CEBU CITY—Who can crush the Binays in their home turf?
Not presidential sister Kris Aquino, or so she believes, as she has announced her plans to run for public office in 2016 not in Makati, where she has long been a resident, but in her home province of Tarlac.
“Mahirap tibagin ang mga Binay (The Binays would be difficult to defeat),” Aquino told reporters in a news conference at the Ayala Terraces here.
The outspoken TV personality was in Cebu to campaign for the second straight day for reelectionist Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Grace Poe, both candidates of the administration coalition Team PNoy.
“And they (the Binays) have been doing a good job in running the city,” Aquino said when asked why she would not want to run against the Binays.
Aquino earlier said during the news conference that she would establish residency in a city in Metro Manila and run for office there. But later, she said she would probably just run for governor in Tarlac.
“The incumbent (Tarlac) governor Vic Yap is now running for his last term. He said he would give it to me (to run for),” Aquino said.
Members of the Binay clan have been at the helm of Makati City Hall since 1986 when former President Corazon Aquino appointed Jejomar “Jojo” Binay officer in charge of the then municipality.
Jojo Binay has since been elected to six terms as mayor of the city. He was elected Vice President in 2010.
The constitutional term limit forced him out of the mayoralty race in 1998 but his wife Elenita successfully ran to keep the post within the family.
Their son Jejomar Erwin was elected mayor in 2010 and is, as expected, seeking reelection in May.
Aquino, who said she prefers a local executive position rather than a legislative function, said she plans to take up a post-graduate course to prepare her for governance. Escudero would be her mentor, she said.
“Chiz would be the one to do my assignments,” Aquino said in jest.
In a more serious tone, Aquino said, “I want to have credentials.”
She told reporters she had no plans of seeking a national post just yet because she has no track record to speak of, unlike her cousin Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, a senatorial candidate, who has been involved in microfinance, among his other achievements.
Aquino said she does not want to run for office only on account of being the daughter of national hero Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Cory Aquino and the sister of President Aquino.
“Gusto ko may maiambag naman para sa bayan (I want to contribute something to the country),” she added.
She said she wants to help promote local tourism in the country, citing Bantayan Island, a known tourism destination in Cebu which she described as a “mini-Boracay” because of its pristine white sand beach and clear waters.
Aquino also announced that she was buying a resort property in Barangay Gumasa in Glan, Sarangani, in General Santos City.
Aquino earlier wrote on her Twitter account that she fell in love with the fine white sand beaches of Gumasa when she first came to visit in February.
She was shooting for her weeklong “Kris TV” birthday special when she decided to take a break.
In a spur of the moment decision, the TV host said she and her crew visited Glan, and were surprised by what they saw.
Love at first sight
A city government staff member who accompanied Aquino to Gumasa said that upon setting foot at the Rosal Beach, the TV host immediately took off her shoes and walked on the white sand.
“It was love at first sight for the presidential sister, who even said she would want to buy property there,” the city government staff member said then.
Aquino said in jest that “everybody would want to be my neighbor” if she pushed through with her plan to buy property there, he added.
She devoted a major portion of the subsequent episodes of her TV show to Gumasa and its beaches.
During Thursday’s press conference that she hosted for Escudero and Poe, Aquino disclosed that she was already trying to work out deals for her plan to buy property in Gumasa.
Aquino, Poe and Escudero came from Davao City Friday night where they led a series of campaign rallies.
Aquino said it was the first time that no member of the Presidential Security Group fetched her from Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City to take her to the hotel.
But she said she did not mind because she always felt safe whenever she was in Cebu.
Aquino said that like the other passengers in the airport, they had to line up for a metered taxi that would take them to their hotel where they spent the night.
On their way to the airport, she said she talked to the taxi driver whom she identified as “Alex” and endorsed the candidacy of Poe and Escudero.
She said she enjoyed her conversation with the driver so much that she did not ask for her change when she handed him a P1,000 bill for her P470 fare.
A day after indicating that she was supporting the candidacies of only some of the President’s senatorial candidates, the younger Aquino on Friday said her brother and sister Pinky sent text messages asking her to stop commenting on her apparently selective endorsement of administration hopefuls.
“P-Noy and my sister Pinky texted me… They asked me to stop discussing (this issue),” Aquino told reporters in a news conference.
Aquino, nonetheless, said she has the credibility to endorse whoever she supports for senator because of her being the country’s top individual taxpayer for 2012 according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
She said those she would endorse are those who would take care of the country’s funds.