TARLAC CITY, Philippines— Like many other candidates, those belonging to the United Nationalist Alliance’s senatorial ticket have had to endure the intense summer heat in an effort to court voters with only five weeks to go before election day.
No different is Nancy Binay, a 39-year-old mother of four best known for being the eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, her main “credential” as far as her critics are concerned.
These same attacks have been tough for the younger Binay, who is on her first national campaign as a candidate. Binay admitted as much during a break in the UNA motorcade in Concepcion town earlier this week.
“The personal attacks have become very vicious, but it does not discourage me in any way. But I just hope they will spare my parents, especially my mother, from their demolition campaign,” she said in a statement later on.
Binay singled out a Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial that questioned her qualification to run for the Senate, especially in her first attempt at an elective position.
“That she is rating well in the surveys is not an argument for qualification. We can already hear her professional supporters say, ‘Let the people decide.’ But popularity, or ‘winnability’ in her case, cannot be a substitute for her lack of experience, preparation, or achievement,” the editorial said.
In the statement, Binay admitted she had “kept a low profile politically before her decision to run for the Senate.” But she maintained she had been “active in charitable foundations providing scholarships and assistance to the youth.”
She said the Brighthalls Children’s Foundation Inc., of which she is a trustee, “provides temporary refuge for infants and children below two years old who are abandoned or neglected.”
“Its mission is to give the best possible physical and emotional care to children in a safe and comfortable place while looking for loving homes that will take them in and take care of them,” she added.
Binay said she was also connected with the Bigay Pagmamahal Foundation as its executive director. She said the foundation “provides access to quality college education in public and private learning institutions to poor and underprivileged youth of Makati.”
But there was no denying that she worked as her mother’s “personal assistant” when Elenita Binay served as Makati mayor from 1998 to 2001. She is also an “executive assistant for housing concern” to the vice president.