Game Changers: the Unmasking of VP Binay

Binay mask

Guest article by crispinbasilio

Most politicians are survivors. They’re pragmatic. Those who, even now, proclaim undying devotion to Vice President Binay must already, secretly, be formulating a Plan B. (Their Plan A involved putting all their eggs in Binay’s basket. No longer feasible, that.)

A game changer is an event that significantly changes an existing situation. In the VP’s case, there’s been a series of them, like milestones marking points-of-no-return. If they had surfaced individually, separated by months or years, each would have been easily shrugged aside, not inflicting much damage.

But as they have come in rapid succession, overlapping, they’ve ripped away layer after layer of coverings which have concealed the VP’s alleged dealings through the years — dealings well-known to his associates, but carefully concealed from the voting public. A gradual unmasking, if you will.

His choice of spokespersons somewhat mirrors this unmasking. From the pretty-boy types who represent the polished image the VP wants to project, he’s now had to unleash a cut-throat type who appear to reflect his real personality. This can only have been necessitated by a series of game changers.

1) Plunder case

A week before Pres. Aquino’s SONA, a plunder case was filed by Atty. Bondal against the Vice President. Despite claims of immunity from the VP’s camp, the very real possibility of his detention was a serious concern. Previously, those banking on a Binay presidency appeared to have settled on an acceptable strategy: wait until 2016, discredit President Aquino to weaken his endorsement power, build up the VP who later becomes president. Allies who need help can expect help.

With the plunder charge, things changed drastically. Once the VP is jailed, what then? The Ombudsman took eight months to go through a truckload of documents in the intricate pork scam case. How long might it take her office to find probable cause from Bondal’s nine-page complaint involving one overpriced building?

The proverbial window of opportunity suddenly began closing fast. Anyone wanting Aquino replaced by the VP had to act quickly. Impeachment was impossible. The waiting game was no longer an option. So . . . coup d’etat?

In his SONA, Aquino mentioned the 1987 coup attempts where Binay — Rambotito — had been on their family’s side. It seemed he was pointing out the irony of Binay being on the other side this time. Not at all like he was giving credit to the VP, as how the latter’s camp spun it. Trillanes’ warning of a coup plot, immediately after, might have preempted such a plan.

2) Senate hearings

While previous graft cases filed against Binay were apparently dismissed on a technicality, the court of public opinion operated differently. The public hearings made it difficult to simply shrug off, laugh off, or ignore the accusations. Inquiries could no longer be expected to die a natural death, as had happened numerous times before.

The hearings were a most devastating blow, worse than the plunder charge, which is why the VP’s camp is trying hard to stop them. Media reports of court cases could have been controlled by, as Cayetano dubbed them, the BBC (Binay Broadcasting Corporation). On the other hand, the hearings, in the age of social media, were a PR nightmare. Gone were the days — (the Aguinaldo era, in JoeAm’s words) — when headlines took days to be rebutted, if at all. Misleading-but-catchy headlines are never really meant to withstand substance-baring scrutiny.

(Funny how, after the VP flew to Cebu to avoid appearing in the senate, Atty. Bautista attempted to pin the ‘coward’ label on Sen. Cayetano, suggesting it to media as a good headline to avoid having Binay labeled as such for fleeing. Exactly like calling Aquino ‘pork barrel king,’ before the title could be bestowed upon any of the pork-scam senators, revealing who the spokesmen represented.)

3) Ernesto Mercado

In an interview with Ms. Winnie Monsod, ex-Vice Mayor Mercado admitted that he testified against the VP following the first Senate hearing after Mayor Jun-Jun Binay mentioned his name.

The VP’s camp had recklessly provoked someone who, in a manner of speaking, knew where the bodies were buried. They have no one to blame for this game changer but the VP’s own son (or whoever came up with the bright idea for him to try to deflect blame to Mercado).

4) Comm. Heidi Mendoza

When a resource person at one senate hearing mentioned Commissioner Heidi Mendoza in relation to a graft case, Sen. Trillanes lost no time in inviting her to the Senate. Her testimony yielded one vital link: the supplier of the hospital beds was the same Antonio Tiu claiming ownership of Hacienda Binay. The hospital-bed deal was audited in 2002, meaning Tiu’s business dealings with the Binays dates back many years.

For years, the VP’s camp had blocked Ms. Mendoza’s confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. She was finally confirmed this year when the opposition’s veto power was rendered ineffective because the hearing was held on the last session day. This provided an exception to the veto rule. In other words, a technicality had to be used to overcome Binay-roadblocks.

In a corruption investigation, relevant testimony of an incorruptible person like Mendoza, feared by the subject of the investigation, is a definite game changer.

5) Raissa Robles’ interview

The tape from the 2010 interview by investigative journalist Raissa Robles revealed that Binay bought land in Batangas. He mentioned the acquisition price, P30 per square meter, for a 10-hectare plot. No shades of gray there. Black and white: he said he bought the land, at a specific price.

6) DoJ investigation

As soon as Sec. De Lima announced the NBI might help look for Gerry Limlingan, as requested by the Senate, the VP’s camp reacted explosively. While the Senate sergeant-at-arms had the power only to serve subpoenas, the NBI had the power to locate missing persons and pursue leads in other related anomalies. No wonder the Binay camp “overreacted,” as Sec. De Lima described it.

Binay’s plea to Aquino to stop the DoJ also proved the NBI investigation was a game-changer. A cunning, seasoned politician like Binay would have known that Aquino wouldn’t stop the DoJ investigation. Indeed, months earlier, he dared not collect from the president when he did a Don Corleone on the Aquino sisters during Pres. Cory’s death anniversary, to gain their endorsements, and on the uncles during Sen. Ninoy’s death anniversary, to gain their endorsements. Binay knew Aquino wouldn’t stop the DoJ investigation, yet he still tried, as a last resort, crossing a trust-boundary and irreparably damaging it in the process. He was running out of options.

7) Businessman Antonio Tiu

It was odd that Tiu claimed ownership of Hacienda Binay from the start with no documents to back it up, apart from an unnotarized MoA. Did he see it as a chance to keep the property for himself later on? But subsequent developments suggested that his dealings with the VP might be more complicated than a mere dummy setup. There are now allegations of offshore money laundering.

Tiu’s demeanor, while perhaps charismatic at the start, seemed to grate on the public’s nerves eventually. Having become some kind of a media darling, he seemed surprised when the audience in the senate hall jeered at him on his second appearance. What the public and media may have initially taken as the calm confidence of a wrongfully-accused individual was suddenly perceived as the exasperating recalcitrance of a willful conspirator.

A tearful press conference from Tiu made things worse for him and, therefore, Binay. From one extreme to another, from a hyena smile to crocodile tears. Neither elicits much sympathy.

8) Instagram photo

The photo with the unhesitating reply, “Our place in Batangas,” is the Binay version of the Jeanne Napoles lifestyle photos. Whether it is admissible in court or not seems less important than the impression it has made on the minds of many. A visitor on vacation in a certain location simply doesn’t call it “our place.”


To be sure, there will be more game changers in the months to come. Perhaps the U.S. based Fil-Am group PAMUSA’s allegations of a Binay-owned Beverly Hills property will prove damaging. Or maybe Santiago’s planned resolution for the state to confiscate Hacienda Binay will actually achieve its objective. Or, hopefully, the Limlingans and Chongs and Gregorios and Baloloys will soon cross from ‘imaginary-friend’ status to ‘real person.’

We can only watch with rapt fascination as events unfold in this real-life, high-stakes, political drama. May our watchfulness ensure that the outcome benefits the Filipino people. We owe it not only to ourselves but to future generations.


117 Responses to “Game Changers: the Unmasking of VP Binay”
  1. Pinoyputi says:

    Excellent article. We’ll be waiting for the decisive blow!

  2. yackucyrus says:

    Well written article. I know all of these already as I’ve watched all the videos of the hearing on youtube, but you put it all together in a way that makes most sense.

  3. Bing Garcia says:

    Binay is going to jail.

  4. edgar lores says:

    1. Love the photo.

    2. And love the enumeration! Each item peels away a layer of deception, leaving Binay twisting in the wind.

    3. The title is a tinge ironic. A game changer, as defined by Investopedia, is:
    3.1. A “person who is a visionary.”
    3.2. Or “a company that alters its business strategy and conceives an entirely new business plan.”

    4. So the game changer is not Binay. The game changers are those whose revelations are unmasking him. And the game is a vision for a country unsaddled with another self-serving president.

    5. The further irony is that Binay is being unmasked – wittingly and unwittingly – not only by the game changers but also by those inside his camp, the game keepers.

    5.1. These include his bumbling spokesmen, the conceited businessman Tiu, the out-of-sight intermediaries, the empress-wife, the swaggering son and the spoiled daughters. Even the flora -– the orchids and the Kew gardens — and the fauna — the fighting cocks, the exotic birds and the pigs – have gotten into the act.

    6. This is a game, a play with a large cast with and a panoply of props. It is earnestly hoped that this “high-stakes political drama”, whether comedy or tragedy, end with the exile of the would-be king and not with his enthronement.

    • Joe America says:

      Very important point, that the impetus for the changed game is actually beyond Binay’s control. He is a hostage to his wife’s orchids and his daughter’s photos and Tiu’s lack of documents and, haha, the political ambitions of Trillanes and Cayetano. And we will find out if social media are game changers and able to alter the plans of an obsessed man. The masa alone are likely not . . . unless they can be reached . . .

      • The masa. I think the Binay camp has conceded the social media and the internet enabled citizens. I don’t want to accuse Mon Casiple of anything but a recent survey that his group released is fishy in its timing and results. If my hunch is correct I think they are trying to hit two targets with one stone. Keep people from jumping ship by making it appear that the bleeding has stopped and it would only get better from here and put down the LP presumptive candidate Mar Roxas, the unknown hopeful Grace Poe, and the internet darling Miriam Santiago. I am extremely hopeful that PulseAsia and SWS shed light on what is really happening.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, I read about the survey. President Aquino was evidently among the choices, which dropped Mar Roxas. ERAP was not among the choices, which raised Binay. So I think you are correct not to trust it.

  5. macspeed says:

    @Joe Am,

    What were happening are the products of good Presidential policy (no corruption) and Transparency with the people of the Philippine. This LOGIC is very powerful as shown proofs of accused Corona and jailed senators and other ongoing investigations. This LOGIC does not care whom ever is on the path, unfortunately VP Binay plan to become the next President is hit by this LOGIC.

    Simple “AND LOGIC” that is helping back Philippine restore its good image from one of the corrupt country in Asia. So if one is aspiring to be a servant of Philippine Presidency or senate or congressman, one has to reset to become a TRUE person serving the country and the its inhabitants (not only people but the whole Philippine environment).

    Good luck VP Binay, please acknowledge and set the RIGHT path, do what is right and surrender what is bad….

    • Joe America says:

      President Aquino is a game changer of magnificent proportions.

    • edgar lores says:


      I have this image of the President as a gatekeeper, just like Peter in Christianity’s Heaven or one of the angels who stand at the many gates of Islam’s Jannah.

      But rather than guarding the gate to prevent people from entering, Pnoy has opened the gates of heavenly privilege to two-way traffic. Outgoing traffic consists of dishonest and corrupt public officials; incoming traffic consists of everyone else. (I would exclude those who do not help themselves.)

      Binay, who is supposed to be assistant gatekeeper, has neglected his duties and has built several haciendas inside the walls. Every now and then, he steps outside of the gates to hand out sardines and t-shirts to the hoi polloi who live outside the walls. If elected president, he will build higher walls and close the gates to keep the privileged in.

      Just to extend the analogy, there is Binay’s son, Jun-jun, who needlessly quarrels with the angels at Dasmagate.


      It is interesting that you characterize the President’s policy of two inputs – no corruption and transparency – as AND LOGIC. In an AND gate, the output is “true” when the two inputs are “true.” But when only one input is “true”, the output is “false”. That is, without transparency, we cannot know whether there is corruption or not. The inversion is true: there may be no corruption, but without transparency we will never know.

      If the two inputs were changed to our expectations of Binay, that is (a) corruption with (b) no transparency, the output of an AND gate would be “true”… and this would utterly be beyond imagination. That is, we know there is corruption but we will never know its true magnitude.

      This last sentence describes the current Binay situation. Horrifying, isn’t it?

      • edgar lores says:

        Addendum to Dasmagate: “Then there is conspiracy of procurement officials, fake bidders and Hillmarc’s at the Kubetagate.”

  6. chit navarro says:

    In the interview of Raissa Robles in 2010 with the Mayor of Makati then (prior to his inauguration as the VP), he was asked about his ties with the PKP – Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. The Mayor then replied that perhaps because he was always seen with those perceived as card-bearing members of the group but there is no formal membership on his part.

    He was also asked about the perception that he is an urban warlord. And he described an urban warlord as one who has “imported na tao na taga-patay”. And he does not have that so how can they say that he is an urban warlord?

    In the light if what’s going on now, it is very telling that the perceived leftist groups (Bayan Muna, et al) are not issuing any statement on the ongoing Senate inquiry of the VP despite all these documents and witnesses coming out. In great contrast to the noise they created with matching filing of plunder charges against the President on the PDAF & DAP issues, without even understanding what it was all about. He may not have had a formal association with them but he was part of their teach-ins and out-of-towns sojourns, so there must be an “association”.

    As for the urban warlord tag, there is that perceived fear on the VP. And there is still that unsolved (questionable) murder case of the former city engineer of Makati, Engr. Morales was one of the trusted men of the Mayor, in the league of Vice Mayor Mercado.

    The noose for the VP is getting tighter and tighter… and let us all pray that when the President comes back from his APEC meeting, the VP’s fate will be next and top priority in his agenda.

    • Joe America says:

      Those extremist groups define themselves clearly, eh? They don’t want the Philippines to succeed on any terms but their own, and if it takes electing a corrupt president to foster the kind of instability and chaos they need, they’ll stand quiet and let that happen.

      People are deciding what side of the wall they want to stand on. The corrupt side, or the ethical side. Too many are trying to straddle it, but that won’t work much longer. Not to decide is to decide in favor of the past. The corrupt side.

    • edgar lores says:

      There is the suspicion and the fear that Binay is the Manchurian Candidate.

  7. josephivo says:

    The analysis is correct for the A, B and C segments. But they are outnumbered by the D and E segments, they think more in pictures than in concepts. “Our place in Batangas” was strong, also Raisa’s pictures inside his humble house were strong, but so is “I eat with my fingers with a smile” (telling too that he eats with his fingers when he flies first class to his estate in the States?) or the “at 73 I still fit my boy scout uniform, just a few more badges”.

    This excellent piece should be complemented with a more emotional and visual analysis to assess the potential unraveling of Binay’s image.

    • Joe America says:

      Ahahaha, last time you wanted less emotion and more calm rationality. I’ll get Angry Maude in to construct an emotional picture so vivid that even the Z class will get it.

    • edgar lores says:

      In America, the A class decides the elections. They are the bobotantes?

      • parengtony says:

        Among the topics discussed by Fareed Zacaria in his CNN “GPS” show last Sunday was the political ignorance of the American voting public. At the very least, it was a shocking revelation. But I would not term it as bobotante in the same way I disagree with the characterization of the Pinoy masa vote as bobotante.

        • edgar lores says:


          I’m curious as to why you reject the widely used term “bobotante”. I know it’s a pejorative and I have never used it until now. My hesitation to stereotype can be seen in the question mark that originally was a full stop.

          But apart from (a) the similarity of political ignorance and (b) the difference that Filipino voters “sell” their votes in exchange for cash or because they have received handouts from a candidate and American voters do not, is your objection stereotyping or something else? Do you believe in the innate wisdom of the crowd?

          • Joe America says:

            American voters are ignorant in the sense that they are intellectually lazy but prone to defending their position of ignorance with great confidence and overbearing assertiveness. They are not actually morally deficient.

  8. gerverg1885 says:

    His enduring ties with Nur Misuari and possibly with Joma Sison and other leftist leaders should explain the fact about the silence of those groups in these interesting drama which could spell doom and gloom for this country.

    Why had the left leaning groups stayed so speechless on issues hounding Binay when they are always ready at any moment’s notice to pounce on cases like the Laude killing which is not of national importance? And of the insistence of the Chinese to arrogantly lay claim to what rightfully belongs to us?

  9. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


    Inquirer accused Binay of wanting to purchase Mt Makiling thru Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP). Binay is the president of BSP. Inquirer is insinuating and implying that Binay used BSP to acquire Mt Makiling for himself. To purchase Mt Makiling it has to be approved by Executive Commitee. Once Mt Makiling is transferred to BSP, the Executive Committee sells it to Binay. So, therefore, the Executive Committee is guilty along with Binay and only Binay to be investigated?

    Why the sudden silence on Mt Makiling transfer to BSP? Does anyone knows who is on board of BSP? Does anyone who the Chief Scout is? Of course, BENIGNO AQUINO III ! Benigno Aquino III should also be investigated!

    But that will be for another day if newspaper circulation drops.

    Another conspiracy is Benigno Aquino III did not want Binay to run for the presidency. Benigno Aquiono III told the Inquirer and Inquirer told the people by publishing what they heard from Benigno Aquino III. This is validated by some Philippine Attorney in San Diego in his open letter to Binay not to run for presidency. If Binay publicly refuse to run for presidency, this controversy would likely die its natural death.

    It is unfortunate I was the only one that able to decipher their intent, thank you 🙂 Because if Binay did not run, Benigno would not have any worthy opponent in his bid for 2nd Term. Nice!

    The Anti-Binay are desperate. They do not have proof if the Parking Building was overpriced or was the result of cost over-run. They are still interrogating my great grandma because they need more witnesses. They already have offered Mercado the free rein of his loot provided he execute affidavits exactly same what happened to Napoles’ Gigi Reyes and the other girl. They get to roam free with bodyguards and their loot.

    That is folks, that is how expensive affidavits nowadays. It is OK to steal. Then turn into a rat. Run to papa waiving affidavits and you are home free with your sackful of illegal commissions…

    So, to continue, like what happened to Corona which they cannot prove he was biased in his supreme court decisions, BINAY’s SALN IS NOW LOOKED INTO. JUST LIKE CORONA. SALN is prosecution of last resort.

    SALN IS A BLACKMAIL TOOL. NICE AND EASY. NO SWEAT. Binay will not be found guilty of the Hacienda, Tagaytay and Parking Building but SALN hands-down. THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THAT SALNs are doctored by their Accountants turned Physicians. And Binay’s SALN will do him in.


    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


      The Filipino people, whose informed decisions are based on pathetic looney Philippine Media, has decided that Binay is guilty.

      I SUGGEST reform and reconfigure the justice system of the Philippines. That the Supreme Court be transferred to Malacanang, DOJ transferred to Philippine Media and the jury in the streets of Manila.

      I FURTHER SUGGEST to abolish the Supreme Court since it will be handled by the President of the Republic of the Philippines in Malacanang. Also, abolish Department of Justice. This way the government of the Republic of the Philippines saves money when the Philippines have participatory justice in the hands of the Filipinos led by the Philippine Media.

      AND, LAST AND NOT THE LEAST, The Senate and Congress should be absorbed by NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION since all the Senate is currently doing is investigate it might as well be under NBI.


      As what Lacson said, “STOP COMPLAINING. STOP BELLYACHING.”. He addressed that to the complaining bellyaching Warays that wanted rehabilittion done quickly instead of slowly.


    • Joe America says:

      Well, Mariano, I rather fear that you are writing to be pushing emotional buttons of people who have sat through the hearings and have seen the evidence of what has transpired, both hard and soft, and I rather wish you would not do that because then my blog becomes like the Inquirer threads when Chinese and Americans try to out-insult one another in rather gross terms. In fact, hard evidence has been presented to show that the building which taxpayers paid P2.3 billion for is worth P860 million in today’s real estate market (confirmed by independent, non-political appraisal), and the reasons provided by the Mayor of Makati (green world class building with special foundations) have been proved in error through the testimony of the people who designed and built the buildings. Further hard evidence of bid-rigging has been provided. These facts give confirmation to the testimony of the whistleblowers (affidavits, I suppose, which are acceptable evidence in Philippine and American courts) who admit to having delivered stolen money to the Binays. The hard evidence has been turned over to the Ombudsman, and the Anti-Money Laundering Task Force and NBI are engaged in their respective activities to confirm side-issues, including the apparent complicity of the Commission on Audit staff in the dealings. The Sub-committee has a list of laws that need to be attended to, and are continuing investigations into other buildings.

      The anti-Binay people are indeed desperate because there is a real chance that a crook could become president, and if you think the Philippines sucks now, just wait 10 years and see what it’s like under that regime. There’s a real reason it got to be the way it is, the way you ridicule, and Binay represents more of it . . .

      As for the Romualdez matter, I’ll have a separate blog about that in a week or so. Again, you have it absolutely backward . . . presumably to push buttons. That’s okay to a point, but I won’t have my blog become garbage-talk.

      • jolly cruz says:

        Thanks Mr Joe for puting MRP in his rightful place.. My blood was starting. to boil again after reading his posts. I dont know if he was really pushing buttons or just simply lacking in depth.

        • josephivo says:

          Often this blog is like an echo chamber, all adding to the same noise. And it is nice to read that others think just like yourself. But in some occasions it is refreshing to hear somebody shouting that the emperor is naked, even if it is a dissonant sound. Is MRP always spot on when he spoils the party? No. Is MRP’s volume always adjusted to the right level? No. Can we miss MRP? NO, no, no. Just adjust the speed of your reading if you don’t like.

          • Joe America says:

            I agree with all you’ve said. My role is to moderate before the fact, not after there is blood on the carpet, to ask for reason over strife, issue over personality, and the ever-striving for a higher plane of discussion, voluntarily. The blog has gone on over 4 years as people generally rise to that ideal, and it takes some sacrifice from all of us, I suspect.

            • Dolly Gonzales says:

              Thanks, Joe. Your firm-but-kind reaction helps all of us keep the level of discussion high. This is why I like reading your blog, and the comment threads.

          • Joe America says:

            I’d add, if MRP’s view is issue-bound, then that’s one thing. If it is to suggest that those objecting to Binay are shallow and uninformed, that is quite another. That gets into a personality attack. So we are on dicey ground and I want to get onto stable ground.

            • sonny says:

              Does this situation (the society’s) call for maybe a protocol for participants to police themselves. What to police with? For starter: Joe calls out a gridlock situation and ipso facto associates an identifier that everyone recognizes and then invoke same. Or something along this lines. If needed, archive it for reference and use? e.g. MRP and affidavits; MRP and UP-journalism. (No offense intended, example only, like Sonny’s impertinent trivia) 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                I have the greatest confidence in the brainpower and moral fiber of the people who visit and write here. One of the richest moments of blogdom was your and Edgar’s discussion of faith versus reason. No way would I want to stop those kinds of “gridlocked” discussions . . .

                I have “spammed” only two contributors here in four years. One dumped about 10 links to his political point of view in 10 different messages, but said nothing original himself. Another was recently when a writer kept knocking me for not joining her “trial by jury” initiative (I’m not “walking the talk”) and kept selling that one point over and over after I asked her to refrain. Seemed like spam to me, in both instances.

              • sonny says:

                Well then, Joe, I’ll have you know I love “gridlocks.” I shall have them in my cereal instead of grits! 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Ha, Metamucil and gridlocks . . . or is it Sugar Corn Pops?

              • sonny says:

                Seriously, Joe, after participating in this blog and observing you work it, I would daresay you would, in another time, have given Oprah a run for her money in engaging interesting people in authentic conversation.

              • Joe America says:

                Thank you, sonny. It is a rather interesting place, isn’t it? It has for sure exceeded my expectations, for which I thank our right honorable crowd. I suppose it is the genuineness of the curiosity from those who participate, rather than a need to impose.

              • sonny says:

                Gosh by jolly, we got a virtual watering hole liike the CHEERS bar of yesteryear! This is uncanny.

          • edgar lores says:

            My reaction is to wonder: why do we have so divergent and opposing views?

            I can understand different takes from the viewpoint of perspective from different angles – that would be divergent views. But opposing views is a different order altogether. It’s looking at the same object from the same angle but disagreeing on the qualities of the object.

            So the “qualities” may not be inherent in the object; they may inhere more in the viewer. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

            What we take to be “obvious” is, to another, not so. This is why I maintain that truth is subjective. Reality is a function of the mind.

            Krishnamurti: “The perceiver is the perceived” or “The observer is the observed.”

            At the same time, a reality exists beyond the mind. When an unseen, unheard tree falls in the forest, does it fall and make a noise? Yes, it does. Movement and sound are vibrations, and the vibrations would exist without a perceiver.

            Remove the perceiver, the subjective element, and what remains? Perception, which is seeing the-thing-in-itself-and-of-itself.

            Independent of observer bias, is Binay corrupt? We would have to decide by definition: political corruption is “the abuse of entrusted power by political leaders for private gain, with the objective of increasing power or wealth.” And by definition, the answer would have to be YES.

            Important: at this stage, this answer is not a judicial decision, it is a personal judgement. But we have to align ourselves with our own judgements because: individually and collectively, we “objectively” create the reality we “subjectively” want to see in the world.

            • Cornball says:

              That almost gave me an aneurism Edgar… What have been reading lately, mind sharing it?

              • edgar lores says:


                Ahahaha! I trust you have recovered?

                What have I been reading? Ah, a request to unmask myself. I always give a long answer to trick the mind, not for the purpose of deception, but to draw it further into lostness from which enlightenment can arise.

                I alternate between fiction and nonfiction in the theory that the mind needs periods of rest and periods of stretch (or stress). I broadly classify my consumption into 3 categories: fiction-easy, fiction-hard and nonfiction. The latter is always hard. I will list the last 3 books or so I have read in each category.

                1. Fiction – Easy

                o Currently reading “Sycamore Row” by John Grisham (3 stars)
                o “Above the East China Sea” by Sarah Bird (2 stars)
                o “I Am Pilgrim” by Terry Hayes (4 stars)

                2. Fiction – Hard

                o “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese (4 stars)
                o “The Secret Magdalene” by Ki Longfellow (4 stars)
                o “The Queen’s Gambit” by Walter Tevis (4 stars) – This was a reread.

                3. Nonfiction

                o “Moral Minds” by Marc Hauser (4 stars)
                o “The Accidental Universe” by Alan Lightman (4 stars)
                o “The Gnostic Gospels” by Elaine Pagels (4 stars)

                Bonus: Music

                Similarly, I classify my music consumption into 3 categories: Pop-easy, pop-hard, and classical. All music below is 4 stars, and is just a fraction of what I listen to.

                1. Pop – Easy

                o Timi Yuro – “Interlude”
                o Yolly Samson – “Bato sa Buhangin” / “Sa Aking Pag-iisa” / “Paano Pa Kita Malilimutan”
                o Paul Byrom – “Remember Me” / “She”

                2. Pop – Hard

                o Lara Fabian – “Adagio” / “Caruso” / “Pas Sans Toi” / “Je Suis Malade”
                o Jennifer Rush – “The Power of Love”

                3. Classical – Vocal

                o Elizabeth Schwarzkopf – “Morgen” / “Wiegenlied”
                o Elina Garanca – “Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix” / “Panis Angelicus”
                o Renee Fleming – “Casta Diva” / “Song to the Moon”

                4. Classical – Instrumental

                o Rachmaninoff – “Piano Concerto No. 2” (Anna Federova, pianist)
                o Brahms – “Violin Concerto in D Major” (Sayaka Shoji, violinist)
                o Rodrigo – “Concerto de Aranjuez” (Narciso Yepes or John Williams, guitarist)
                o Chopin – “Nocturne Opus 27 No. 2” (Animated interval graphic by Musanim)
                o Any piano piece by Valentina Lisitsa

              • sonny says:

                Hey, I have dibs on Rachmaninoff piano concerto #2; It’s Alexei Sultanov for me, though. With Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz as chaser.

              • sonny says:

                … and Shirley Verrett for me singing MON COEUR S’OUVRE A TA VOIX (1971)

            • Cornball says:

              Wow… I’m fine Edgar, thought you were just alternating reading Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and Krishnamurti’s The Limits of Thought… so, I was wrong.

            • edgar lores says:


              I read Sartre and Krishnamurti in college (late 60s). K is more of an influence than S in my thinking. K’s “Truth is a pathless land” and his notions of condition-less seeing and emptiness parallel Buddhist insights. The difference would be in the method of attaining enlightenment: Buddhism sees time as a purifying element in the practice of meditation whereas K discredits time and claims that if enlightenment is to descend at all it must be instantaneously through total negation. I can believe K — having attained ersatz enlightenment many times after a bottle of beer.


              Hehe. Verret probably owns the definitive “staged” version of “Mon coeur” much as Callas owns “Casta Diva.” As to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto 2, I don’t know who owns it, probably Rubinstein if not Rachmaninoff himself. The good thing about YouTube is that the recordings are both aural and visual. To sound purists, the visual element might be distracting. To me, the element adds depth as more senses are engaged, just like food that not only smells and tastes good but looks good as well.

              • sonny says:

                Been a pop tune junkie for as long as I can remember. This changed when my son went to conservatory and i got hooked to the classics roots of the pop romantic songs: Sinatra, “Full Moon & Empty Arms” (Rach’s #2), Jerry Vale, “Go” (Saint-Saens “Mon Coeur”), Jo Stafford “No Other Love” (Chopin Etude #3 Opus 10), etc. what a world!

              • sonny says:

                Narrowed “Mon coeur” to Callas, J. Norman and S.Verrett. The human voice singing is truly a wonder. Even a short folk song rendered by a gifted alto absolutely transports. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Yes, Edgar the senses fully and suitably engaged is a sublime experience.

          • jolly cruz says:


            while i agree that there must be some disagreement to issues to make the discussions more in depth and to bring out concerns that those in agreement might have overlooked, the analogy to the fable may not be applicable because it is not the anti binay who are blind to the truth.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Joe, so the evidences was live streamed in Inquirer but not found in the newspaper. That is sad. I am a busy family man I do not have the luxury of time to sit thru their live stream. The evidences are not in the papers or I must have missed it. Thank you for informing me.

        The Philippine Media is reporting what the Filipinos wanted to hear, the personal human aspect of witness accounts of Filipinos penchant of drama. Unlike American media which they repeatedly place evidence front and center like the presidential DNAs and Bernie Madoff instead of witness accounts.

        If I remember correctly back in the days, the first paragraph of news article is the summary of what the readers about to read. I only read the first paragraph and that paragraph is absent of evidence but a summary of summons of witnesses.

        The Boy Scout of the Philippines accusation is the lowest of low on other below-the-belt lows. It was pure insinuation and pregnant figment of journalists imagination.

        • Joe America says:

          Indeed, the newspapers do a poor job of capturing what goes on during the hearings. They miss the tedious groundwork that goes into the interviews and the reporters cannot capture, for instance, COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza’s tense, nearly tearful mood as she was forced by the Senate to give evidence that the court said she can’t give . . . and report on her home being broken into and a telephone threat the day of the hearing. They gave her maybe a paragraph or two. I think a lot of people pick the hearings up on YouTube, but I don’t know if the videos possess the same drama that encourages a lot of us to sit through 6 hours of meeting live to find the nuggets that pop out here and there.

          I was a CSPAN addict in the States and am impressed that these hearings are shown live here. At one point, the station was flipping between Santiago’s hearing on the Laude murder and the Subcommittee hearing. Fantastic television . . . 🙂

  10. manuel buencamino says:

    “Why should he stoop down sa level ni Trillanes? He has an office na kailangang i-uphold,” Sen. Nancy Binay

    One thing Binay succeeded in doing: he made the public, the media, and Congress believe that the vice presidency is actually a position of power, like it was some kind of a co-presidency, despite the fact that the vice president has no official powers and duties under the Constitution; that the vice presidency is higher than Congress within the scheme of things.

    But fire Binay from the cabinet and what does he have besides a Coconut Palace and P200M to maintain an office whose sole purpose is to wait for the president to resign, die, become impeached, or incapacitated?

    Come to think of it, why does anybody who has no official functions under the Constitution enjoy immunity, a mega-million pesos Coconut Palace as official residence, and a P200M a year official budget?

    • Joe America says:

      The airs of the entitled, quite amazing to behold. Reports are that Mr. Binay is exhibiting a lot of stress and looking older. I wish we had American (movie?) style prosecutors who could walk up to him and say, “well, you know, Mr. Binay, we can do this one of two ways. Fight it, with your whole family going down with you, or you accepting the burden and we’ll let your kids and wife off easy.”

      Napoles decided to fight it, and ask her how the kids are doing . . . and her brother . . .

    • sonny says:

      I’ve often wondered why the US-VP function is so different from the PH-VP. Maybe it’s because the US has such a viable two-party system compared to PH, where the PH-VP is a checknbalance to the PH-Pres. ???? is a puzzlement.

      • edgar lores says:

        Here’s one reason: the US VP belongs to the same party as the president. He is selected by the president-candidate as a running mate. Thus the ties between the two tend to be very close. After a successful campaign, the VP is usually given important though informal roles. Dick Cheney was the exception: he lorded it over Bush, and was more president than vice-president.

        Another reason is that the US VP has an official legislative role to break ties in senate voting and to preside over joint sessions of congress.

        In the Philippines lately, the elected VP has belonged to the opposition party. He has no official responsibilities except for those assigned by the president. He is simply a spare tire.

      • edgar lores says:

        Perhaps a third reason: presidential assassinations in the US. Four successful ones and and at least more than a dozen unsuccessful ones.

      • sonny says:

        @ Edgar

        Strong, reasonable points reflective of actual P’s & VP’s who took over and defined the executive branches. There’s lots of retrospectives on P/VP combos down history lane, one from a well established democracy, the other a democracy on the make. hmmm…

  11. gerverg1885 says:

    Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself.

  12. Cornball says:

    Is it possible that there is group behind Binay, or for that matter groups that support any politician… the king makers or puppet masters, whatever you want to call them, to protect and advance their own interests? The moneyed scions in the Philippines that will make what Binay amassed in 30 years look like chump change. Did the Ayalas gave the Binays free-reign to run Makati for all these years without even a whimper or did the Ayalas had it with the Binays and have a hand in the Binay family’s current pickle?

    • Joe America says:

      That is a superb question. I wonder how the Sub-committee could go in that direction, or if they would have the courage. In aid of legislation, such as anti-trust. That seems like a far different topic than the garage over-pricing, but it may be . . . as you suggest . . . an even bigger problem. It gets right to the core of oligarchs ruling in a culture of amoral interdependency. It is hard to imagine that the Ayala’s, and other large conglomerates, got so rich and powerful without playing politics. Clean or dirty? Getting and giving favors? Turning a blind eye? Funding?

      A big, big, big important question. I don’t hear anyone but you asking it . . . which is troubling.

      • Cornball says:

        Why bite the hands that feeds you?

      • manuel buencamino says:

        The gated villages fought Binay for years but they gave up because Binay had the barrios locked up. Eventually they learned to live with him and appreciate that he kept the barrios zoned kilometers away from the villages; he collected the garbage and made the villages secure, he gave out free movie passes and cakes regardless of economic status, even traffic tickets were mainly for non-Makati residents, and he sided with them on national issues welcoming rallies when other cities would not. Most important they saw his bite as a small tax in exchange for the services, realtive security and cleanliness he provided. The villages never really felt or cared about his personal presence in their zone until Junjun and the Dasma gate incident happened. That was a slap on their face. They’ve been bitten many years ago by a dog they thought they owned and they can see it happening again if he becomes president.

      • edgar lores says:

        It’s the trade-offs in AI that create moral hazards.

      • sonny says:

        Aye to AI. I will add SF (save face) that will complete the dual vise that seem to be the operative/default sanction to public/civic morality, Filipino-style.

        • edgar lores says:

          It’s strange though. For Binay, risk avoidance seems to be of greater concern than saving face. Historically, he has not spoken out on issues such as the Corona trial, the RH Law and the 3 senators charged in the PDAF scan. Recently, he has backed off from appearing in the senate hearing and backed down in the debate with Trillanes.

          He really has no face left.

          He is a passive-aggressive cowardly non-solitary predator. A hyena?

        • sonny says:

          Truly, very strange. Could it then be that SF is the threshold crossing into AI? I wish I could interest the lady of my house to so some psychoanalysis on the VP of PH. She is truly spot-on in the cases she examines.

        • sonny says:

          From documentaries I get the impression that hyenas have less ‘mammalian grace’ than baboons. (if this is the analogy we are using for the subject in question, then we will be in deep doo-doo)

    • Pinoyputi says:

      Try reading the Manila Times, it might bring you closer to for example Dante Ang. The President maker of Gloria.

  13. gerverg1885 says:


    Binay’s picture above should be totally covered black now that he had backed out of the much anticipated debate.

    I will not wonder anymore if he will make himself scarce even to the media with this latest caper of shamelessness that had become his trademark. That is, if he still had even a little bit of shame left wherever it might be in his anatomy.

    • Joe America says:

      Maybe a big red X across the photo . . . can be done . . . but I rather like the authenticity of the threatening demeanor of the photo as is . . .

      I think the VP has the worst PR adviser in the world. Probably himself . . . and his four media goons are doing him no favors, either . . .

      • Cornball says:

        Maybe we could chip in and send Binay’s PR advisers and spokesmen copies of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Leonard Doob’s Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda?

          • Cornball says:

            Out of curiosity, what if you Joe and all the members of The Society Of Honor are commissioned by VP Binay to be his new PR advisers, Maude being the sole spokesperson; thus being transformed to The Society of Ill Repute, how will we advice the VP so he can get out of his mess?… say the Vice President just made a half a billion Peso downpayment and there’s more where it came from… Wink, wink… We can discuss how to divide the stash later, of course Joe and Maude will get bigger shares… how about brainstorming for ideas?

            I’ll be tempted to give the VP a dishfull of antidepressants and a liter of evian water and an emphatic pat at the back, but that will be cruel. My advice: a wag the tail scenario- the VP and his mistress was abducted by aliens on their way home from one of VP’s provincial sorties. I think Maude (trying to control her tears) can pull this off on early evening news.

            • edgar lores says:

              Ahahaha. What have you been inhaling, Cornball?

              I would not hire myself out to Binay at all.

              • Cornball says:

                Believe it or not I’m sober now, just coffee and cigs. It’s just a hypothetical question, treat it like a bit of exercise for the imagination… remember it’s half a billion Pesos just for starters.

            • Joe America says:

              I’ll go with your treatments for the VP. I’d rather work for the other side, frankly. I’m thinking about concocting a marketing campaign aimed at driving Binay into retirement. Rather a people’s campaign. A giant roar that says, “understand when you are not wanted.” Maybe the slogan will be “Get a grip, Jojo!” Something like that . . .

              • Cornball says:

                Okay Joe, I respect that. Since Edgar wouldn’t sell out that just leaves me and my lonesome Society of Ill Repute to this futile exercise of the imagination. Please indulge me, I have to get this out of my system.

                This is how I will do it. I will convince the VP to forget about his Presidential ambition and to take as much of his money and run away with his mistress. What could be better than an eternal vacation with one’s mistress in the Bahamas? Do I smell a bonus? Not yet, I still have to make the alien abduction alibi believable. If VP Binay remains adamant about his Presidential ambition, I will resign on the spot and hand him a canister full of antidepressants and tell him to shove it up his… If he will give his consent to my plan, I will give the VP this list with the side notes:

                Outline for Operation VP Phone Home
                1. Two barrels of radioactive waste (Budget $5M)- to be sprayed on the VP’s car and the vicinity of the abduction scene. Probable source: Pakistan, China, Iran or Russia- the would be supplier will only be glad to get rid of a couple of barrels. Smuggling it in will be a breeze. The Philippines is the only country in the world where one can smuggle more than 200 container vans of rice and vanish into thin air only after a few days.

                2. Acting workshop for half of VP’s bodyguards, drivers, staffs, escorts, would be witnesses, alien actors etc. (Budget P10M)- under the auspices of PETA or Repertory Philippines whichever is available or cheaper.

                3. Hiring of English crop circle hoaxers (Budget $1M)- a few days before the VP’s abduction, the hoaxers will make several crop circles on the rice fields near the actual abduction scene as conditioning.

                4. Customized remote control drones and operators (Budget $2M)- flybys the nights before the abduction and the actual night of abduction.

                5. Customized high altitude balloon (Budget $1M)- to act as the alien mothership to be released near the place of abduction at the actual night of abduction.

                6. On-Scene production system and crews (Budget P5M)- to provide laser lights, eerie sounds and smoke machines before and after the staged abduction.

                7. Security personnel for the operation disguised as UFO hunters, locals, soldiers and policemen etc. (Budget P10M)- self explanatory.

                8. Bribe money (Budget P100M)- for the BBC and local officials.

                9. Miscellaneous expenses (Budget P2M)- for the participants’ wardrobes, alien costumes and location scouting, medicine for radioactive poisoning etc.

                Time frame for preparation: 4 and a half months.

              • edgar lores says:


                Excellent enumeration… and preparation for “Oplan VP Phone Home.”

                Suggest removing “VP” from the operation title. According to Cayetano, one should never include a telltale reference to the target in the title. One cannot afford to be sloppy.

                I like items 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9… item 3 in particular. The total budget of $136M sounds reasonable.

                Most UFO sightings in the country appear to be in Las Pinas. From Google Maps, the place looks populated and crowded but there’s a huge piece of greenery in the Southlinks Golf Club.

                The plan seems to be complete… except for some loose ends and the post-ops. For example, there’s no evisceration of cattle and no provision for angel hair.

                And remind me again: Are we saving the target, or saving the country from the target? If the former, what’s the cover story for what happened during the abduction? Is the target subjected to exploration of his anatomy? (We know he has no dangly bits.) Or is he subjected to union with an alien?

                Score: B+

              • Joe America says:

                OMG, intellectual slapstick. “Evisceration of cattle . . .” I can’t type for laughing too hard . . .

              • ET Cornball says:

                Thank you Edgar for the heads up and tips. I’m suppose to be on the VP’s side here, he’s my imaginary client. The cattle mutilation and angel’s hair will be great additions, but since I’m working on a tight budget; I guess I’ll just request a few hogs from the farm. The angel’s hair will be difficult to replicate, it must be made of exotic substances that will instantly melt upon touching… so scratch that, only an additional expense.

                The initial press release will be an unconfirmed report that the Vice President is missing, speculations about an ambush or kidnapping… lots of confusion… flash report on every tv stations, major on-line sites etc.

                My priority is to sneak out my client and his mistress out to the Bahamas, I couldn’t care less about our country… anything beyond the pseudo-facts that my client was abducted by aliens will be unnecessary details. My next job is make sure the public will buy our alien abduction alibi by slowly unraveling our planted evidences.

              • edgar lores says:


                You are a sneaky one. The objectives are not mutually exclusive; they are mutually inclusive.

                By stashing the Veep and his paramour in the Bahamas, you thereby save the country from him.

                You hide your heroism beneath a devil-may-care facade. Well done. I salute you.

                Therefore, the plan is approved – minus angel hair.

              • ET Cornball says:

                That’ll be ET Cornball from now on, I already joined the Dark side.

              • Cornball says:

                … but I do have a long term plan for my client, the VP’s eventual return in 2018… we will be back with a vengeance! After a year in the Bahamas with his mistress, my client will undergo an extensive skin treatment in a secluded clinic in Switzerland. My client will also undergo a few plastic surgery procedures. Then a sex change operation. Maybe you can all imagine by now that it will just be a minor procedure where only the shaft will be removed, then massive doses of estrogen will follow… and viola!

                I will be open to suggestions for my client’s new name and will be willing to spare P1M for the best nom de guerre.

              • Joe America says:

                I suggest “Binary”.

              • edgar lores says:


              • ET Cornball says:

                Pardon me, my secretary forgot to add “ET” in my username… I will verbally abuse her for starters… then dismiss her… (insert evil laughter here).

              • ET Cornball says:

                Joe, Jejomaldita Binary… hmmm… I’m sorry.

                Edgar, maybe you’re scratching your head now and wondering… I’m not only a PR adviser but also one of his chief political strategist. I’ve been promoted but no bonus. Precisely the reason why I convinced him to retreat and regroup… he loved my plan so much that he grabbed my butt, squeezed it and gave me a funny look. I told him that I prefer teenage schoolgirls and that was that.

                Remember, evil never sleeps… actually evil stays up late and wakes up late… so watch out! (insert another evil laughter here).

      • manuel buencamino says:

        Every picture tells a story. Or Binay’s birthday message.

        I was surprised by the reaction of Sen. Trillanes to VP Binay backing out of their debate.

        ”Nakakahiya na doon pa niya ginawa (ang announcement) sa headquarters ng Marines . Kasi ang mga Marines hindi umaatras e. So dapat e bawiin ng Marines ang uniporme niya (It is embarrassing that he made the announcement at the Marines headquarters. The Marines never back out [of a fight]. I think the Marines should take the uniform back).”

        Trillanes missed the subliminal message of Binay’s birthday celebration in Marine Headquarters.

        Binay’s message to the entire country is “I will bring the Marines into the fight if you force the issue.”

        Why would Binay celebrate his 72nd birthday at Marine Headquarters? Is it because he is a colonel in the Philippine Navy Reserve Force? If so then is it his tradition to celebrate his birthday with the Marines?

        Why did Binay choose the Marine Headqurters as the venue to announce his withdrawal? Would Binay make such a controversial announcement in front of a crowd that he was not sure was sympathetic to him?

        Trillanes was a lieutenant in the Navy but it was Binay who was wearing a Team Navy t-shirt. It was Binay in the walkathon, the calesthenics, and the boodle fight. This morning’s activity was Binay’s way of telling the entire country that it is he and not Trillanes who has the support of the Marines.

        Binay is running out of room. He knows that one of these days someone will challenge his spurious claim of immunity. If the Supreme Court rules that he has no immunity he will have subpoenas raining down on him followed by warrants of arrest. That’s when his ties with the Marines will come handy.

        The Marines are the Joker in Binay’s deck of cards. He has kept that card close to chest, that’s why not many people are aware of how tight he is with them.

        And so today’s show was to tell everyone that whoever wants to arrest him will have to go through his Marine barricade first.

        Every picture tells a story. Happy birthday to me – VP Jojo Binay.

        • Cornball says:

          Or it could be just posturing like most of what the VP’s PR can think of?… but I bet there will be plenty of overpriced cakes in today’s celebration.

        • Joe America says:

          It’s pretty discouraging to think that the military would be so independent of the nation as to associate with such a character. Are these serious people, thinking people, these military leaders? It represents an incredible lack of touch with civility toward the nation’s people, and a strange brand of patriotism, it seems to me. What military values, are these, really?

          Throw out the oaths. The Binay set of values is different.

        • edgar lores says:

          Perhaps, Trillanes was aware? His response can be read as a proper situational response: attacking Binay’s cowardice and reminding the marines of their behavioural legacy.

          What alternative response is more proper?

          As to Binay, he is a supreme user, a master manipulator. It appears that he has forced the President to some form of accommodation.

          What was the trade-off?

          • Cornball says:

            Anybody knows how exactly the arrangement goes? A batch of PMA grads adopts a celebrity politician (other examples are Legarda & Pacman) or a politician chooses the batch that will adopt him or her mostly for PR purposes and maybe an implied I’ll scratch your back and you’ll kiss my butt arrangement. The celebrity politician maybe acts as a sponsor to his assigned unit, maybe a battalion that receives a few occasional perks like free meals, jerseys, a bag of groceries and maybe a little something for the boys. As usual the officials of that unit receives bigger perks, but will these soldiers lay down their lives to save their sponsor’s skin knowing that they are only used as PR props?

            The VP, a government official that they have to entertain the whims whether they like it or not but also because of the previous arrangement, besides maybe the common soldiers look at it as an occasional treat for them. It’s not much of an issue of values and oaths as much as it is a tit for tat arrangement.

            • edgar lores says:

              Yes, I am curious as to how Binay became a marine colonel. Reminds me of Marcos’ fake medals.

              • Cornball says:

                In VP’s case a colonel same rank as the Senators. Pacman, a congressman was adopted by an army unit and was given a rank of sergeant if I remember correctly. It’s like an honorary degree that a college or university bestows upon an individual. The plaque will just look awesome in your office wall and résumé nothing more. Do you think Binay will be in the front line in case China invades the Philippines?

            • Joe America says:

              Your scenario makes a lot of sense to me, Cornball. Tit for tat, little to do with oaths and values, just entertainment watching a “name” who decided to join them. I suppose it’s like when the mad auntie comes over to visit. You can’t easily shut the door in her face.

              Thanks for giving me a more upbeat look at the scenario.

          • Dolly Gonzales says:

            edgar, I’ve read about PNoy’s phone call to Drilon, and I find it quite bothersome… I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s compromised the welfare of the public, but it would be nice to know why exactly he felt the need to “relay” the VP’s message to the senate.

            It does appear to be some form of accommodation for Binay’s benefit.

            And why did Drilon reveal it? What’s the power play behind that?

            • edgar lores says:


              I can’t fault Drilon. I probably would do the same in his place, in protecting the legislature from excessive executive intervention. Drilon is subtle: he didn’t say he turned down the president; he said he turned down Binay.

              I wouldn’t fault PNoy either if he was just informing and not pressuring. Heretofore he has kept his distance from the Binay issue, pausing only to clarify the claims of Binay’s camp. But his statements from China are not reassuring.

              I’ve reread the Inquirer article, and on second reading the statements are less alarming, more calibrated to be neutral: presumption of innocence, due process, the need for evidence, etc. I sense some misdirection though in the emphasis which to me sounds something like, “There’s work to be done. Congress should be attending to its functions.” So, yes, there might have been a trade-off. Fortunately, Trillanes is not letting up. 🙂

              What does this say about his campaign and legacy against corruption?

              • Dolly Gonzales says:

                There may be something being left unsaid, as you say. Nothing wrong with that, by itself. Just politics, not necessarily against public interest. Horse-trading’s a necessary part of politics.

                PNoy’s legacy against corruption isn’t affected, I think. It would have been in danger if he’d prevented De Lima from investigating. She’s his alter ego. Therefore, her involvement had his go-signal from the start. There’s every indication PNoy’s instrumental in getting Binay jailed. I’ve always suspected he’s kept Binay close because Binay’s an enemy. (“Keep your friends close…”)

                From what I’ve observed, PNoy’s consistently deliberate. No one manages to manipulate him. So, this phone call to Drilon is perplexing. I agree with your observation on the misdirection part, as well as the neutral tone, which begs the question: what’s being left unsaid? I wouldn’t expect it to be admitted to media, but I sure would like to be able to read between the lines, from afar 🙂 No success, so far.

                I don’t fault Drilon for revealing the call, being senate president. 🙂 But here, haha, I imply something naughty: Does Drilon strike you as a politician who’ll be outraged at “excessive executive intervention,” especially since he and PNoy are close allies?

                Drilon’s motives in publicizing it are quite separate from PNoy’s motives in making that call. Yes, he said he turned down Binay not PNoy, but Drilon was completely aware of the implications of revealing that call to the public.

              • edgar lores says:

                I don’t know, Dolly. I am not too good at analyzing behavior. I am not devious. I am pure. (Sure, Ed, fool yourself.)

                However… let us make the following assumptions:

                1. This is a high-stakes game.
                2. The objective is deny Binay his presidential ambition.
                3. The overall strategy is to do this before 2016.
                4. The principal tactic is to unmask the man through the ongoing senate hearing.
                5. PNoy and Drilon are on the same side and the same page.

                What is the status? What is the immediate problem?

                The status is amber. Things have been going well with the hearing. A lot has been uncovered. Binay is being painted into a corner.

                The immediate problem is that the hearing is losing steam. Binay, Junjun Tiu and Makati City officials refuse to appear. The subcommittee senators are being placed in a straitjacket, their investigation limited to the terms of reference, which is overpricing and does not include inquiries to Binay’s ill-gotten wealth. The public are getting tired. And 2016 is still a long way off.

                Perhaps the mini-objective of this moro-moro is simply to overcome this immediate problem. The grand objective remains, and the principal tactic gains a new lease on life.

                Bad cop PNoy will feign retreat from his impartiality and request the Senate to stop the hearing soon and prod it to attend to legislative work. Good cop Drilon will reveal the “improper” request thereby hardening the resolve of the Senate to continue the hearing. At the same time, the public will be aroused by PNoy’s ambivalence and demand for the hearings to continue.

                A side benefit for Drilon is that the focus remains on Binay and not on his Iloilo complex. A side benefit for PNoy is that Binay is lulled into believing his ties with the President are intact and will help him survive until the elections.

              • Joe America says:

                I liked Senator Pimentel’s reaction to the President’s contact with Drilon (which I took simply to mean that the President was closing an open gap in the dialogue by briefing Drilon; to leave it open would be remiss, rather like talking ABOUT someone, but never talking to his face). Pimentel basically suggested that if the President wanted to control someone’s behavior in the inquiry, he should attend to DOJ’s part in all this.

                So I think both the President and Pimentel are right and its no big deal. Drilon was just closing the final final gap and informing the public.

              • sonny says:

                I’m going loony – I’m actually reading this while listening to Itzhak Perlman doing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D w/Eugene Ormandy & Philly Orch and falling off my chair. Such energy in this subject n the music resonating w/the words of this exchange!! It’s just me watching all of you watching them. (first 18 minutes of the piece). I have too much time in my hands. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                I’ll have to be cautious with this combination: Gonzales, Lores, JoeAm & Cornball discussing PH politics.

              • Joe America says:

                Lores is a troublemaker.

              • sonny says:

                Most appropriately, the music is high energy duet between violin & orchestra. I encourage anyone to try for size.

            • edgar lores says:

              Ahaha to all of you – from the troublemaker.


              For some reason, I prefer female violinists – Shoji, Kyung Wha Chung, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sarah Chang, etc. (Perhaps, it’s because the body of the violin is a reiteration of the female form?) Chang’s “Meditation” from “Thais” (with Placido Domingo conducting) is my go-to for instant transport to heaven.

              • sonny says:

                A definite yes to Sarah Chang’s MEDITATION, that soul-penetrating longing.

              • Dolly Gonzales says:

                I cannot seem to reply to @sonny’s posts 😦

                nice music! i copy-pasted to search on the Spotify app, haha, as I’m a bit “classical-music”-ally challenged… listening to it now as I type this 🙂

                I love going to the symphony, even if I’ll never recognize the pieces being played. It’s the pure joy coming from the stage that draws me, although the music’s lovely, of course. When musicians get so caught up in the music, their faces and bodies twist in funny ways sometimes. No ego, it’s not about them, it’s purely about the heavenly music. Their joy’s infectious!

              • sonny says:

                Ms Dolly, what you said is precisely the point about music, pop or classical. There is something for everybody who is willing to lend his affective instincts. One may or may not agree with the body english of the performers. For sure it is optional (Personally I get distracted by them.) I just don’t pay attenton. I enjoy regardless. 🙂

                Here are some additional and obvious choices for aural pleasure:

       (Chopin’s fantasie impromptu)

       (Liszt’s Consolation #3)

  14. Everytime i share articles like this one in my FB account, im a little bit saddened because it seems like no one cares or maybe my friends are just too busy talking about their selfies and other “non-sense” activities. But despite of, im hoping someone took a chance to click and read and then share to their friends as well.

    Thanks sir Crispin and sir Joem for this article.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for posting it, arkads. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. That’s a saying from a song of long ago. A lot of people may get discouraged at reading about Binay and other troubles, and just want to enjoy their facebook time. At some point they will have to own up to their political involvement, though. Like if we end up with Binay as president, they can say “I helped by not caring enough.”

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