Strange bed fellows: the bad, the badder and the baddest together in Leni’s ticket

Vice President Leni Robredo’s senatorial ticket is one for the Guinness Book of Records: She brought together rusting political figures who have been rejected by the Filipino and have a history of deep personal animosity that I wouldn’t be surprised seeing them coming to blows once they get physically close to each other. Their only common denominator is a shared hatred for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and an unquenchable thirst for power. These motivations are so strong they are willing to bury the hatchet, at least momentarily.

But seeing them run under one ticket unfurls a contradiction to the avowed goals and purposes of Robredo, one of which is to “clean government” and “get rid of corruption”. The candidates under her ticket have at one point or another accused each other of the worst corruption ever perpetrated in the country.

For instance, former Vice President Jojo Binay is hardly the icon for clean government. It wasn’t too long ago when the entire Binay family had come under relentless attack from then Senator Antonio Trillanes IV over a list of corruption issues. Foremost in that list was the grossly overpriced Makati Car Park building which became the basis for the Blue Ribbon Committee to file corruption charges against ex-VP Binay. His wife, Dr. Elenita, was also charged before the Sandiganbayan for a number of corruption cases, as was the son, former Makati City mayor Junjun Binay.

Can Robredo talk about clean government while Binay is beside her? Won’t Binay flinch at every reference to overpriced projects and other anomalies? And what will Trillanes now say about the man he was once ready to crucify for allegedly being the greediest public official in the country? Will he praise Binay now as the cleanest public official he has encountered?

Senator Leila de Lima is another character with a murky background. When she was DOJ Secretary during the Aquino administration, De Lima used to frequent the Bilibid prison to hobnob with convicted drug lords and singing and dancing at their parties. Where on earth has this happened? Only in the Philippines! She wasn’t there to investigate the cramped conditions at Bilibig; she was there to strengthen the bonds with friendship with her financiers. These drug convicts later testified before the Senate and the House that they contributed millions of pesos monthly to the campaign kitty of De Lima. These statements were corroborated by no less than her own lover/bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan.

Hence, it wasn’t difficult for the Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon to file a complaint before the DOJ for De Lima’ criminal behavior. The report became the basis of the DOJ in filing these criminal charges that resulted in her incarceration without bail for over four years now.

Will Gordon now campaign for De Lima during the virtual campaign rallies? As we all know, it is the tradition for each senatorial candidate to ask voters to support his or her partymates! Will Gordon say, “Vote for Senator Leila de Lima”?

What about Gordon and Trillanes? Gordon had filed an ethics case against Trillanes. The latter filed graft charges against Gordon before the Ombudsman.

Such is the ugly shape and face of Robredo’s senatorial ticket. It shows how bankrupt the opposition is for political characters to form the line-up that will go up against the administration. The corrupt and the criminal hand in hand, helping each other to wrest power from the Duterte administration. Robredo, far from claiming to symbolize clean government, is the very embodiment of the worst in politics.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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