If Vice President Jejomar Binay wants his dwindling lead in the 2016 presidential race from making a nosedive faster than he deems necessary, then he should take back his dare and refrain from debating Senator Antonio Trillanes over the corruption issues against him.
In fact Trillanes is the wrong person to be debating against in defending and proving his probity because the former just happens to be interested in investigating his corrupt practices especially that he is eying for the presidency.
The right person to have been challenged by Binay is his former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado who has been the biggest source of Binay’s woes. His damning allegations should be the ones contradicted and proven false. Trillanes will simply be chanting Mercado’s denunciations against Binay.
Binay, a crafty politician that he is, must have thought that debating against Mercado, an insider in Makati and a former ally, was like putting himself in front of a steamroller. Besides, as we have all witnessed in the Senate investigation, Mercado, a non-lawyer, can also be very articulate in both English and Tagalog.
Prudence dictates, therefore, that for Binay to have the advantage, he should instead challenge Trillanes, who, as a soldier and as a member of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, lacks the fluency or the savvy of a lawyer. One should not wonder that Binay’s challenge wasn’t hurled at Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. The former knew he would only be a minced meat, for let us admit it, Binay himself is really not that glib and articulate compared to Cayetano.
But if Binay believes he could easily demolish Trillanes, then he has to ponder deeply for after all these hearings the latter has now been able to equip himself with the necessary goods that will make his offensive formidable – thanks to Mercado and company. Special thanks go also to businessman Antonio Tiu’s ownership disclosures about the controversial ‘Binay hacienda’ that are full of holes and the incriminating “Our place in Batangas” Instagram posted by Binay’s daughter, which will only strengthen more Trillanes’ arguments.
If Binay feels disadvantaged for not being able to defend himself before the Blue ribbon subcommittee because of his perceived biased disposition of the investigative body against him, and the reason why he is bringing the case directly to the people , then debating with Trillanes will not change all that. What we have been hearing during the senate investigation will be heard again during the debate and I don’t think Binay possesses the ability to convince the people that Trillanes’ offensive bombs are all duds.
If Binay had the eloquence and the debating prowess of a Salonga, a Marcos, a Manglapus, a Tolentino, a Sumolong, etc., of yesteryears, I wouldn’t doubt the outcome of this looming debate.
But as it is there is only debacle that awaits Binay at the end.