TRIPLE LOSERS BOTH – Jojo Binay and Mar Roxas

Former Vice President Jojo Binay and former Senator Mar Roxas are stereotypical political arch enemies. Jojo Binay, former Mayor of Makati, which his family has controlled for decades post EDSA 1 and Mar Roxas of the super rich Roxas Araneta clan whose grandfather was a former president and father who was a former senator are exact opposites. Binay rose from relative poverty while Mar comes from the landlord class.

Their first major clash came in 2010 when the former local government unit (LGU) top executive Binay aspired for national office and ran for vice president. Mar being an incumbent senator also ran for VP in tandem with fellow senator and soon to be President Noynoy Aquino, son of former President Cory Aquino and former Senator Ninoy Aquino.

Mar Roxas and fellow Senator Loren Legarda were neck and neck for some time until the Yellow Army (Liberal Party of Aquino and Roxas) demolished presidential candidate Manny Villar with running mate Legarda soon falling by the wayside too. While Mar was already savoring victory long before the elections were held, Binay was slowly but surely improving his survey numbers and won the Vice Presidency by a nose. Jojo Binay one point, Mar Roxas zero.

For 2016, President Noynoy Aquino chose Mar to be the presidential standard bearer. VP Binay, a heartbeat away from the presidency for six years, ran for president too. The Binay Roxas rematch, but this time for a higher stake, was supposed to be a classic but Senator Grace Poe at some points in time led Binay, the survey leader for the past five years. Mar had dismal popularity ratings. Out of nowhere came Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who did not even submit his Certificate of Candidacy on the final day of filing. He had to go through the substitution route when his PDP Laban party mate (Martin Dino) withdrew. The rest is history as Duterte won by a mile. Binay lost. Mar Roxas lost.

The 2019 midterm elections are interesting for both Binay and Mar. Having lost the vice presidential race (to Binay) in 2010 and the presidential race (to Duterte) in 2016, the natural option would be to run for senator to feel the pulse of the electorate and gauge his chances for repeat future runs at higher office, and Mar did run for senator. Chances for a Mar Roxas senatorial victory were high, after all he had been senator before from 2004 to 2010 and there were twelve senatorial slots to be filled. Mar Roxas lost. By the 2022 presidential elections, Mar did not run for any position anymore. Three consecutive heartbreaking losses.

Jojo Binay in 2019 ran for a congressional seat in his bailiwick, the city of Makati, with his daughter Abigail as mayor. A family feud between his children Abby and Jun Jun resulted in an awkward situation wherein brother and sister ran against each other for Makati chief executive. Abby won. But lo and behold, Jojo Binay, the leader of the family dynasty that runs Makati from the mid 1980s (up to the present) lost. On the national scene, Binay daughter Nancy won her re-election bid for the Senate, hanging on to the 12th and last place.

In 2022, Jojo Binay ran for senator. Considering that most people view the 2013 and 2019 Nancy Binay senatorial victories as proxy votes for the father, the implication there is that Jojo is far more popular such that a senatorial victory would be a walk in the park. Remember Jojo was Vice President from 2010 to 2016 plus the Nancy two senatorial runs are good indicators of the Binay brand in national politics. Binay lost. Just like Mar Roxas, Jojo Binay was hit with three consecutive devastating defeats.

Pekeng Sugar Shortage – 314,000 Sacks Imported from Thailand

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported Friday that over 350,000 sacks of sugar, most of which are imported, were found at three warehouses in Silang, Cavite, as the government continues its crackdown against possible sugar hoarding.

The bags of refined sugar were all designated for industrial use. Authorities said 314,000 bags out of the total inventory were imported from Thailand.

RELATED STORY: Bukidnon 400,000 sacks of sugar —–>>>>>


Sugar producers twit ex-DA execs claim of 319,000MT sugar deficit

Bella Cariaso, The Manila Times

August 24, 2022

Sugar producers on Wednesday refuted the claim of former Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) administrator Hermenegildo Serafica and resigned Department of Agriculture (DA) undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian that there would be a deficit of 319,000 metric tons of sugar in December, which was why they recommended the importation of 300,000 metric tons.

Serafica disclosed this during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation on Tuesday.

In a radio interview, United Sugar Producers Federation (UNIFED) President Manuel Lamata said that he was confident that the local producers will be able to meet the target of two million metric tons with the start of the milling season.

“I can guarantee that there will be no sugar deficit. With the [way the] weather is going now since sugar is dependent on weather, we will be able to hit two million metric tons,” Lamata said.”

At the same time, Lamata said that the discovery of 400,000 bags of sugar in a milling company in Bukidnon will further boost the supply of the sweetener in the market.

If the report on the stocks of 400,000 bags of sugar at Crystal Mill in Bukidnon is true, this only proves that Mr. Serafica is lying on the sugar shortage,” Lamata added.

Lamata noted that the sugar stocks in Bukidnon are bigger compared to the thousands of sacks found in the warehouses in Bulacan and Pampanga.

“Mr. Serafica has been saying that we will have [a] sugar deficit come [the] end of August, but authorities keep on discovering thousands of stocks in various warehouses,” he said.

Abolish Department of Agrarian Reform

Decades after the landmark land distribution law of the land to the tiller program, peasants are not better off financially compared to their income status under abusive landlords. The Philippines remains a rice importing nation in spite of hundreds of thousands of hectares distributed to farmers. The only crowning achievement of the said legislation and subsequent follow up laws is a BLOATED BUREAUCRACY that employs thousands of regular employees and contractuals (many among them with no real experience in farming).

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) while professing beatitudes in behalf of the rural poor that directly work the soil is actually beholden to big landlords who are granted exemptions or find ways to circumvent the law by padding the lists of the rightful beneficiaries or implementing ways to still manage, control, administer and subsequently reacquire distributed pieces of land. Officials of DAR actively connive to covert agricultural land for residential, commercial and industrial use.

Need we still wonder why we can not achieve food security when all around us we see low cost housing or high end subdivisions that provide endless cash flow to land developers many of whom are among the richest Filipinos. There is indeed grease money that goes around to government officials, legislators, security forces and the judiciary.

In the final analysis, it is the common folks that are deprived means of livelihood where a significant number find their way to urban centers to populate slums in the hope of seeking employment.

A cost-benefit analysis would show that for the billions of pesos poured into DAR, money could have better been spent with fewer employees and staying true to the cause of peasant emancipation with the necessary technical support services rather than their current pro landlord and big land developer orientation that resulted in poor farmers and national food scarcity.