By ELLEN T. TORDESILLAS
VICE President Jejomar Binay won’t be where he is now if he were not an astute political operator.
His strategies reflect a good grasp of the factors involved in the political game.
He must therefore have sensed that things are not going right for him after three of the political personalities he mentioned he is eyeing to be a running mate in 2016 elections turned him down.
It gives the impression that no one wants to be associated with him.
Last month, Binay floated the idea of having Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as running mate for the 2016 elections.
Duterte, who has stopped saying that he will kill the person behind the Duterte-for-president-movement and is now thinking of running for the highest post in the land, declined the offer.
Binay’s daughter, Rep. Abigail Binay, then told media that a “Binay-Poe” team would be ideal in the next election. She was referring to Sen. Grace Poe, who is seen now as the one likely to win the presidential elections in 2016.
Poe did not give any false hope to Binay telling media that she believes that a public official should be honest and transparent of his dealings. “Naniniwala ako kasi na katapatan at pagiging bukas para mabusisi ng ating mga kababayan ay napakahalaga sa iyong trabaho so marahil medyo may pagkakaiba kami dun.”
Poe’s remark was seen as a jibe to Binay for his refusal to face the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee investigating the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Parking Building 2. The investigation has led to exposes on other unexplained wealth of the Binays.
Poe also signed the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee report recommending the filing of charges against Binay, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and 18 other associates.
Then Binay thought of former President Joseph Estrada, who is now Manila mayor. He even coined a name for their team: BEST.
“Hindi na Erap-Binay, Binay-Erap na. ‘Yun, ang tawag doon “BEST”. Alam mo anong “BEST”? BINAY-ESTRADA,” the vice president said.
Estrada didn’t find it the best idea. His answer made a lot of sense: “I am done being Vice President. I’ve been there.”
Estrada was vice president to President Fidel Ramos from 1992 to 1998. He even became president in 1998 but was ousted in 2001.
Estrada ran again for president in 2010 with Binay as running mate. He lost to Aquino but Binay won over Liberal party candidate Mar Roxas.
But Binay can still have his BEST. There’s an Estrada who might be interested: Sen. Jinggoy Estrada who is currently in detention for plunder charges due to his alleged misuse of his office’s share of the Priority Development Assistance Fund.
Until the PDAF scandal exploded, Jinggoy was really eyeing the vice presidency in 2016.
There’s a possibility that Binay might also be in jail in the coming months once the Office of the Ombudsman files a plunder charge, which is unbailable, against him at the Sandiganbayan.
Since Binay and Estrada are not expected to be convicted by October, which is the filing of certificates of candidacy, they can both run even if they are both in detention.
Binay-Jinggoy Estrada. They would make the BEST team.