Saturday, August 21, 2010


Vice President Jejomar Binay rides the "B-Jeep" to inauguration
By Kris Pronto, iCSC
July 1, 2010

Well, our happy eJeepney fleet has again levelled up. This time, as the preferred vehicle chosen by no less than Philippine Vice President Jejomar C. Binay for the inauguration rites he shared with new Philippine President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III on June 30, 2010.

Below are clips of news stories about the historic ride. It's been great. (For those who came across news that the VP and the B-Jeep were late, we've also posted excerpts from the blog of the inauguration's spokesperson Manolo Quezon, who said the VP was on time, on cue, and displayed courtesy by waiting for President Aquino, who had arrived with the outgoing Gloria Arroyo, and who had alighted from his vehicle 20 minutes earlier than scheduled by the organizers, to finish his review of the troops at the Quirino Grandstand.)

Never has a statement about the need for sustainable transport been made so festively and eloquently. The Vice President could have selected to go in the usual gas-guzzling SUV or limousine, by tradition. Surely the luxury vehicle would have fitted the usual clutch of bodyguards and the VIP.

But it was history that was more important, one which the simple Philippine-made eJeepney helped to write, a vehicle that the Vice President, when he was still the mayor of Makati City not so long ago, helped champion.

So in he rode, in what has since been called the "B-Jeep", to honor the man elected by millions to the vice presidency, along with the Filipino of the moment, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. Once again, the celebrated artist Toym Abdulmari Imao crafted the new design, with the humble bee as the center of his theme an insect symbolizing the biodiversity risks confronting the planet as we move seemingly inexorably towards potentially irreversible climate change. The "B-Jeep" was manufactured in the vehicle plant of Philippine Utility Vehicle, Inc. (PhUV), the proud and leading builder of most eJeepneys plying the roads today, including eTrikes and eQuads.

No wang-wang or sirens blaring, however, for the VP. No smoke, no noise, in an electric public utility vehicle duly registered and with proper orange plates, unlike so many electric vehicles today. The "B-Jeep" is a product of Filipino ingenuity, and it proudly carried during the great moment Binay's selected "security" contingent for the day - boy scouts, senior citizens and students - constituencies which placed him to where he is today based on the promise of a better, more just and sustainable life. The lead "B-Jeep" was escorted along the way by, you guessed it, another "B-Jeep", led by iCSC operations chief Jerome Palomar.

As the windshield message on the "B-Jeep" proclaims, the journey of Vice President Binay is now nationwide and no longer confined to Metro Manila. "Biyaheng Pilipinas" is what it says, and it may as well be the message for the humble and happy eJeepney, whose time has certainly come.

However small the footnote is, history has been made. #

Editor's note: here are excerpts from some news items the day after the inauguration. We've had to shorten them of course, but if you're interested to read the entire piece of the selected stories, we've pasted the URL right below each of the news items. Happy reading!

More photos and stories here.


Note on the Inaugural, by Manolo Quezon, 30 June 2010:

"... The “President’s March” was played, a 21 gun salut boomed out, and President Arroyo proceeded to review the troops as the band played “Atin Cu Pung Singsing.”

"As the military honors were being given, the Vice President-elect’s special electric jeep arrived, and there’s been some undue controversy over this. Some people took it to mean the Vice President-elect barged in on the scene to steal the show.

"At the time, I thought it was bungling of the protocol; the Vice President-elect is supposed to arrive ahead of the President-elect (as has been the tradition since the 1949 Quirino Inaugural; at the Quezon inaugural in 1935 the President-elect arrived ahead of the Vice President-elect).

What seems to have happened was this. The Presidential Party arrived about twenty minutes ahead of schedule -and it was the Vice President-elect who actually arrived on cue.

"I noticed that what the Vice President-elect chose to do was the correct thing: he waited in his vehicle for the military honors to conclude, and with it, President Arroyo shaking hands with President-elect Aquino, and then getting into her private vehicle: at which point the President-elect went up to the ceremonial platform. Because of the circumstances surrounding the early arrival of the Presidential Party and the arrival of the Vice President-elect, it would have been unseemly for him to sprint up ahead of the President-elect; so he went up after the President-elect.

"All in all, it was a courteous solution to an unintended snafu."


VP Binay arrives in Quirino Grandstand on board 'B-Jeep'

QTV/GMA-7: "Binay to take E-Jeep on his way to inauguration" --

ABS-CBN: B-Jeep to transport Binay to his place in history --


Jejomar Binay takes oath as vice president, Sophia Dedace/RSJ, 06/30/2010 | 11:51 AM

Jejomar Cabauatan Binay formally took his oath of office as the Vice President of the Philippines at the Quirino Grandstand on Wednesday.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales swore him in while Binay's wife, Elenita, held a Bible on which the vice president placed his left hand.

Earlier, Binay arrived at the inaugural site on board a green electronic jeepney (e-Jeepney) that was labeled "B-Jeep." He came from the Manila Hotel.

In the recent May 10 elections, the former Makati City mayor received more than 14.6 million votes, only 727,084 votes ahead of closest rival Sen. Manuel Roxas II.

Roxas, President-elect Benigno Aquino III's running mate, was not seen at the inauguration rites at the grandstand....


Electric jeepney brings Binay to inauguration
Jose Rodel Clapano, The Philippine Star, July 01, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay arrived for his inauguration at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta in a battery-operated electric jeepney (BE-Jeepney).
At a press conference in the house of his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay after the inauguration, the elder Binay said riding in a BE-jeepney with members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), students, nurses, medical sector representatives and senior citizens was his way of expressing his commitment to help solve the environmental problems facing the country.

“I used a BE-Jeepney because it is a big opportunity to show our concern with environmental problems facing our country. It is not needed in the provinces because pollution is lesser there. We need to encourage the use of BE-Jeepney in Metro Manila,” he said.

Like President Aquino, Binay took his oath before Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales with his wife Dra. Elenita Binay holding the Bible.

He said Mr. Aquino’s inaugural speech was very “presidentiable.”

He said he might be visiting towns and cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao three times a week in order to have direct consultation with the LGUs and help them get funds from the private sector to enable them to effectively implement programs.


Czarina Nicole Ong & JC Bello Ruiz, TEMPO, 01 July 2010

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay rode an electrical jeepney (e-jeepney) on his way to his oathtaking ceremony Wednesday.

Riding the short distance from the historic Manila Hotel toward the Quirino Grandstand, the Vice President used the inauguration as a unique opportunity to showcase to the world the ingenuity of Filipinos, especially since millions of viewers worldwide were glued to their television sets to witness the oath-taking.

The e-jeepney, which was launched in 2007, runs purely on electric power engine instead of diesel engine. Binay, while still Mayor of Makati City, was one of the first to drive the vehicle.

The vehicle boasts of an attractive green color splashed with an artwork reading “B-Jeep”, which stands for “Binay Jeep”. Its battery was charged for a total of eight hours before going to the park.

Not allowing themselves to be drowned in a “sea of yellow”, Binay supporters waved orange flags and popped orange umbrellas during the inauguration rites.

Orange is the campaign color of Binay and his defeated presidential bet, former President Estrada who also witnessed the occasion.

Other Binay supporters waved PDP-Laban yellow flags. Binay heads the PDP-Laban political party, the original party of President Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.

Though he ran under Estrada’s banner, Binay considers himself a “Cory boy” as he once served as one of the members of the late resident’s so-called Yellow Army in 1986.


Binay shares oath ceremony with P-Noy
Philippine Information Agency Press Release, 2010/06/30

Manila (30 June) -- Vice President Jejomar Binay took his oath of office today also before Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales minutes before President Benigno "P-noy" C. Aquino III was sworn in by the lady magistrate at 12 noon at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park in Manila.

Binay placed his hand on top of the Holy Bible held by his spouse, former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay, as he recited his constitutional pledge after Justice Morales.

After the simple oath taking ceremony, Binay was congratulated by President Aquino, family members and other officials including former President Joseph Estrada.

Prior to their high-noon oath taking, Binay first heard mass at the Manila Cathedral early in the morning. From the cathedral, Binay proceeded to the Manila Hotel until he was given a go-signal to proceed to the Quirino Grandstand...

When then President-elect Aquino and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left Malacanang for inaugural rite, Binay rode on board a Makati-made electric jeepney in going to the Luneta Grandstand. (OPS)


Aquino, Arroyo convoys get in way of Binay’s e-jeep
By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 02:22:00 07/01/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Dapper in a crisp barong Tagalog, Vice President Jejomar Binay rode Wednesday into what he called the next chapter of his life in a battery-powered jeepney to show his concern for the environment.

Too bad. Five fuel-guzzling SUV’s carrying the outgoing and incoming Presidents intruded into Binay’s programmed scene-stealer. With sirens blaring, the presidential motorcade beat Binay’s puny convoy of two electric jeeps to the inauguration at Quirino Grandstand.

“We are now going to start a new chapter in our service to the country,” Binay said in between handshakes and picture taking at the Manila Hotel lobby hours before the grandstand event....

‘I’ll be there’

Binay, who served for more than 20 years as Makati City mayor, was asked what his expectations would be for his first 100 days in office as vice president.

“I’ve been always saying that I’ll be there and be of help and more than that to continue the special relations perhaps between the Aquino and Binay families,” he said.

... Binay slept at the hotel on the eve of his inauguration. Before dressing up for the event, Binay went to Manila Cathedral to pray. “I just asked the Lord to always guide us in the things that we will do,” he said.

“The Vice President gives way to the President. In any context, that is always the case” said Binay’s spokesperson Lito Anzures. “No harm done at all.”

Binay said taking the jeepney to the nationally televised event was “a big opportunity to show the commitment of the country to the concern about problems regarding the environment.”

Environmentalist Red Constantino, an advocate of the battery-operated vehicle, drove Binay to the inauguration venue. Electric jeeps are now plying public transport routes in Makati City.

Constantino himself was involved in a minor discussion with inaugural organizers when he was told to move the jeep on the driveway while he was waiting for Binay to move out from the hotel lobby.

The coaster of Mr. Aquino’s sisters and other family members at first couldn’t move to pick them up and to leave the driveway because of the jeeps. Constantino later acceded and the coaster eventually managed to leave the premises. With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.


The Philippines welcomes President "P-Noy"
Posted on June 30th, 2010, Blogger News Network
by Nancy Reyes in All News, Asian News, Breaking News,

The Philippines inaugurated a new president yesterday: President Benigno Aquino III, the son of the late President Cory Aquino and the son of a martyr to our democracy, Benigno Aquino II.

The day was declared a holiday, and over half a million folks turned out for the inauguration ceremony, despite the fact that it rained all morning.

Here in the provinces, there was rejoicing too: locals are hoping that the new president will bring relief from the widespread corruption and make more jobs available here, so their children aren’t forced to migrate to Manila or overseas to find a good paying job.

There was a bit of a mix-up at the start: Vice President Binay came in late: he traveled in an electric jeepney, but was held up by the other bigshots in their cars. Here, the President runs with a VP pick on the party ballot, but you vote for them separately, and Binay was the VP choice for still popular ex President Estrada; but commentators were eager to point out that the reason he was late was not a breech of protocol but because the cars of the big shots delayed “ordinary” traffic.

Everyone was there, many wearing the Yellow of the People Power revolution of his mother. Ex president Estrada, a populist who lost this election to Aquino, sent him good wishes and attended, as did ex President Ramos. Our lovely ex president Gloria Arroyo was there too but she left early. Her choice lost badly, and there are some worries that a new administration will root out the suspected widespread corruption under her administration. However, as the newly elected Senator from her home district, she could be in a position to block this. Ironically, the Marcos clan also sent good wishes and promises to cooperate with the new President (Marcos is widely thought to be behind the assassination of the President’s late father).

Here in the Philippines, everyone has a nickname, and the President, who is commonly called “NoyNoy” (to distinguish him from his father “Nino”) has asked the press to call him “P-Noy” instead. “P-Noy” is of course pronounced “Pinoy”,the nickname for the average Filipino.

The new President is carrying the hopes that he will root out corruption and stop the widespread “extrajudicial killings” of reporters and activists and political rivals. The slowness of the courts in dispensing justice is notorious, and although most of these delays are due to an overburdened court system, many suspect political influence or “gifts” sometimes contribute to the delays. And, alas, the delays allow witnesses to go underground (under a false name, overseas, or sometimes literally underground)...

But hope springs eternal: folks hope President Aquino will root out corruption and bring in jobs. His personal integrity is not in question, but he lacks a dynamic personality; he hasn’t even been able to persuade his extended family to allow land reform, so how will he fare against more ruthless political manipulation, especially with our lovely ex president Gloria now in the Senate and able to thwart his every move?

But that is tomorrow. Yesterday it was rejoicing at the inauguration and last night, it was a huge street party rejoicing with the new president.

Remember to wear your souvenir tee shirt and put your NoyNoy bobble-head doll on the dashboard of your car or jeepney. Hope springs eternal, and maybe, just maybe, this time we will get a true reformer as president.

Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket


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