VP BINAY’S PROBLEM
A few summers from now, the people will be bombarded with political reminders once again. This early, the signs are already there. For those who cannot wait for the proper time and have declared interest to run for public offices, they are not only fair game but their records, even their secrets in private life are immediately placed under the microscope of public assessment. It is not unexpected. As a matter of fact, it comes within the territory.
Of late, VP Jejomar Binay could not but get into the usual initiation. He may have experienced how it was during the time he was gunning for a stake in local government and subsequently, bagging a national post but at this point, he has manifested, this early, his prepositioned interest on the highest post of the land: the Presidency.
This of course is par for the course. This may be an undertaking due to some pundits and bootlickers in his camp trying to get into the groove of heading towards early victory however distant the time yet. It likewise gave his opponent, those who probably wanted to be paid to be silent, enough time for the bargaining. Binay would not be baited this early yet but he could not resist the temptation of responding.
Those who cast a moistened eye at the same high post would naturally respond with equal fervor to get the natural national attention craved for. They have to hurl whatever it is in their arsenal that would blacken and reduce the integrity of their opponent and achieve a fair consideration as far as name recall is concerned. While it is truism in showbiz that “good or bad publicity is still publicity” in politics it also applies. Hence, showbiz people flock to Comelec to try their luck in an elective office. And why not. People attend campaign sorties because of them and not because of the traditional politician. The phenom on the entry of entertainers became almost a favorite to scene to watch comes election day.
Binay at the moment is fair game not only in media but in public opinion. Good or bad publicity if I may repeat is publicity. But the publicity stunt was nowhere favorable. That is the traditional view. Erap, unaffected, during his heydays would rather have it. As a matter of fact, he even rejoiced and played into it. The result was a resounding, almost historic landslide vote in his favor. People love the underdog. Binay may also use the same tack, except that he lack the star projection of Erap. Much as he wants to approximate the profile (same with Erap as mayor, same profession of spouse, same girlie weakness, same national post as VP), except that Erap was imprisoned while Binay was as yet to get off from a litany of criminal charges mounting each day.
In the olden days, politics was a call to arms. There was violence whenever political contest was declared. Even if the selection was between family members, the effect was very grave. Private armies quickly materialize to exact power. Suddenly, the community where the position was needed becomes a battleground, a war zone. Election was a hotly contested period then and still is, in some remote areas.
Today, the law seems to be the intermediary. The law, except for a few who subscribe to firepower, is applied whenever a person would become a threat to a longed-for position. The law is used to harass, to get even, to annoy whoever wants to get into the fray. Even if charges would be invented, the people get the necessary amusement and entertainment for the day.
The problem lies with Binay’s caravan. It is in the selection of people gunning for his credentials as leader that is found wanting. Those he chose are suspect and unworthy to carry a name, much more so endorse a good product. They could not even respond intelligently. Binay could have conscripted opinion writers and there are a number of great thinkers among them. Forget politicians, they are a burden on one’s neck. If writers are too stiff in their fees, get someone from the broadcast media. Media makes or breaks a person; Binay should know that by heart.
In a few storms ahead, Binay’s name would be found in the drain somewhere. If media could send anyone it hates into the calaboose like what they did to a Congressman and lot more celebrities, if it could make an orphan a millionaire twice over because of talk shows, it could also push someone on the berth of collapse into the zenith of recognition.
I don’t care who gets elected in the highest office. I have my sympathy for the guy, whoever he or she is. Running a country is like saving mankind. It is curse in business suit. The leader is never judged by contemporary times, it is history that determines the fate. And history is manifested several generations after the person has made his presence. It is not worth clawing into it.
I would rather write a poem and contribute my thoughts on history.