By Jel Santos
Former Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has decided to allow both his children – incumbent Mayor Abigail Binay and former Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr. – to run for mayor in Makati in the May, 2019, mid-term elections.
Mayor Abigail will run as the official candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the former president’s party, while Junjun will run as the candidate of his local party, Unaang Makati (UAM).
“Nirerespeto ko ang desisyonnilang kumandidato bilang punong-lungsod ng Makati… Hindi ako ang magpapasya kung sino sa kanila ang karapat-dapatna maging punong-lungsod. Ang magpapasya niyan ay ang mgamamamayan ng Makati(I respect their decision to run for mayor of Makati… I am not the one to decide who between them is worthy of becoming mayor. It is up to the people of Makati),” the former Vice President said after talking to his children separately.
Junjun recently revealed that he and Abigail have not spoken to each other for around three months already, saying the last time they talked was during his birthday, July 12.
The rift between Abigail and Junjun was supposed to be fixed by their father. Last Sunday, they were supposed to meet and talk as a family, but did not push through.
Joey Salgado, the spokesman of the elder Binay, told the Manila Bulletin that Abigail and Junjun did not meet because “their father talked to them separately.”
Abby humbled by father’s trust “I am deeply humbled by the trust given to me by my father. As his official candidate, I will continue to pursue his vision of a competent, compassionate, and transparent leadership, Mayor Abby said in a statement.
She recalled that two years ago, she found the city government in a state of neglect and disorder. She noted that “dirty politics and shameless political patronage had taken their toll on basic social services, depriving our beloved Makatizens of the service they deserve.”
With her team of professionals, she took “drastic but necessary measures to promptly restore efficiency, competence, professionalism, and compassion in governance.”
“All these efforts have begun to pay off. For the first time in 12 years, Makati posted a double-digit growth in its revenue collections for the year 2017. For the very first time, Makati obtained the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit which rendered its ‘unqualified opinion’ on our 2017 financial statements. These recent achievements augur well for Makati and its people because stronger investor confidence translates to continued financial stability, which has underpinned the trailblazing programs and services of the city government started by my father which I continue to pursue and expand,” Mayor Abby said.
“With my father by my side, I will continue to work tirelessly for our city and our people,” the mayor added.
It was recalled that the elder Binay had earlier announced he is running for congressman in the first district of Makati reportedly under the team of Mayor Abigail.
Both are competent
In deciding to let his children run against each other, the elder Binay said that both Abigail and Junjun have proven themselves to be highly competent and experienced in government service.
“Abigail and Junjun are my children.They have proven themselves and they have the experience to serve in the government,” the elder Binay said. He said his children are no longer minors so the only thing he could do is to advise them. Binay brand of governance.
Meanwhile, Junjun had said that many people are dissatisfied with Abigail’s leadership, citing 13 councilors “bolted away” from her.
“Let’s get the facts straight, 13 councilors bolted away from my sister so ito ngayon ‘yung… dito nag-start ‘yung clamor. Many dissatisfied senior citizens, vendors, you know people of Makati, when I go around. They miss the Binay style of governance,”Junjun said.
“They miss the Binay brand of governance of Jojo Binay. That type where he was the one approaching people, and not the other way around. We are always on the ground,” he added.
But Mayor Abby said the 13 councilors are going against her because they want to continue with their alleged corrupt ways.
The incumbent mayor had also asked the Ombudsman to investigate them over alleged corruption and for maintaining ghost employees. Abigail said she has recorded confessions of witnesses, attesting to the alleged wrongdoings of the councilors.
While the siblings are allowed to run against each other, the elder Binay said that both agreed to maintain civility and observe sobriety while campaigning by solely focusing on their respective platforms and plans for the city and its people.
He said campaign leaders and supporters of Abigail and Junjun will be asked to refrain from engaging in mudslinging and destructive propaganda, and instead keep the campaign positive and peaceful.
“We agreed that what will only be tackled during election are the platforms and plans for the people of Makati,” the former vice president said.
As such, he vowed that their collective commitment is to make Makati a model of clean and honest elections.