FORMER Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. yesterday filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for Makati’s top post as the official candidate of Una ang Makati (UAM), setting up a Binay versus Campos electoral contest that Binay Jr. said was about giving Makati voters a voice in who they believe is best suited to lead one of the country’s premiere cities.
Addressing the close to 15,000 supporters who welcomed him at the Makati City Comelec office, Binay Jr. said “hindi ito tungkol sa ano ang gusto ko, o ano ang gusto ng ate ko, o ano ang gusto ng pamilya ko. (This is not about what I want, or what my older sister wants, or what my family wants.) This is about what the people of Makati want. Tama ang tatay ko: dapat ang taga Makati ang magpasya. (My father is right: let the people of Makati decide.)”
“At the end of the day, bilang isang pamilya, mahal namin ang isa’t-isa; mahal ko ang ate ko. But all of us are public servants; mula bata pa lang nanilbihan na ako sa Makati (from a young age, I have served Makati). Ito po ang natutunan ko sa lampas 20 taon sa City Hall: when our constituents ask us to serve, we cannot say no; pag kailangan ng ating kababayan ng tulong at pagkalinga, di natin sila pwede tanggihan,” said Binay Jr., who first served Makati as President of the Sangguinang Kabataan (SK). He was subsequently elected to three terms as city councilor and was later elected mayor in 2010 and 2013.
“Sa inyo pong lahat, tanggapin nyo ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat. Tinatanggap ko po ang hamon; tuloy po ang laban natin para sa Makati. Maraming salamat po!”
(To all of you, please accept my heartfelt gratitude. I accept the challenge; we will continue to fight for Makati. Thank you very much!)
In previous interviews, Binay Jr. admitted that many of the city’s sectors and community leaders had approached him to run for mayor, saying that they missed the “Binay Brand” of leadership they had grown accustomed to during his and his father’s tenures in City Hall.
This has been apparent in recent days as support for his candidacy has snowballed, with 13 out of 16 elected city councilors and 21 of 33 of the city’s barangay captains publicly endorsing his mayoralty bid. Leaders from seniors, vendors, small business, women, and youth groups have also publicly assured the former Makati mayor of their sectors’ support.
Junjun Binay was accompanied by sisters United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) President and Senator Nancy Binay, and Anne Binay; and members of his full slate, candidate for Vice Mayor and currently 1st District Rep. Monsour del Rosario; 1st District candidates for councilor Rochelle Eusebio, Kap. Mariegel Manotok, Kap. Michael Infante, Coun. Arlene Ortega, Coun. Rico J. Puno, Kap. Kim Casal-Reyes, Kap. Benhur Cruz, and Dimple Medina; 2nd District candidates for councilor Boyet Cruzado, Coun. Leo Magpantay, Coun. Bing Villamor, Michael Tolentino, Coun. Iony de Lara, Henry Jacome, Vincent Sese, and Coun. Shirley Aspillaga; and 2nd District candidate for Congress, Coun. Nemesio “King” Yabut, Jr.
Also with the former mayor were his lawyer, former Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Secretary General Atty. JV Bautista.
The elder Binay had earlier announced that he respected the decisions of both his children, who are now vying for the post he held from 1986 to 1998, and from 2001 to 2010.
“Nirerespeto ko ang desisyon nilang kumandidato bilang punong-lungsod ng Makati. Si Abby bilang kandidato ng UNA at si Junjun bilang kandidato ng UAM, isang local party. Hindi ako ang magpapasya kung sino sa kanila ang karapat-dapat na maging punong-lungsod. Ang magpapasya nyan ay ang mga mamamayan ng Makati,” said the former Vice President.
(I respect their decision to run as mayor of Makati. Abby as a candidate of UNA and Junjun as a candidate of UAM, a local party. I will not decide who is more deserving to be mayor. The people of Makati will decide that.)
Binay Jr. said he was nonetheless thankful to his family for joining him during the filing of his COC, and said that he was happy that they supported his decision to run for mayor.
“From my days in the SK, to my time as a councilor, and then as mayor, my father and my family have always been supportive of my desire to serve the people of Makati. I am thankful that––even if they cannot campaign for me now––they are here today to show their support and their love.”