‘Binay to prevail in four-way fight’

Pulse Asia rates presidentiables’ prospects

MULITIPLE candidates running for president in 2016 will favor Vice President Jejomar Binay, but a one-on-one between him and the administration bet will benefit Local Governments Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the quarterly report of Pulse Asia said.

In separate briefings for the opposition United Nationalist Alliance and the ruling Liberal Party, Pulse Asia executives said Binay would be the runaway winner in a four-way fight.

BINAY                        POE                    ROXAS                  CAYETANO
In such a scenario, Binay would garner 39 percent to 31 percent for Senator Grace Poe, 15 percent for Roxas and 9 percent for Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Pulse Asia said.

If Binay and Roxas square off, Binay would still get 38 percent, but Roxas would narrow the gap and obtain 28 percent, the survey company said. The rest, representing 34 percent, were undecided.

Pulse Asia did not make public these survey results because this was a rider commissioned by a political party that paid for the poll.

In a one-on-one race, Binay’s lead of 19.2 million votes in a four-corner fight would fall to just 4 million votes, the survey firm said.

The findings lifted the spirits of some Liberal Party members who were dismayed by Roxas’ poor showing in the November survey, and bolstered their resolve to renew the attacks on Binay over allegations of corruption.

UNA interim president and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco confirmed that the LP was mounting a nationwide “hate and shame” campaign against Binay.

On Jan. 22, the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee will resume hearings on the allegations of graft against the vice president, led by Nacionalista Party Senators Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Some LP officials, on the other hand, will work to convince Poe to run for vice president as Roxas’ running mate.

Caloocan Rep. Edgardo Erice, an LP stalwart, said the Liberals would pursue the exposes on Binay’s alleged corrupt activities.

“Binay has so many skeletons in the closet, particularly on issues of corruption, which no one can accuse Mar of committing,” Erice told the Manila Standard, as he confirmed the Liberals would use all its resources and machinery to boost Roxas’ presidential bid.

Erice said the Liberals believe Poe would step aside for Roxas.

“We, in the LP believe that Senator Grace Poe is reasonable enough to give way to Mar for the sake of the country,” Erice said.

He said Poe, if she runs as Roxas’ running mate, would benefit from the team-up.

“Grace Poe will not worry about the campaign resources and political machinery. She still has a lot to learn and she is blessed that she would mature politically and learn from the most hardworking

and honest public servant, Mar Roxas,” said Erice, a staunch Roxas ally.

Tiangco said the 2016 presidential polls would be the chance for President Benigno Aquino III to leave a legacy of clean and honest elections.

However, Tiangco said, he remains worried that Aquino won’t be able to live up to that legacy because he has to protect his allies from being made accountable for the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program, whose architects and beneficiaries were Liberal Party allies of the President.

In fact, Tiangco said, the President has already shown he is willing to use government resources to pin Binay down on corruption charges that UNA views as baseless.

When the anti-Binay forces failed to pin him down on the overpricing of cakes bought by the Makati city government when he was mayor, the Bureau of Internal Revenue went after the supplier of cakes with a tax evasion charge, Tiangco said.

When they were unable to prove that Binay owned the 145-hectare Sunchamp farm, they harassed the owner of the estate and filed tax evasion charges against his brother and sister, Tiangco added.

Tiangco said Binay’s political enemies could not even wait for the holiday season to be over so they can resume their vilification campaign against the vice president.

On the first day of Simbang Gabi on Dec. 16, the Vice President’s enemies went straight from the dawn Mass to file plunder charges against him.

“There are plans to exploit the period of preparation for Pope Francis’ visit to Manila next month to embarrass the Vice President and put him on the spot,” he said.

“We know that part of their plan is to disrupt the visit of His Holiness, the Pope and convert it into another forum for politics,” Tiangco added. “That’s how desperate the Vice President’s enemies are. They will keep lying to and fooling the people at a time when they should be contemplating what it means to be a Christian.”

Tiangco said the latest case filed by lawyer Renato Bondal is built upon “a conspiracy of lies and deceit” and was aimed at demolishing the integrity of the Vice President and his family.

He added that Binay was ready to answer the most recent charges against him before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Bondal’s complaint has no factual grounding and is a desperate maneuver to retain his relevance in media,” Tiangco said.

“I hope the Ombudsman will not follow the missteps of the Senate that has swallowed hook, line and sinker the lies being baited by the Vice President’s accusers,” he added.

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