In fight vs brother, Abby Binay shows who’s daddy’s girl
Reelectionist Makati Mayor Abby Binay not only made her political faceoff with her brother Junjun official. She also showed who’s “daddy’s girl” in the city that their family had been dominating for more than 30 years.
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay accompanied his daughter as she filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) at the local Comelec office on Wednesday, a telling gesture that “surprised” Abby since the patriarch earlier said he would refrain from endorsing either of his competing children.
Abby formally entered the race as frontrunner of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the party chaired by their father, a day after younger brother Junjun filed his COC to lead the slate of local party Una ang Makati.
After a family meeting over the weekend, Jejomar decided to let both of them run, despite Abby’s request for Junjun, whose second term as mayor was cut short by corruption charges in June 2015, to give way.
The Binay patriarch on Monday said he would leave it up to the voters to decide who between Abby and Junjun should have the next turn at the mayoralty. But when asked by reporters on Wednesday who he would be campaigning for, Binay answered: “Let’s just say that I’m supporting her.”
The elder Binay is running for congressman of Makati’s first district under UNA. Junjun’s team did not field a candidate to go against him.
Thanking her father, Abby said she was surprised that he showed up and that it was “heartwarming” to see him joining her at the COC filing.
Also on Abby’s team are Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo and Abby’s husband, 2nd District Rep. Luis Campos, both eyeing another term.
According to an UNA official, however, a number of party members are still backing Junjun, not Abby.
“Our presence yesterday with Mayor Junjun (when he filed his COC) speaks for itself,” said JV Bautista, UNA secretary general. “Just like the councilors and barangay captains who have expressed their support for Mayor Junjun, we believe he is the best person for the job.”
Last week, 13 out of 16 members of the city council, as well as officials of 21 out of the 33 barangays, withdrew their support for Abby and instead called on Junjun to run against her in the 2019 polls.
Erap vs Lim vs Isko
In Manila, it’s now a three-way fight for the mayoral seat, with the incumbent Joseph Estrada and a familiar rival, former Mayor Alfredo Lim, filing their certificates of candidacy (COCs) on Wednesday.
Last week, Isko Moreno — the vice mayor during Estrada’s first term — resigned as social welfare undersecretary to also enter the derby for City Hall’s top post.
Estrada has tapped former Rep. Amado Bagatsing, one of his opponents in the last election, as his running mate. Lim did not field a vice mayoral candidate.
Gunning for a third term, Estrada hopes to continue his winning streak against Lim, whom he defeated in the 2013 and 2016 elections. Meanwhile, just before filing his COC, Lim abandoned his longtime membership in the Liberal Party (LP) to join Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the vehicle that brought Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency in 2010.
In media statements, Moreno, indicated the general theme of his campaign: Estrada and Lim, now well into their senior years and who have governed the country’s capital city for years, should now take a “rest.”
Prosecutor joins Pasay fray
In Pasay City, the battle for the mayoralty has also become a three-way affair, after a Manila prosecutor filed his COC on Wednesday.
Edward Togonon will be challenging the scions of two prominent political families — Imelda “Emi” Calixto-Rubiano and Cesar “Chet” Cuneta, the children of former mayors Eduardo Calixto and Pablo Cuneta, respectively.
Emi, who is in her third and final term as Pasay congressman, hopes to switch places with her brother, incumbent Mayor Antonino “Tony” Calixto. Chet, meanwhile, will be banking on the crowd-drawing power of his sister, show biz megastar Sharon Cuneta.
To the surprise of the Comelec personnel in Pasay, Togonon’s COC indicated he was a candidate of PDP-Laban, the party to which the Calixtos defected after leaving LP in 2017.
President Rodrigo Duterte, however, has expressed his support for Chet, who will be running under the National People’s Coalition.
A Comelec employee said they still received Togonon’s COC as part of their “ministerial duty” and that the matter would be up for review. Under election rules, if a political party nominates more than one candidate for the same position, all the nominations for the position are denied and shall be considered independents.
Togonon made headlines in June 2017 when he was suspended as Manila prosecutor by then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for not following his order to release three drug detainees despite the dismissal of cases against them.
Cayetanos switching places
In Taguig City, Alan Peter Cayetano formally resigned as foreign affairs secretary and filed his COC for 1st District congressman of Taguig-Pateros on Wednesday.
He said he wanted to wrest the Speakership from Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Cayetano’s wife, Lani, seeks to join him in the House as the last-termer mayor filed her COC as congresswoman of the 2nd District.
Pia Cayetano, the incumbent 2nd District representative is running for senator. The youngest Cayetano sibling, Lino, wants to be the next mayor.
The incumbents in Pateros, Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III and Vice Mayor Gerald German, are running unopposed. —With a report from Aie Balagtas See
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