DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines— How did Nancy Binay suddenly climb to the third and fourth places in the latest Social Weather Stations survey? Call it the “tatay” (father) factor.
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday claimed part of the credit for his eldest daughter’s strong showing in the SWS survey.
“Kung ano’ng puno, sya’ng bunga (The fruit does not fall far from the tree),” he told reporters, citing Nancy’s assistance to him when he was still mayor of Makati City and later vice president, a position that put him in charge of the government’s socialized housing program.
Binay said a victory by Nancy would mean the continuity of his own programs through legislation at the Senate.
But not a few voters were apparently sold to the idea of having a Senator Nancy Binay. The United Nationalist Alliance has been roundly ridiculed on social media for her purported lack of qualifications.
During a rally in Tanjay City in Negros Oriental, the elder Binay insisted that his daughter was “qualified,” again citing her work as his long-time assistant.
In her own campaign speech, Nancy mentioned no concrete program. She instead focused on her being a mother and how she could relate with the people. Should she be elected, she said, her goal would be to make the government the parents’ “partners in raising our children.”
She has consistently declined to participate in debates, saying she had no time for them.
As in the UNA rally in La Union last week, the vice president brought up the “legitimate child” joke in introducing his daughter on stage.
“Ito po si Nancy, ang panganay kong anak sa tunay kong asawa,” he told the crowd in Tanjay City in jest.
But kidding aside, Binay was not happy with the online bashing of his daughter.
“I’m also a father,” he told reporters in Filipino, but insisted the attacks were expected especially now that Nancy was high up in the surveys.
In a previous interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nancy complained of cyberbullying amid the spate of Internet memes and satirical blogs belittling her qualifications to run for senator.
“I think I’m a victim of cyberbullying. The attacks on social media are vicious,” she said Wednesday.