Destiny's Child

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - He was faithful to his ambition and kept his eye keenly on the ball. Armed with excellent education, with lots of luck on his side, Jejomar C. Binay is now joyfully fulfilling what he believes is his destiny.''I leave things to destiny. Kung hindi pa destiny itong vice presidency ko, pati nga pamilya ko hindi naniniwala na mananalo ako,'' says Binay, who was in a jolly mood when we interviewed him for 60 Minutes.From childhood to where he is now, Binay has always followed a plan that he vigilantly mapped out for himself. Admittedly, he has always been motivated by the ambition to succeed.''Minsan maigi 'yung mayabang eh, 'yung yabang ng ambisyon. Kapag ako'y nagwawalis, siyempre mga kabarkada mo naiinggit ka. Magaganda mga baro 'nun. Tapos namamalengke ako, alas singko pa lang ng umaga. Sabi ko, di bale, temporary lang naman 'to, sisikat din ako. Sabi ko, kukuha ako ng law. Sabi marami nang abogado, sabi ko hindi, depende 'yun sa klase ng abogado. There's always a way to the top. Basta naniniwala ako na sisikat ako,'' recalls the Vice President.Indeed, this fervent drive has brought Binay all the way to the top - passing through a colorful and interesting route that included being an orphan who was raised by his uncle; a student activist and officer of the student council at the University of the Philippines; a lawyer who gave free legal assistance to the poor and victims of human rights abuses as member of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG); a founding member of the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. (MABINI), a group of progressive lawyers that included Senators Lorenzo Tanada, Rene Saguisag and Joker Arroyo; a mayor of the city of Makati from 1986 to 2010 (save for three years from 1998 to 2001); and at present, the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines.Passing on the mayoralty torch to his son Junjun has been easy, Binay says, because he knows the younger Binay also has the heart for public service. He has taught his son well by example, he adds. ''He makes all of the decisions now. And from what I hear and what I see, eh tama ang sinasabi ko - that he's better than the father,'' Binay quips.Binay's closeness to his five children made him vow never to make them go through the'hardships that he'went through as a child. ''Basta yung mga malungkot kong pinagdaanan eh hindi naranasan ng mga anak ko. Abogado na ako nang nakatapak ako sa Makati Supermart at nakabili ako ng auto.Yun ang suwerte niyong mga bata, hindi pinararanas sa inyo ang hirap ng mga magulang.''At present, Binay has his hands full not only with vice presidential duties but also with his responsibilities as the chairman of various agencies such as the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC ), Pag-Ibig, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and the National Housing Authority (NHA). He is also the presidential adviser on OFWs.Almost a year after his unexpected victory at the national polls, Vice President Binay looks back at the reasons why he won: the automation, the effective relationships he has established between Makati and thousands of other sister cities; his affiliation with the Alpha Phi Omega, his closeness to the masa.But most of all, he summarizes everything in one word -- destiny. And to destiny, he again entrusts everything, including his political fate from 2016 and beyond. (Ivy Lisa F. Mendoza)STUDENTS AND CAMPUSES BULLETIN (SCB): It's been more than a year after the election, how do you assess so far, your performance as our VP?JEJOMAR C. BINAY (JCB): Eh di, kunin na lang natin sa survey (chuckles).SCB: So to what do you attribute that survey of good performance?JCB: I always say that it's because of the President's decision to entrust me that job of being the head of the housing sector, and making me a servant of the inter-agency against human trafficking. So kung wala naman trust and confidence sa akin si Presidente, hindi ko rin naipakita 'yung aking kakayanan sa trabahong ibibigay niya. …