Binay allows Abby and Junjun to slug it out in Makati

Former VP Jejomar Binay
Abigail Binay Campos Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay abs-cbn news

MANILA, Philippines – The Binay vs Binay battle for Makati City mayor is on, gauging from the statement of the patriarch on Monday, October 15.

Former vice president Jejomar Binay said he has decided not to intervene in the rivalry of his two children for the mayoral race in Makati City, their family’s stronghold.

The family patriarch said he “respects” the decision of his only son and namesake Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr to go head to head with his older sister and reelectionist, Makati Mayor Abigail Binay Campos, in the 2019 elections.

“Hindi akoangmagpapasya kung sinosakanilaangkarapat-dapatnamagingpunong-lungsod. Angmagpapasyaniyan ay angmgamamamayan ng Makati. (I cannot decide who is worthy to be local chief executive. The people of Makati will decide.),” said Binay.

The former vice president said Abby will be running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the same party Binay formed during the 2016 presidential elections, where he ran but lost to then-Davao City mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte. Binay is currently UNA’s chairman while his eldest daughter, Senator Nancy Binay, is the party president.

Junjun, meanwhile, will run under the local party Unaang Makati, Binay added.

Both have not filed their certificates of candidacy though.

Binay said they have agreed that during the campaign period, Abby and Junjun will only be discussing their respective platforms. The family agreement was for his warring children to avoid throwing hurtful statements at each other.

“Sasabihannilaangkanilangmgalider at taga-suportanamagingmarangal at mahinahon. Iiwasanangmgamasasakitnapananalita, at gagawingpositibo at matiwasayangatingpangangampanya. (They will tell their leaders and supporters to be noble and calm. They will avoid hurtful statements and make the campaign positive and peaceful.),” said Binay, who is set to run for Makati 1st District congressman.

Hands-off as a parent

Binay said both Abby and Junjun, who served as Makati mayor from 2010 to 2015, have proven their ability to lead the Makati city government.

“Parehorinsilangnasawastongedad at bilangmagulang, angmagagawakolamang ay payuhansila. Hindi akoangtipo ng magulangnanagdidiktasabuhay ng kanyangmgaanaklalona’tsila ay may sarilinangpag-iisip. (They are both at the right age, and as a parent, I can only give advise to them. I’m not the type of parent who will dictate the lives of his children, especially when they can already decide for themselves.),” said Binay.

Binay’s decision comes after discussions with his three children and the rest of their family over the weekend.

Junjun previously told Rappler he is “strongly considering to run” against Abby, but he said he will wait for Binay to return from his pilgrimage in Italy before finalizing his decision.

He accused his sister of failing to uphold the “Binay brand” of leadership in Makati. He said that 13 out of 16 councilors already pledged their allegiance to him.

Abby, however, said that she had not received any complaints from the city council regarding how she runs the city. She added that when she became mayor after Junjun, she “inherited” a lot of problems that she needed to fix.

Abby ran for mayor and won in 2016 after Junjun was dismissed from office in September 2015. The Ombudsman had found him and other city officials guilty of the administrative charges of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct over irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.

But in May this year, the Court of Appeals overturned Junjun’s dismissal. –