SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan—“It’s getting to be music to the ears,” admits Vice President Jejomar Binay, of the way he is introduced as “President” Binay in United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) campaign rallies.
National and local candidates running under the UNA banner have taken to calling Binay the country’s next president at campaign stops, and Thursday’s sortie in Bulacan was no exception.
The crowd crammed into the School of Mount St. Mary gym here clapped and cheered when Binay was introduced as the next president of the Philippines by senatorial candidate Milagros Magsaysay and Bulacan congressional bet Boji Cabochan, and they got louder when the Vice President danced briefly to the hit song “Gangnam Style.”
Binay, who has not been shy about his plan to seek the presidency in 2016, appeared to enjoy the adulation immensely, although he did not discuss his own political plans when he took the microphone but focused instead on talking up the UNA candidates.
Asked later by reporters, he admitted liking what he heard when he was called the next president.
“It’s nice to listen to, you can see the applause … it’s getting to be music to the ear,” he said, smiling.
He noted that he won a landslide victory in Bulacan in 2010, with his vote lead in the vice presidential race in the hundreds of thousands. Bulacan province has a voting population of about 1.5 million.
Asked if the May elections would be a referendum on the presidential polls in 2016 where the contest is expected to be between himself and the administration Liberal Party’s Mar Roxas, Binay asserted that it was hard to say when the other potential contenders were being coy about their plans.
“The problem with a referendum is that I am the only one who is being real. As I’ve said, I am not a hypocrite. Others will say, ‘I was only pushed by the people [into running],’” he said.
Binay has been leading UNA sorties as one of its three leaders—the others being Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former President Joseph Estrada.
Speaking of the campaign trail, Binay lashed out at Team PNoy spokesman Rep. Ben Evardone for calling out UNA for its “comical antics” and dancing on stage in sorties, saying that it was such an “elitist” statement.