Jejomar Binay


Jejomar Binay

Jejomar "Jojo" C. Binay (November 11, 1942) is the current mayor of the City of Makati in the Philippines. He is also the president of the United Opposition (UNO), National President of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) and National President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

Background

Jejomar Cabauatan Binay was born in Paco, Manila but grew up in Makati with his uncle, Ponciano, after Binay’s parents - Diego Binay of Bauan, Batangas and Lourdes Cabauatan of Cabagan, Isabela - passed away.

At a young age, Binay learned to rely on his resourcefulness and determination. He went around his neighborhood to gather slop for his uncle’s backyard piggery, looked after his uncle’s fighting cocks, and went to market daily.

Education and early career

As he grew up, Binay took on more odd jobs to support his studies.

Binay is a product of the Philippine public school system. He studied at the Philippine Normal College Training Department, University of the Philippines Preparatory High School and despite financial constraints, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and Bachelor of Laws from UP (LIB).

He passed the bar exams in 1968, and took masteral subjects in public administration and law in UP and the University of Sto. Tomas, respectively.

In between jobs and earning degrees, Binay gave lectures and taught law, political science and public administration at the then Philippine College of Commerce (now, Polytechnic University of the Philippines), Philippine Women’s University and St. Scholastica’s College.

While raising a family, Binay gave free legal assistance to poor clients and victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos regime. His passion for the protection of human rights developed during his student days in UP, where he was a member of the student council and was among the acknowledged firebrands of the burgeoning student movement.

Martial Law

From the University of the Philippines campus, Binay graduated to the parliament of the streets. He joined the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) and the August Twenty-One Movement (ATOM), formed shortly after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in August 1983. He also helped found the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. (MABINI), a group of progressive lawyers that include the late Senator Lorenzo Tañada, Sen. Wigberto Tañada, former Sen. Rene Saguisag and Sen. Joker Arroyo.

For helping political prisoners, many MABINI lawyers, including Binay, were locked up in local jails and military stockades. [http://www.makati.gov.ph/portal/contents/city_gov/organization/admin_services/om/profile/profile.htm Makati City Government official website, Biography of Hon. Jejomar C. Binay] ,]

Political career

Post EDSA Revolution

After the EDSA Revolution, President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Binay acting mayor of Makati. Binay was Aquino’s first appointed local official. [ [http://www.worldmayor.com/essays06/makati_mayor.html Worldmayor.com, Jejomar C. Binay ] ,]

Binay was later elected mayor of Makati in 1988, during the first free elections under the Aquino administration, and was reelected in 1992 and 1995.

He was also appointed Governor of Metro Manila in 1987 in concurrent capacity and was later elected by his peers in Metro Manila as Chairman of the Metro Manila Authority.

Also during Corazon Aquino’s presidency, Binay found himself in the thick of action, this time in defense of the newly-restored democracy, during several failed military mutinies.

Binay joined pro-democracy forces in thwarting the mutinies. His active role in the defense of the Constitution earned him the nickname “Rambotito” (or little Rambo, after the screen hero), the Outstanding Achievement Medal and a special commendation from President Aquino herself.

His strengths as a mayor include his determination to provide quality education for all Makati residents. Makati public schools are among the best public schools in the Philippines, comparable to most private schools in terms of facilities and instruction. The local government of Makati, under Binay's leadership has built pre schools, elementary/high schools and special education schools throughout Makati. The public school students' books, school materials and school uniform are also subsidized by the local government. Binay also issued the first local government health card, called the "yellow card" to Makati residents which cover a certain amount of hospitalization costs. He was also the first to introduce free movie tickets to senior citizens subsidizing the costs wherein senior citizens could watch movies at Makati malls.

As MMDA Chairman

In 1998, Binay was appointed Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) with cabinet rank. He was also appointed as Vice-chairman of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and Traffic Czar for Metro Manila.

Reelection as Mayor of Makati

Binay was reelected as mayor of Makati in 2001, winning over actor-TV host and then Vice Mayor Edu Manzano via landslide. In 2004, Binay ran for another term and won again by a landslide against Councilor Oscar Ibay.

He ran for his third and last term as mayor in 2007, beating incumbent Senator and actor Lito Lapid. His margin over Lapid has been considered as the largest margin in a local election in Makati City. [ [http://www.makati.gov.ph/portal/contents/city_gov/organization/admin_services/om/profile/profile.htm Makati City Government official website, Biography of Hon. Jejomar C. Binay] ,]

uspension

In October 2006, the Office of the President through the Department of Interior and Local Government issued a suspension order against Binay, his vice mayor and all members of the City Council following an accusation of 'ghost employees' allegedly on the city payroll by former city councilor Roberto Brillante, a political rival. [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=280693&type=1 Philstar.com, Binay suspended for 60 days ] ,] The order suspending Binay and all elected city officials was signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita upon instruction of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=27132 Inquirer.net, Palace backs Binay suspension ] ,] [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=280875&type=1 Philstar.com, Palace, Binay in Standoff] ,]

It was claimed this action was part of a government-sponsored drive to root out corruption ahead of the following year’s local elections [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=280540&type=1 Philstar.com, No concerted effort to persecute Binay – Palace] ] but critics claimed it was designed to distract attention from the government's own scandals around vote-rigging in the 2004 presidential election and to neuter opposition-held localities. [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=27478 Inquirer.net, Binay’s suspension a political vendetta] ,] [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=27691 Inquirer.net, Why the haste against Binay and Co.?] ,] [ [http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=223&Itemid=31 Asiasentinel.com, Philippines Mayor Barricades Himself Against Eviction ] ,] [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=280702&type=1, Philstar.com, The silly vaudeville war over control of Makati] ,] Binay was the campaign manager of the opposition presidential candidate, actor Fernando Poe Jr. and had led protest actions in Makati following revelations of widespread poll cheating.

Makati residents, the political opposition and civil society groups stood by Binay, who barricaded himself inside the Makati City Hall. Among those who expressed their support were former President Aquino, actress Susan Roces – who is the widow of Arroyo’s rival in the 2004 presidential elections, Fernando Poe Jr. - and several Catholic bishops. [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=27112 Inquirer.net, Allies rush to embattled Binay’s side] ,] [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=280740&type=1 Philstar.com, Erap to Palace: Stop harassing opposition] ,] After a three-day stand-off, the Court of Appeals stopped the Palace from unseating Binay. The appellate court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO). Before it lapsed, the court issued an injunction order, thereby preventing the Office of the President from enforcing its suspension order until the case is resolved. [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=281030&type=1 Philstar.com, CA stops Binay’s suspension,]

After his legal victory over Malacanang, Binay was again upheld by the courts in a graft case filed by the Ombudsman over allegations of overpricing in the purchase of office furniture. The case was also filed by Brillante, who at that time was leading in Makati a Palace-supported signature campaign to amend the Constitution.

In a five page resolution, the Sandiganbayan Third Division dismissed the graft case filed against Binay and his six co-accused for lack of factual basis. [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=29683 Inquirer.net, Sandigan Bayan clears Binay of graft charge ] ,] [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=29823 Inquirer.net, Makati Mayor Binay feels vindicated by Sandigan ruling ] ,]

The court ruled that there was no probable cause to prosecute Binay, and that the criminal information “was devoid of any particulars as to how the figure was arrived at” and thus fatally defective. The resolution was written by Associate Justice Godofredo Legaspi and concurred in by Associate Justices Efren de la cruz and Norberto Geraldez. [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=283544&type=1 Philstar.com, Binay camp hails Sandigan ruling] ,]

BIR Garnishment

On May 2, 2007 the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) froze all the bank accounts of the city government of Makati and the personal accounts of Binay and his Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado.

The BIR issued the order after it said the city still owed the BIR P 1.1 billion in withholding taxes of city employees from 1999 to 2002. BIR revenue officer Roberto Baquiran signed and issued the warrant of garnishment against the bank accounts that belonged to Binay, his vice mayor, the city government and the city’s treasurer and accountant.

The city government protested the garnishment order, saying the city had already paid P200 million to the BIR as part of a settlement agreement agreed to by Finance Secretary Margarito Teves and former BIR chief Jose Bunag. The city also said the order was flawed, since Baquiran has no authority to issue writs of garnishment. Freezing the personal accounts of Binay and Mercado were also unlawful, they said. The city government also maintained that the freeze order would cripple city government services. [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=64026 Inquirer.net, Assets seizure could hurt City Hall -- Binay ] ,] [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=315272&type=1 Philstar.com, Suspension for Binay] ]

The garnishment orders were eventually lifted by Malacañang, but not after Binay slammed the move as politically motivated and patently illegal. Business leaders also voiced concern over the adverse effects of the unprecedented BIR action on public services in the country’s financial center. [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=64446 Inquirer.net, Palace retreats on Binay ] ,] [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=64422 Inquirer.net, BIR unfreezes Makati funds ] ,]

And again, barely a week before Election Day, the Ombudsman suspended Binay based on allegations made by a local candidate allied with Malacanang. It would be revealed that the charges were supported by falsified statements. As president of the United Opposition (UNO), Binay had been very active in campaigning for the opposition bets for the Senate, and had been issuing critical statements against the Arroyo government. In a repeat of the October 2006 incident, heavily-armed policemen barged into the City Hall after office hours, forcibly opening the offices and occupying the building. Binay confronted police officials and representatives of the Department of Interior and Local Government, while hundreds of supporters once again swarmed the city hall quadrangle to show their support. [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=64163 22. Inquirer.net, Binay questions suspension order] ,]

The suspension order generated national media attention, and prompted even administration senatorial candidates to protest publicly, saying the action further undermined their chances in the elections. [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=315943&type=1 Philstar.com, Binay questions suspension] ,] In the election that followed, Binay and his entire slate in the polls won by a landslide. [ [http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=66410 Inquirer.net, Binay is reelected Makati mayor] ,] The opposition slate for the Senate eventually won by a landslide. [ [http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=20070606208&type=2 Philstar.com, 10 senators proclaimed] ,]

Personal life

Binay is married to Elenita Sombillo, a doctor of medicine. Dr. Elenita S. Binay was elected Mayor of Makati in the 1998 elections, and served until 2001. Their union bore them five children: Maria Lourdes Nancy, Mar-Len Abigail (currently serving as representative of 2nd District of Makati City), Jejomar Erwin (Makati City Councilor), Marita Angeline and Joanna Marie Blanca. [ [http://www.makati.gov.ph/portal/contents/city_gov/organization/admin_services/om/profile/profile.htm Makati City Government official website, Biography of Hon. Jejomar C. Binay] ,]

Civic Work

Binay is also active in civic work. Besides being a member of the Rotary Club of Makati, R.I. District 3830, he is currently on his third term as the National President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and has been elected Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Committee Chairman on February 8, 2008. He also holds electoral positions in international organizations, namely: Vice President for Membership (2006- 2008), United Cities and Local Governments-Asia Pacific Chapter; Life Honorary Member (since February 2001) and Member, World Executive Committee – International Union of Local Authorities-Asia Pacific; Member, Executive Committee (2006-2009), Network for Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlement (CITYNET); and Chairman, Finance Sub-Committee, World Scout Organization. He also holds the rank of colonel in the Philippine Navy Reserve Force. [ [http://www.citymayors.com/mayors/makati_mayor.html Citymayors.com, Jejomar Binay: Political prisoner, civil rights lawyer and for 20 years Mayor of Makati City] ]

Higher Studies

Binay took up graduate studies at the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), the Command and General Staff College (CGSC), the Center for Research and Communication (now known as the University of Asia and the Pacific), the Joint Services Command Staff College (JSCSC), and the UP School of Urban and Regional Planning. He was senior executive fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. [ [http://www.makati.gov.ph/portal/contents/city_gov/organization/admin_services/om/profile/mayor_content.htm The Makati City Government official website, Meet the Mayor] ,]

World Mayor

In 2006 Binay was chosen among the Top 10 Mayors of the World. In an on-line poll organized by CityMayors.com, Binay placed 4th overall behind John So of Melbourne, Australia, Job Cohen of Amsterdam, Netherlands and Stephen R. Reed, Harrisburg, USA. [ [http://www.worldmayor.com/results06/wm_winners06.html Worldmayor.com, John So, Lord Mayor of Melbourne wins the 2006 World Mayor Award] ,]

References

External links

* [http://www.jejomarbinay.com.ph Personal website]


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