offices for which they are running.

So is UNA a political party or a cabal of crooks?

In answer to the question posed in the headline, I would say that UNA is indeed a political party of the Philippine style. It seems to me that UNA is of the most traditional of the traditional of groups engaged in personality politics. It is also seems to be a cabal of . . . if not crooks . . . of people of weak and even unkind values (lies, blames, excuses, threats). It uses words sharply, and those words are both illusive and full of deceits.

Nothing tangible is ever put on paper. That seems strikingly like property records of the Binays.

Frankly, I think the 2016 election will be a test of Filipino voters and the Philippine political process. Senator Santiago, during spat with Senator Enrile over Christmas bonuses in early 2013, unknowingly set forth the test  of voters . . . and the test of Philippine political maturity . . . for 2016 when she quipped:

″Ignorance can be cured, but stupid is forever.″

Comments
64 Responses to “UNA: Political party or cabal of crooks?”
  1. JV Ejercito was elected Senator in 2013 together with Party Mates Nancy Binay and Gringgo Honasan. JV, a former Mayor & Congressman of San Juan is the son or Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada and the brother of Senator Jinggoy (currently in detention for plunder).

  2. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    In my advocacy for justice, I am ensnared to Philippine Politics. These cannot be separated because Justice in the Philippines is politics.

    Is UNA a political party or cabal of crooks? JoeAm already answered that.

    Is LP a political party or cabal of crooks? It is a political party and a cabal of kangaroos and troops of monkeys. Examples:
    1. deLima has already rendered Pemberton as undesirable while his case is pending;
    2. The Kangaroos has shown that they do not have tricks up their sleeves but in their pouches
    3. They charged Binay with plunder at the same time they are investigating him in the Senate for Aid-of-Legislation? If Binay says he is guilty in the Senate he is not guilty of the charges? My head is spinning!
    4. Marcos was judged by Kangaroos. Cory judged by baby Kangaroos. and all down the line will be judged by kangaroos because there are already precedence. WHEN WILL THIS STOP? Arroyo was judged by Kangaroos and she was acquitted.

    NO, JOE, you are not self-righteous. You are right. Because TEXTBOOKS IN THE PHILIPPINES ARE AUTHORED BY AMERICANS and these baby Kangaroos should act like AMERICANS AND THINK LIKE AMERICANS TO THINK LIKE YOU AND ME, LIKE US!

    If this is about culture, I SUGGEST we attack University of the Philippines and pull out our textbooks and burn them on the quadrangle for all to see so they can come up with their own seasonal cultural textbooks that reflect Filipino identity: Kangaroos and Corruption.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      OBVIOUSLY, OJ Smpson was guilty. But under the law he was not.
      Bill Clinton was obviously guilty, But he was not.
      Of course, those Guantanoamo terrorists are guilty, but some of them were not.

      BUT IN THE PHILIPPINES: You are Guilty until proven guilty. GUILTY BY WITNESS ACCOUNTS and PILES OF AFFIDAVITS.

    • davide says:

      @Mariano Renato Pacifico,

      Well said and very appropriate assessment in our Philippine Justice and Politics. This what I don’t really understand in the our country, nobody is guilty even if tons of documentary evidence are shown; as you termed it Kangaroos and congress of Monkeys. It’s always deny and deny until you die, and ask or seek the support of God, thus being used in vain. Hay Pinas kelan kaya tayo magigising at di tulog na nakadilat.

  3. edgar lores says:

    Tingting is the aunt – not the uncle – of the President.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    I will start with a downer and end with an upper. (Btw, is medical marijuana in between the two? LOL)

    Our current political system is just a reflection of who we are as a people, and their capacities. Sure there are those who are mature enough to look for programs or platforms in addition to integrity, but there is a great number who merely see politics as a chance to receive a bag of gifts. UNA politicians are devious enough to exploit the opportunity to

    UNA’s putative slogan? “Di baleng corrupt, basta nagbibigay sa mahirap.”

    Binay is asking the people to make a tradeoff between a basket of goodies and integrity.

    But I see signs of change rolling in. Continued economic expansion, the spread and success of Filipinos abroad- be they blue or white collar, the availability of the internet and social media are filling in some of the gaps of our people.

    What Binay is going through was nearly impossible to do a few years back.

    If they can invent a hoverboard, we can find a way to defeat Binay and bad politics!

    • Joe America says:

      “What Binay is going through was nearly impossible to do a few years back.” That is an upper, better than Marijuana LOL. I don’t have the perspective to grasp that, but it makes sense. We have a couple of years to do an even faster bit of social re-engineering.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      When Filipino elects an official Filipinos make sure IT REFLECTS THEIR IDEALS … penchant for drama and corruption … and that is what they are getting. That is why Filipinos deserve this government.

      In latest INQUIRER banner, “AQUINO URGES BINAY NOT TO RUN PRESIDENCY” not my words, THAT IS AQUINO’s WORD. Aquino is sending a message to BINAY, “if Binay had not ambition to presidency THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN RESURRECTED WHICH HAS BEEN JUNKED BY THE COURT OF “LAW” ”

      So, there you are, folks! Aquino’s color is now faded but still showing.

  5. Pinoyputi says:

    Good article. Right on spot. I am not the optimistic type so 2016 elections and the voters worry me to death.

    • Joe America says:

      I share your concern. The gap in thinking and motivations between Manila and the provinces, the socially connected and the poor, is huge.

      • davide says:

        I am also very concerned sir, it is proven that we have so many bobotante’s, and that’s what Binay is banking on. I am just hoping for the best that our country mates will wake up. The finale will be a choice between being hungry or a temporary relief from the sale of their votes, repercussion is not being thought of which will be disastrous.

  6. Bing Garcia says:

    It is obvious UNA is a cabal of crooks.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, very good, Bing. I skipped making that blunt statement, but I see some of the photos of Estrada the elder, Enrile the ancient, and Binay the godfather and just shake my head at the choices Filipinos make. They see the same photos. Do they not contain 10,000 words for them, too?

      The idea of competence simply does not enter the picture. And I don’t see Binay as competent in the way that would raise the Philippines to modern stature. His skills are sharp, yes, at favors given and debts created, but they work against wealth generation and productivity.I think he’d be a managerial disaster if the 2013 campaign is an example of his capabilities.

  7. See, you’re using the American interpretation of political parties as being mostly based on ideology. There is no such thing in Philippine politics, at least, not among the major players. It’s mostly personality based, with “political” parties being mainly a resource management group, where politicians pool their financial and human assets together. But ours is a young democracy, if we only count the post-Marcos years. It’s not even been half a century yet. Maybe when our generation is gone, that’s when Philippine politics will eventually mature into something comparable to western democracies.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Philippines have been playing and practicing democracy for a long time since Americans landed on its shores in 1898. They were taught democracy. Instead they fought against it. In 1945, Philippines were nursed and pampered by Americans. Whereas, Vietnam, South Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan came out of 1972, 1955, 1960 and 1945 was respectively and came out roaring like a tiger, whereas Philippine economy is billed as a tiger economy with a roar of a kitten.

      Many Filipinos forced their way to American embassy to get a Visa to America to surrender and apply for re-colonization. Once there, they celebrate June 12 as independence day which is actually a A DAY TO BE INDEPENDENT FROM AMERICA. HUH? DO FILIPINOS KNOW THIS? They dance Tinikling in front of Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors celebrating their INDEPENDENCE FROM AMERICA IN AMERICA? HUH?

      Sam Ting Wong here.

      • macspeed says:

        I like your blog to these Filipinos we who went to America yet celebrate June 12 as their Independence day…I can say, they are somewhat trying hard to connect to their home country however they disconnected themselves and that’s period, they denounced their citizenship and pledged to uncle Sam. The seniors taught their children they went in the US of A just for money or living or perhaps life is less political in US of A than living in Philippine. This is the drama probably the majority of Filipino immigrants to US of A.

        Well if you are Balut vendor, you can sell if you have a political way of approaching people. Political thing is a part of every movement in Philippine. He may yield to a client asking peso discount or may even give a balut free when one ask among a group of bystanders. It is a favorable act and the Balut vendor expects increase in sales.

        Even if one is a Top Manager, one has to do political thing part of his management skills. He may provide secret parties perhaps on his account or under company expenses. It may look a favor but it is a political move…

        Petty favorable acts is always acceptable part of human emotional action but big favors being given is a mafia way and expect some more bigger returns hence corruptions thrive. See how the mafia population diminished by the token of time through the ages he he he someday Philippine will be as great as US of A. Increase the likes of PNOY seems inevitable, it is like a good virus, spreading like Facebook and classic Windows…

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          It is difficult to educate Filipinos. In my country, U.S.ofA., Filipinos can seem to know why Highway Patrols shut down turnpikes in car-to-car shooting and have policemen line-up shoulder-to-shoulder to look for shell casings as evidence. But when they post comments in Philippine News website they prefer Binay hanged without evidences. IN THE PHILIPPINES, JUSTICE IS ABOUT PERCEPTION not about EVIDENCE.

          Can Filipinos be educated? Yes, they can be educated. Can they know how to apply their education. NO THEY CANNOT. They do it in their own wicked ways.

          I suggest that my government, the American Government, put an embargo on American-authored textbooks to the Philippines especially Ateneo, la Salle and University of the Philippines. I am afraid the world might think that my government is educating the Filipinos the wrong way.

    • Joe America says:

      Right, in advocating for a platform I am using the American model, which, as I referenced, PCIJ and many other knowledgeable people and institutions advocate for. Or as any achievement oriented businessman would, too. Define your goals based on the environment, benchmark the steps to achievement, and go for them. Although the Philippines is entitled to its own government structure and culture, if the goal is results, there are many “best practices” around that can be followed. Some of them are found in America, some other places.

      It is interesting to me that many Filipinos complain that American still has her hands around Philippine necks. Well, that is true in the form of government. But the choice of how to run the political system is distinctly Filipino. And that is a part of the reason there is not a focus on achievement.

      You are right. The Philippines is young, and frankly, adapting quickly under President Aquino. Social media play a part in pushing for change – rather a civilized version of riots in the streets I suppose – and blogging is a subset of social media. I think I need a motto: “Welcome to the streets!”

      • Filipinos are a stubborn and generally lazy bunch. We only adapt to changes when it really is convenient for us to do so. Once change includes a bit of sacrifice on our part, out the window it goes, even if it is for the general good of our country in the long run. Just look at how many of us reacted quite vehemently against starting the implementation of the K-12 education system. What did most of us say? That we are just as good as any other person who has gone through K-12 in their own country. This in spite of the fact that very few Filipinos have actually gone abroad and seen how in many ways we are truly far behind.

        The same goes with our political judgement. It’s all personality based because that is the easiest to evaluate. Ho-hum, when will we ever wake up?

        • Joe America says:

          You cause me to smile, Jose. I found that Filipinos can be either very hard workers or, as you say, a lazy bunch, depending on what’s in it for them. To be truthful, I’ve never seen anybody work harder than masons and helpers when they are pouring a cement slab up on the second floor. So laborers can cut either way.

          But change does come slowly. There is still a lot of trash thrown out bus windows although we should be well past that. And you are right, opposition to K-12 was intense. Well, it is a sluggish ship, but it is turning, so all we can do is paddle.

          • Joe, your masons and their helpers work hard because they need to put food on their tables NOW. Let’s do an experiment. Tell them you’ll pay for their further education as well if they keep their grades us. Let’s see how many of them will actually take you on that offer.

            • Joe America says:

              Another good point. I discovered that American methods sometimes don’t work so well here. Someone building a home has a decision to make, pay on a project or day-labor basis. A project basis incents the worker to work fast so that he makes a lot of money; so work can be sloppy. A day-labor basis incents the worker to go slow to earn more days, so quality is better but cost edges ever upward. I tried offering cash incentives for quality work done forthrightly, but it had the opposite effect. Workers thought they had a sucker paying them so they used every trick in the book to get more money.

  8. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Liberal Party head Aquino, urged Binay not to run for presidency instead of urging Binay to quit Vice Presidency. AQUINO MADE A SLIP of the tongue. The investigation is all about competing presidential candidates?

  9. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Why Benigno Aquino does not have the same energy as he did with Corona and Sereno? Why Aquino is distancing himself from the issue? Why Aquino is not asking Binay to quit. This is destabilizing to the country. Aquino should ask Binay to resign. But Aquino’s defense would be “let justice take its toll”. Where is his energy? Why the loss of energy? Is Aquino hiding something? What is he hiding? Did Binay whispered to Aquino that Binay has a list, Ben-hur-alike list?

    • Joe America says:

      Maybe he has been waiting for an opening. When Binay criticizes the administration in which he works, he gives the President reason to do something about it. As long as the VP is “playing along” he has to let due process work along. He can’t jump in front of the Senate, but his DOJ can work along side them. And the ombudsman.

      • The government is populated by people belonging to different factions, delays in major policy and infrastructure projects may materialize if the President is seen to persecute their patron which in this case is the VP. The VP is still the frontrunner and he uses this to great effect. People in the government may choose to cast their lot with the VP and just wait out the end of President Aquino’s term. To prevent the wheels of government from slowing down or even screeching to a halt, and to keep people focused in governance he must take a patient and hands off stance toward the VP. The president recently introduced a measure to track Government Secretaries accomplishments versus their targets. I am hopeful that this is a way to clean house without alienating political allies or enemies.

        • Joe America says:

          That makes good sense. I hope it works out. It is good to know of the approach to measure by metrics. That is what successful corporations do, and ought to be an incentive toward good results.

          I find the personal politics to be, ohhh, I guess unpatriotic. Legislators ought to have principles to work on the nation’s needs and be passionate about them, not principles for self enhancement with the nation being second. I think Bam Aquino is doing that (working earnestly), but I just don’t get a readout of patriotic dedication from most other legislators at all. Not a hero in the bunch, I fear. Their silence on Binay is so disappointing. I read of the courage of people who opposed Marcos. Where did it go?

          I’m becoming a Waldon Bello fan because he’s smart, I think he does have principles and he has spoken up about Binay’s failure to explain. What’s your take on him?

    • iov says:

      its a trap created by the UNA. a win-win move to them. if prez will dump Binay he looked pitiful as sympathy draws to the underdog!

      • Joe America says:

        That’s an intriguing point, iov. That is true, I suspect. If President Aquino said anything, the VP’s spokespeople would twist it inside out. It is best for the President to leave the demolition to others and not get the Office of the President sullied by a guy who doesn’t mind throwing mud at anyone.

  10. macspeed says:

    Well, UNA should overhaul their system to win, their badly damage by their bad corruption.

    PNOY may just continue purging the system of pretenders till they lost oxygen, simple and un-costly way of slowing the corrupts momentum, the purging is like using their momentum collide with their works done. Just like the Parking building, did VP Binay ever thought it can damage his power? Well, VP Binay lacks some simple physics, for every force acting, there is always an equal reaction force but opposite in direction he he he…good luck VP Binay…

  11. manuel buencamino says:

    UNA is a political party of crooks. I think it’s unfair for anybody to expect crooks to reveal their platform or grand scheme. 🙂

  12. 2BFair says:

    Cabal of Crooks!

    Joe, when you get back from vaca, hope you can do an op piece on LP as well — Butch Abad, Cesar Purisima, Frank Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, etc. — characters in their own right

  13. Bing Garcia says:

    Buddy Gomez says if what has been reported holds true that valuable assets such as horsebreeding stock have not been declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), this could be a fatal add-on to others that he is accused of omitting in his SALN. There is no way that Binay can deny ownership of the horses (and by simple deduction, as well the stables, the paddocks and the hectarage upon which these have been erected) because there are Bureau of Customs records of his horse importations from Australia, as well as the inevitable records of the horseowners’ association, the Philippine Stud Book, under the supervision of the Racing Commission. He is the owner and importer of these unreported assets.

    • Joe America says:

      I read that article and smiled at the wishywashy close where Buddy declared VP Binay “dead meat”. 🙂 And in the same vein, today there was a news article about an exotic bird flock owned by Binay’s daughter a few years ago. The records are with DENR. The birds have since disappeared. The mad mad world is getting madder with every report as to the excesses of self indulgence. Truly an imperial family.

  14. andrewlim8 says:

    Sent you an email, Joe.

  15. gerverg1885 says:

    Aside from the items that Bing enumerated, why is the Comelec so silent with the fact that Binay had been campaigning as early as when he started as the VP. His trips to the provinces had been to give away items that loudly proclaim his candidacy and it is the funds of his office he’s been using because nobody is questioning him.

    He will not use his own money because people who became rich are known for their being misers, if not being corrupt when presented with the opportunity to be one.

    • I think this has to do with a ruling that a candidate only becomes a candidate when he/she files his candidacy. He is supposedly not a candidate before that. An oversight because it makes charges of premature campaigning easy to circumvent by tactics such as that employed by the VP.

  16. josephivo says:

    (I never understood the how and why of the morph from the old UNA with 3 leaders into the new UNA with only Binay. Can somebody explain?)

    UNA being the “product”, there is also the other side of the coin, the “market”. The market might be changing faster than the product evolves. Hopefully Binay and his advisors misread “the poor”.

    Fear has always been a major factor in a traditionally society, fear of predators, fear of the other tribe, fear of roving thugs… , protection by a strong man, able to fight back or to organize a militia, was essential. Coming to the Philippines I still could feel these old fears, fear of the police, fear of a violent or influential neighbor, fear of the supernatural… Having someone you could hide behind is/was still very important. Politics played with these fears, by keeping them alive and by presenting a “strong” man, “strong” because of proven violence or proven influence with the even bigger men. This affiliations and search for more perceived influence is the essence of politics in the Philippines.

    Education is slowly changing these old attitudes. But many OFW’s live in societies were these fears are very different, much more abstract, much more the far away enemy, not the enemy next door. These OFW’s and their considerable political influence in their families are changing politics fast. The need for a strong man might be slowly replaced by the need for a principled women or man.

    Binay with UNA might have to show some principles. And will that be possible?

    • Joe America says:

      A very interesting scenario and I hope one that is playing out. For sure the Binay camp is getting hostile reactions from the social media crowd. It’s like, in trying to present power and authority, they are presenting arrogance and impunity, and the social media crowd is not intimidated. It’s not working. I don’t know what principles they can present that people would trust. They’ve destroyed all of their own credibility.

  17. dick o'rosary says:

    Yup, UNA is a cabal of crooks and personalities without a platform aside from “opposing the LP”. But then again we can say the same thing about the LP and all other political parties in the Philippines: agglomerations of crooks and personalities. That said there isn’t anything special about UNA aside from the fact that it got itself in the crosshairs of the DILG secretary and the ex-mutineer for being associated with the Vice President.

  18. Rosefel-am Rojo says:

    I got your point about Binay and UNA and I agree to everything about it. However you seem so pro-Aquino.

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  1. […] I have taken UNA to task for being light on substance, populated by members of questionable character, and mainly a collection of people angling for wins. Not progress. [“UNA: political party or cabal of crooks?“] […]



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