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OVERVIEW

ROJELIM

The early bird catches the worm, but perhaps, not in politics.

Vice President Jojo Binay was the earliest to openly admit that he would run for president in the 2016 polls, but this also made him the prime target for attacks, notwithstanding his friendly ties with President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

And bring down the administration and its allies did. They've thrown everything at Binay, including the kitchen sink.

It had to take the longest Senate inquisition--more than a year and 25 Blue Ribbon committee hearings-- to severely damage Binay's popularity, especially among the poor. From a high of 31% or one in 3 voters choosing him as their presidential bet in an early January 2016 survey or a month before the start of the 90-day campaign, support for Binay fell to 14% in over 3 months.

Influential political clans, including the Garcias of Cebu and the Remullas of Cavite, have dropped him in favor of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte or Senator Grace Poe.

If he manages to pull a surprise on May 9, just as he did in the 2010 vice-presidential race where he upset frontrunner Mar Roxas, one can attribute it to his hard work and organizational skills.

Those who have worked with Binay in Makati City, which he and his family have ruled for 30 years, attest to the man's diligence. And even though he's already 73 years old, he has not shown any sign of slowing down.

The Vice President is truly "Only Binay," when it comes to being a "KBL" politician. He trumps all of his rivals in terms of number of Kasal (weddings), Binyag (baptisms), and Libing (wakes/funerals) that he has attended.

Having started early in his presidential run, he has also visited the most number of the Philippines' over 7,000 islands compared to his opponents.

A Binay presidency could rival that of President Fidel V. Ramos' in terms of hard work and organization building. His experience as presidential adviser on OFW concerns is a plus for Philippine foreign policy under a Binay administration.

If the surveys hold and Binay loses, he and his son, Junjun, will have legal battles to face for their alleged wrongdoings in Makati City. But if he wins, he'll enjoy presidential immunity in the next six years.

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(ABS-CBN News, Based on Research by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group)

Jejomar Binay was born on November 11, 1942 to parents Diego Binay, a librarian, and Lourdes Cabauatan, a school teacher. He was orphaned at the age of nine and was adopted by his uncle Ponciano.

Binay claims it was not an easy childhood.

In his profile at the Office of the Vice President website, Binay said he had to "collect slop," look after his uncle's piggery and fighting cocks, and troop to the public market daily for errands.

All this while studying at the esteemed University of the Philippines Preparatory School, then at the Philippine Normal College Training Department.

While juggling jobs, Binay eventually graduated with a degree in political science and Bachelor of Laws from the UP College of Law before passing the bar in 1968.

Binay has a masters in National Security Administration, National Defense College of the Philippines, (1990). He also enrolled in two other master courses (Master of Public Administration, Major in Local Government Management, University of the Philippines (academically completed) and Master of Laws, University of Santo Tomas (academically completed), 1980) but did not acquire the degree for failing to complete the required thesis.

FROM HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL

He made a career at the academe by teaching "law, political science, and public administration at the then Philippine College of Commerce (now Polytechnic University of the Philippines), Philippine Women’s University, and St. Scholastica’s College."

Binay was also a human rights lawyer and offered free legal services to the poor.

In the Martial Law era, Binay staunchly criticized Marcos dictatorship and represented political prisoners, eventually leading to his detention for several months. After his release, Binay remained an active participant in the pro-democracy movement.

After Martial Law, Binay took on several government posts such as:

  • Chairman, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
  • Director, Light Railway Transit Authority (1987; 1996-1998)
  • Director, Laguna Lake Development Authority (1987)
  • Director, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (1987, 1990, 1991)
  • Governor, Metropolitan Manila Commission (1987)

SALN:

VP Binay’s net worth grew nearly 24 times in 26 years, from P2,527,725 in 1988 to P60,250,983 in 2014.

CONTROVERSIES

THE BINAYS AS A POLITICAL DYNASTY

  • The Binay family has held the Makati City mayoral post for a total of 27 years, or from 1988 to 2015. Binay served as mayor for three consecutive terms twice. He first served his three terms from 1988 to 1998. He then fielded his wife, who was mayor from 1998 to 2001, after which Binay again ran for mayor and sat for three terms, from 2001 to 2010. His son, Jejomar Erwin Binay, succeeded him and served as Mayor from 2010 until his dismissal from service by the Office of the Ombudsman in October 2015 for grave misconduct and intellectual dishonesty due to the administrative case filed against him in connection to the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Parking Building II. The Ombudsman also recommended the perpetual ban on the younger Binay from seeking public office.
  • Binay’s daughters also occupy key posts. Mar-Len Abigail Binay Campos is Makati City 2nd District Representative while Ma. Lourdes Nancy Binay Angeles is a Senator.
  • Binay is not in favor of an anti-political dynasty legislation. He explained that political dynasties should not be an issue. His daughter Senator Nancy Binay also opposes the anti-political dynasty bill. She explained that there should be no law limiting families who want to serve in government.

PLUNDER & GRAFT ALLEGATIONS

  • On October 3, 2006, Binay, his wife Elenita, and nine others were charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged irregular purchases of office partitions and furniture amounting to an estimated P232M from 1999-2001.
  • Jejomar Binay faced one count of graft, which was dismissed on October 30, 2006, barely a month after it was filed. Meanwhile, Elenita faced four counts of graft. One of the cases was dismissed in 2011 because of lack of evidence, while three of them are still pending before the Sandiganbayan as of December 2015.
  • Meanwhile, in March 2008, the Ombudsman denied the motions for reconsideration of Binay and Elenita seeking the dismissal of a P430.2-million plunder suit filed against them in connection with the alleged ghost deliveries and gross overpricing of hospital equipment and supplies for the Ospital ng Makati from 2000 to 2001. However, when the case reached the Sandiganbayan in 2011, only Elenita was charged with two counts of malversation, and graft and corruption. The case is still pending before the court as of December 2015.

ALLEGED KICKBACKS FROM CONTRACTORS AND GHOST EMPLOYEES

  • Binay was accused of earning around P2 billion pesos in a span of 10 years, during his term as Makati mayor, from service contracts for IT, janitorial, and security service awarded to different firms that were owned by the same individuals who were said to be his dummies. The amount also include alleged kickbacks that Binay received from ghost employees. The allegation was presented in the Senate hearing in August 2015 by witness Violeta Lazo of the Makati General Services. (Note: it seems that as of this writing, there still is no formal case filed against Binay in relation to these allegations.)
  • On October 6, 2015, former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado filed plunder complaints against Binay and 16 national executive members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines for receiving kickbacks in exchange for the allegedly anomalous BSP-Alphaland venture for the development of a one-hectare property at Malugay corner Ayala Avenue in Makati City. The case is still pending before the Office of the Ombudsman.

PDAF ALLOCATIONS

  • Binay was allowed to have his own Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation amounting to P200 million annually by President Benigno C. Aquino III and Congress. The PDAF allocation used to be exclusive to lawmakers. Binay started getting his PDAF in 2011 until it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in November 2013.

(RELATED LINKS)

Philstar.com. “Junjun Binay dismissed from service.” October 9, 2015
Philstar.com. “Junjun Binay dismissed from service.” October 9, 2015
Abs-cbnnews.com. Why VP Binay opposes Anti-Political Dynasty Bill.  June 10, 2015
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/360202/binay-wife-face-p232-m-graft-case
http://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/metro-manila/04/11/11/court-junks-graft-charge-against-binay%E2%80%99s-wife?fb_ref=Default
http://rp1.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/03/27/08/binays-six-others-face-plunder-trial
http://newsmobile.abs-cbn.com/nation/metro-manila/02/26/15/elenita-binay-refuses-enter-plea-graft-cases/
http://newsmobile.abs-cbn.com/nation/08/26/15/binay-accused-earning-p2-b-city-hall-contracts/
Abs-cbnnews.com. binay faces plunder rap over Boy Scouts-Alphaland deal. October 6, 2015
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. “Binay bags P200-M PDAF:
Pork train to Malacañang?
. July 22, 2012

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  • Binay first entered politics when he was appointed OIC mayor of the then municipality of Makati by former President Corazon C. Aquino in 1986, becoming the first local executive to be appointed by Aquino. He occupied this position from February 1986 to November 1987. From March to November 1987, he also served as concurrent governor of the Metropolitan Manila Commission.
  • In 1988, Binay was elected mayor of the municipality of Makati and won. He ran and won again in the 1991 elections under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP). He was re-elected for a third term in 1995 under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). It was during his third term when Makati officially became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 7854 and a plebiscite approval in 1995.
  • After serving his third term as mayor of Makati City, Binay was appointed as chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) with Cabinet rank. He served as MMDA Chairman from July 1998 to January 2001. His wife, Dr. Elenita Sombillo Binay, succeeded him as mayor of Makati City from 1998 to 2001.
  • In 2001, Binay ran again as Mayor of Makati City under the PDP-Laban and won. He would max out his three consecutive terms as mayor of Makati City (2001 to 2010) for the second time. He was affiliated with PDP-Laban during this entire period.
  • He was considering running for president in the 2010 elections but settled for vice president when ousted president Joseph Estrada decided to take a shot at the presidency once again. Binay’s PDP Laban formed the United Opposition (UNO) political coalition with Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino.
  • In 2012, Binay’s PDP-Laban and former President Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) signed a coalition agreement forming a new coalition for the 2013 elections, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). UNA would later become Binay’s political party in the 2016 elections. His daughter, Ma. Lourdes Nancy Binay Angeles, would also win a seat in the senate in the 2013 elections under UNA.
  • He declared his ambition to run for president in the 2016 elections as early as 2011.