MANILA, Philippines—If they think they can bully her into quitting the race for the Senate, they are mistaken.
Now in the third and fourth places in the preelection polls, Nancy Binay is not falling back no matter what they say about her.
But she has one plea to her detractors: Keep her family out of it.
The eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay calls the memes and mocking stories about her floating in social media “cyberbullying.”
They are all about her supposed lack of qualifications to run for senator, particularly her perceived lack of intelligence to serve in a debating club like the Senate.
One reason for that is her refusal to debate election issues with her rivals.
One meme going around on Facebook is about a mock debate between Binay and her son, where she freezes at the first question.
A widely shared blog item has her securing a “temporary protection order” against “any kind of discussion, debate or any form of public appearance where she will make herself look dumb.”
Binay on Wednesday admitted she was concerned about the negative campaign against her on social media.
“I know it’s all part of the game, but I hope they keep my children and my family out of it,” she told the Inquirer by phone.
“I think I’m a victim of cyberbullying. The attacks on social media are vicious. And unlike before when you knew who your enemy was, I’m not sure where the attacks are coming from. So I think it’s better to just stay quiet about it,” she said.
But Binay is worried that voters may not get the joke in the attacks against her. In the case of the supposed TRO, she said a friend called her to ask if it was true.
“Hello? You should know better that it was satirical,” she said.
“But that’s really a problem. People tend to believe these jokes, especially if they don’t read the entire thing. Even the Inquirer fell for something like that. So what’s more with ordinary people?” she added, referring to the fake Time magazine cover mistakenly published by the Inquirer last Saturday.
Binay insisted that she is not afraid to face other senatorial candidates in a debate.
“It’s not that I’m afraid. It’s just that I have no time right now,” she said.
She said she entered the senatorial race relatively late. By that time, she said, other candidates had already gone around and informed the public that they were running.
Binay insisted that voters prefer to see her in the flesh to sort of “validate the person they see on TV.”
She said her going around the country, instead of appearing frequently in televised debates, was a major reason she landed in the third and fourth places in the latest Social Weather Stations poll.