Abby, Junjun both claim victory in Makati mayoral race
MANILA, Philippines — Although both have placed their fate in the hands of voters on election day, both incumbent Makati City Mayor Abby Binay and her closest rival, younger brother Junjun Binay, expressed confidence they would emerge the winner in the mayoral race.
Thousands of people showed up for what the siblings described as their respective “victory party,” capping their six-weeklong campaign for the city’s highest seat of power.
Abby held hers at the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue, Chino Roces Avenue and Pablo Ocampo Street Extension on Friday, while Junjun celebrated with his supporters on the stretch of Lawton Avenue on Saturday.
Abby expressed certainty she would win over her opponents, particularly Junjun, as she cited preelection surveys showing her wide lead over them.
“Even the fake surveys said I would win,” she joked.
The incumbent mayor was earlier endorsed by the leadership of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, whose members vote as a bloc.
She also has the blessings of their father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is making a comeback in local politics after his unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2016. He is running for Congress in the city’s first district under Abby’s Team Performance ticket.
But at his own victory party, Junjun dismissed the surveys favoring his sister. “Of all the places I went to here in Makati, all the people told me one thing: They would vote for me.”
He added: “If we believe only in surveys, why would we conduct this political exercise? So once again, for me, the outcome of the election will show by Monday that people want to bring back the true Binay brand of service in Makati.”
Abby told reporters she did not feel any pressure about the results of the elections.
“We did all we could. We said everything we needed to say and if people are still not convinced, if they still cannot decide who to vote for, then it will not be for lack of effort on our part,” she said.
“I will always look forward. Whether mistakes we made in this election, we will remember and avoid in the next one,” she added.
Rift in the family
At one point, Abby turned emotional as she addressed their father, her voice breaking as she alluded to the rift in the family caused by her and her brother’s decision to both compete for the mayor’s post.
“Dad, we thought 2016 was your toughest fight. But we did not know that there would be a much tougher and more painful battle in 2019. I know that this election was very hard for you and that you did not want this,” she said.
While the Binay patriarch was at Abby’s miting de avance, his wife Elenita and children Senator Nancy and Anne were at Junjun’s rally.
Abby was described by the former vice president as the “performer, a good administrator, hardworking and very organized.”
Elenita, on the other hand, said Junjun inherited all of her good traits: “Helpful, kind, easy to approach and ask from.”
Both Elenita and Jejomar claimed that Junjun and Abby, respectively, would be the “next mayor of Makati.”
For Nancy, their father was just being a “responsible” parent.
“He puts his father role foremost, because he knows that she [Abby] will have no one to lean on,” she said. “If he is not there for her and we are all with Junjun, who will be the bridge for our reconciliation?”
The feuding siblings, however, have left the door open for a possible mending of ties.
“All families probably experience problems, some misunderstanding but we always hope that in the end, we will restore our relationship,” Junjun said.
For Abby, who was particularly hurt by her sibling’s repeated jabs at her husband, incumbent Rep. Luis Campos, a reconcilement could come only after the elections.
“I have to heal first before we can talk about reconciliation,” she said.
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