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Koko’s leaving PDP, and Binay’s presidency

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LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… He says, `Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’...” (Proverbs 46:10, the Holy Bible).

EXTREME CARE IN HANDLING KOKO PIMENTEL-MIGZ ZUBIRI ROW: Vice President Jejomar Binay and those wanting to see him become President of the Philippines in 2016 should be extremely careful in handling the Koko Pimentel-Migz Zubiri problem. If not handled properly, this could yet produce the spark that could ignite a political conflagration that may regrettably burn down Binay’s expected ascent to the presidency four years from now.

For the record, I have always strongly believed that Binay is going to be the next Philippine president and I have already expressed this belief in many a column and in many a broadcast of mine. But I have always premised this belief on the expectation that no unforeseen complications will crop up en route to 2016, and so far, Binay and his partymates have played their cards exceptionally well.

But it would be wrong for him and his advisers, especially former President Joseph Estrada, to treat Koko Pimentel’s intention to resign in a cavalier manner, as if Koko is not going to be a big loss to the party, and as if the senator’s leaving PDP Laban, on account of his accusation that the party is playing footsies with cheaters, will not make any dent against Binay’s presidential plans. This is gravely erroneous.

PIMENTEL’S HIGH MORAL GROUND ON CHEATING: The fact is that Pimentel appears to many people to be treading on a very high moral ground in his objections against Zubiri’s being a part of the senatorial line-up of UNA, or the United Nationalist Alliance. This is not to say of course that Zubiri really cheated, or that he was even part of any effort to cheat under the Arroyo administration. No, far from it.

But certainly, whether Zubiri himself cheated or not, or whether he had a hand in the cheating or not, Pimentel already proved that he was indeed cheated and robbed of victory, and the success of his electoral protest at the Senate Electoral Tribunal proved beyond doubt that it was through cheating that he became unable to take his Senate seat much earlier.

If Pimentel leaves PDP Laban and UNA now on the ground that his call not to run with supposed cheaters was thumbed down, the message that the people will get, rightly or wrongly, is that PDP Laban, Partido ng Masang Pilipino, and UNA chose to disregard Koko’s complaint against cheating and that, therefore, they are condoning electoral cheating in general. From any which way one looks at it, this is not going to be favorable for UNA in general, and for Binay, in particular!

WHAT BINAY, ET. AL. SHOULD DO: What should Binay, UNA, PDP Laban, and Partido ng Masang Pilipino do now? My take is that, they should take Pimentel’s complaint very seriously, in order to show to the Filipino nation that they are against electoral cheating. Now, how are they going to do this, especially since UNA already announced that Zubiri will run under its coalition?

First, they should announce that UNA is creating a committee that will investigate Pimentel’s grievances. Second, it must also be announced that Zubiri’s inclusion in the UNA slate is being made subject to the result of the investigation of this committee.

Third, the process of the investigation must be transparent and the results announced and made public immediately. This early, Binay and his partymates must show due deference to transparency and accountability.

REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, and 0922 833 43 96. Email me at batasmauricio@yahoo.com.

by Atty. Batas Mauricio




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