By Raïssa Robles
Embattled Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay may want to seriously rethink his position that he has nothing to explain. That all allegations of corruption and overpricing swirling around the 11 storey Makati city hall parking building are just “politically motivated attacks.”
If cab driver Robin Visin is any gauge, Binay’s so-called solid base may be showing some cracks.
Visin, 57, is a self-confessed Binay fan. Despite this, he wants Binay to explain to voters like him the shocking charges of corruption leveled at Binay, his wife Elenita, son Erwin and senator-daughter Nancy – being aired on radio and TV for the last couple of weeks.
“Hindi ako mapaniwala na nandugas sila (I can’t believe they stole), Visin, 57, of Camarin, Caloocan told me Friday. Visin has 11 children – “botante lahat yon” (all voters) – he added meaningfully.
“Gusto ko …mapatunayan sa imbestigasyon kung may kasalanan ba o wala. Dahil ako ngayon nanghihinayang kay Binay. Dahil ngayong tatakbo siyang pagka-presidente e iboboto ko talaga kung mapapatunayan na wala siyang ginawang masama.” (I want the investigation to prove whether or not he did wrong. Because I feel this sense of regret over Binay. Because now he will run for President and I will really vote for him if it can be proven he did no wrong).
Notice that Visin is proceeding from the assumption that Binay seems guilty and he has to prove himself innocent. And not the other way around.
Interestingly, Visin believes President Benigno Aquino’s favorite political slogan – kung walang kurap, walang mahirap (If no one is corrupt, no one will be poor.) Aquino has had more than three years in office to drum this into people’s consciousness.
Binay is closely following the playbook of ex-president Joseph Estrada before the latter became President.
But there is one very clear difference between Binay and Estrada’s presidential run. Before he became President, Estrada was not at all tainted by any corruption scandal.
But Binay has long been dogged with allegations of corruption. Despite this, he won the vice-presidency.
This time, though, his silence, his refusal to give any explanation over what exactly happened to the building may yet doom his dream. Because people like Visin do not care whether the charges come from Binay’s political enemies. They just want their own doubts and questions laid to rest.
To listen to my interview with Visin, please click on the link below.