Makati City mayor Jojo Binay has been suspended from office for 60 days pending further investigation of charges of corruption. Predictably, he claims political prosecution. While this might be true to a degree, Binay is no saint. He has ruled Makati like an old-style politico for 20 years, outdoing his predecessor Nemesio Yabut and his fellow law school alum Ferdinand Marcos in perpetrating partronage politics and perpetuating what newpaper columnists call the “Jojo dynasty”. Having been a long-time Makati resident and having had a passing acquaintance with the good mayor when he was still a crusading lawyer during the Marcos era, the Warrior-Lawyer can only shake his head at what Jojo has become, a sad clone of and a parody of the traditional politicians he used to rail against. To be sure, stories of his lucrative stint at public service have proliferated over the years and his various personal acquisitions, from condo units in Rockwell, farmlands in Batangas and foreign bank accounts, have been fodder for the gossip mill.
As always in Philippine politics, instead of letting the law take its course, politicians under fire adopt a siege mentality. Thus, Binay has hunkered down in his 21st floor City Hall penthouse bunker, wearing his silly Marine jacket, surrounded by sycophants and various hangers-on and vowing to fight to the end. In the meantime, Makati residents are facing a paralysis of basic services until this mess is sorted out. The business community will “tsk, tsk” for a short while but it will be business as usual soon after.
This sideshow in the continuing farce that is Philippine politics was enlivened by the appearance yesterday of former President Cory Aquino, who dropped by to support an “old friend”. After all, it was she who jump-started the Jojo dynasty by appointing him Makati Officer in Charge after the people-power revolt in 1986. The Warrior-Lawyer agrees with the observation of columnist Max Soliven, who said that Cory now sounds and talks like her daughter, Kris “Deal or No-Deal” Aquino-Yap. Tsk, Tsk