This is what is wrong with the Philippines since time immemorial up to the present. The country is overcrowded with politicians with hardly any statesman around. A politician always thinks about the next election while a statesman thinks what is best for the nation. Election, winning it, this is all that matters to politicians.
As vice president, Binay with arrogant presumption had the audacity to assume the presidency is his by birth right. In the guise of being forthright and honest, Binay has shamelessly started campaigning for the presidency. What Binay did exposed the worst in the current political setup. Leaders of the land are obsessed with power – its capture, maintenance and accumulation. Election is all that they can think of, ignoring the welfare and well being of the people. The people can go to hell for all they care.
What could have buoyed Binay to start campaigning is the result of the February 26–March 9, 2012 Pulse Asia survey giving him the highest approval rating of 84 percent among the top officials of the country. President Noy got a 70 percent approval rating in the same survey. Blinded by the high rating, Binay and company thought the sentiment maybe the same on May 2016 making them so bold to claim the presidency at this time.
Add to this the unexpected victory of Binay in the last election and the Vice President and his camp are of the opinion that except for the counting, he is already the president of the Philippines on June 30, 2016. They could even be allocating and distributing cabinet positions and scrambling for the spoils.
This is a free society and everyone has the right to indulge in his or her wildest illusion especially vice presidents. It is, however, a completely different matter if political reality agrees with one’s fantasy. Will the situation in 2016 the same with 2010?
True, Binay’s victory in the last election caught everyone by surprise even Binay himself. But that victory was mainly due to the weakness of Mar Roxas rather than on Binay’s strength. Roxas was leading in all pre-election surveys until the last week of the election. At one point, when Roxas was ahead in the vice presidential race with 45 percent, followed by Legarda, 28 percent and Binay third, 17 percent, he arrogantly boasted Legarda and Binay can fight for the second place.
When the dust settled, fate gave Roxas a bitter lesson on humility. Lulled by complacency and over confidence, the Roxas camp was napping when Legarda’s votes evaporated and Binay’s surge came late in the game. Roxas should have paid attention to the story of the hare and the turtle, a common tale in elementary textbooks.
It seems today the shoe is on the other foot, with Binay now afflicted with the same malady that slew Roxas’ vice presidential aspiration in the 2010 election. He is the current vice president with the highest approval rating so his potential rivals in 2016 should just concede. Binay could even be drafting his presidential inaugural speech.
Binay with a sense of certainty may have forgotten another important lesson in the 2010 election. A year before that election, Manny Villar was leading in all surveys with Noynoy Aquino not even in the political radar. Villar and Roxas had been preparing for the 2010 election three years before. Both lost and surprisingly Erap emerged as the strongest rival of President Noy. How could Binay miss this?
Very confident Binay is of his victory in 2016 that in preparation for the 2013 elections he dared to include fanatical supporters of jailed former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) like Milagros Magsaysay in his senatorial slate. Binay presupposed the people adore him so much they will overlook this injurious slight. If Binay is against GMA as he firmly declares why seek alliance with her ilk? Where is the principled politics Binay loves to gloat? It stinks with trapo politics.
So infectious is Binay’s self-assurance of the presidency that Ernesto Maceda, a senatorial candidate of Binay and key official of his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), confidently proclaimed a vote for Corona is a vote for Binay. This is Maceda of the “so young so corrupt” fame. Binay imagines he is so popular he can salvage impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona whose satisfaction rating dropped from minus 14 percent to minus 28 percent in the March 10-13, 2012 Social Weather Station (SWS) survey.
With 73 percent of Filipinos preferring Corona’s conviction in the latest SWS survey, it is difficult to understand why Binay would openly support Corona’s cause. The only possible explanation is high degree of self-importance and overconfidence. Binay with high rating feels the people will follow him wherever he goes and is testing this hypothesis by swaying the people to Corona’s side. That is the danger when silly notions get into one’s head or worst become permanent figment of imagination.
“Whom the gods wish to destroy, first they make mad” a popular cliché goes. In this case the gods simply make them manufacture arrogant presumption.