Sunday, August 16, 2015

Monsod's fallacies on Binay and Makati

My favorite professor Solita Monsod wrote a very interesting piece about the vice president. She has just debunked two things which the vice president’s handlers are trying very hard to impress upon the public: first, that the VP is some sort of a Robinhood who, though corrupt (he steals from the rich and gives to the poor) gives the loot anyway to the poor. Monsod says that’s an admission that the guy is corrupt and unfit for the presidency.

Another thing that Monsod noted and again tried to demolish—Makati’s prosperity is not Binay’s creation. The Ayala family has something to do with it. It was the Ayalas that partitioned their own land, made it as the country’s financial hub and that attracted businesses.

Let me say my piece on these two things.

First, let’s admit to ourselves that Binay is not at all different from the rest of humanity. I mean, the guy is not a saint. He’s not meant for the priesthood. What he is a political survivor. For a guy who does not have the means, the resources that a Dy or a Zamora, a Singson, a Locsin or a Cojuangco have, doing what he probably did and never admitted, is a reality of politics. The system where Binay wanted to be a part with, and played with for two decades, is a rewards-based and often described as a patriarchal system. The masses vote you to power because they see you as their reliable guy who will fight for them against the very system that has perpetuated them to poverty.

Yes, Binay probably did the things which he is being accused of, and for the sake of argumentation, let’s admit it here. There is a reason why the likes of a Binay is forced to do such things. Makati, admittedly, is a city of utmost importance to the very survival of this country. In the wrong hands, and in severely difficult situations, this country will not just see the downfall of a city but the utter destruction of an economy.

And for you to maintain power, you need resources. Politicos like Binay are efficient resource allocators. They should be. However, even the most astute and the most efficient ones, will definitely raise their hands in surrender the minute the masses go to them for help. Writing them a recommendation letter is not enough especially those cases where the need for financial assistance is a matter of life or death. Someone says, well, he chose the life of the politico, let him get those thousands or millions of pesos from his own pocket. That’s the thing. Who actually does that among our politicos? No one really. And that’s reality.

Our very system is designed as a “democratic” one but does not create the conditions for it being an “open democracy”. In an “open democracy,” even the likes of Mang Pandoy can actually run for public office armed with popular support rather than a well-funded machinery. The high costs of entry into our politics force even the most well meaning Filipino citizen out there to compromise his own principles just for electoral victory.

Want to see a country without a Binay? Create one that does not conform with the interests of traditionally rich families such as the Ayalas.

Likewise, tell me please—are we really saying that Pnoy does not have his own dirty closet full of pitiful bones? Or a Mar Roxas? Don’t tell me that they are not benefitting from this system as well? Don’t tell me that the Roxas-Aranetas are using their own monies to prop up Mar’s candidacy for the presidency? And please, don’t tell me that the Liberals are not profiting from the numerous government deals they made with several private contractors?

Why the very soft handling of jueteng lords under the Aquino administration? Tell me just one gambling lord put behind bars during the six years of tuwid na daan. Answer: not one.

Tell me just one big-time contractor out there put behind bars due to corrupt practices, and again, the answer is none. How about those contractors based in Tarlac? They have stories to tell but of course, they have been silenced with juicy contracts as rewards for their silence.

Don’t tell me that this administration or the Liberals did not use regulatory tactics to force businessmen to side with them and give them financial support? Have we been blinded by these pompous and utterly deceptive self-moralizing Yellowish crap that we shun looking at the Truth and instead, tried to accept these fallacies as truth just to protect the true corruptors from public scourging?

We now come to the argument that the Ayalas are the ones who led the development of Makati. True, the Ayalas own these vast lands that is now the Makati Central district. The question really is---who convinced those businesses to come there and invest and occupy those buildings? Without the efficiency and ease of business processes of the City Government of Makati, will these businesses come? No. Yes, the Ayalas provided the land. Yet, it was the City government who used public monies to promote the place and encourage businesses to come and make it their place of business.

The Makati central district languished as an alternative business hub during Martial law because the rich Chinese businessmen still preferred Binondo as their main area of operation. It was only when the Binays ascended into power in Makati did these rich businessmen decided to transfer their main base of operations. Now, Binondo languishes in its own mercantile misery while Makati continues to sparkle as the country’s main business hub. However, that status will change in due time, as other exciting places in the Metro are being built and being shaped

It is of public knowledge that the Ayalas hate the Binays to their guts and why so? Because the Binays created an equal playing field in Makati, so much so that their competitors like the Sys of SM could now play in their backyard.  The Ayalas are losing Makati as their turf and credit that to their own undoing. The Ayalas are trying very hard to build the very same model of success elsewhere but got minimal success.