Binay confirms Puno part of his team; traces ‘comeback’ to group effort
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday confirmed the Inquirer report that former Interior secretary Ronaldo Puno was working for his team as campaign adviser, but noted that his resurgence in preference polls was a collaborative effort.
“Talagang tinutulungan kami ni Secretary Puno, at saka magaling siya (Secrretary Puno has really helped us, and he is really competent),” Binay told reporters in an ambush interview in Quezon.
“Magaling! Kasi alam mo battle scarred iyon. Ang dami-dami nang election na siya ay (Excellent! Because you know that he is battle-scarred. There had been many elections in the past where he had worked as) campaign manager, and good ideas. Very innovative,” he added.
The Inquirer on Friday reported that Puno, the strategist behind the victories of three former chief executives before President Benigno Aquino III, joined Binay’s campaign team in September last year.
Citing sources who asked not to be named due to lack of authority, the report said Puno, who is supposedly not paid for his services, gives Binay campaign ideas, including where to put his advertisements.
Asked about Puno’s reputation of being a “magician,” the Vice President said: As usual, I don’t want to reply [to] a question like that. Kasi biktima ako niyan, bintang bintang (Because I had been a victim of those, accusation after accusation), demolition by perception.”
Puno was the engineer behind the narrow win of former president Fidel Ramos in 1992 and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s landslide victory over late actor Fernando Poe Jr. in 2004.
Binay said the momentum is now on their side following the surge in his rankings in preference surveys.
The opposition leader is back on top after losing a nine-month lead in June amid the long-running Senate probe on corruption allegations against him.
But Binay did not attribute his resurgence in surveys to a single man.
“It’s a collective effort, it’s [group work]. So lahat may (So everyone had) participation. Tuwing magkikita-kita, nag-exchange notes hanggang sa dumating sa final decision (Everytime we meet, we exchange notes until we reach a final decision),” Binay said.
“Many of the political analysts admitted na they never expected it, ‘yon bang nakarecover kami. Kasi sabi ng mga political analysts wala na iyan, bagsak na iyan. Tuloy tuloy na iyan. Pero as it turned out, nakabalik kami, now the momentum is on our side,” he added.
(Many of the political analysts admitted that they never expected it, that we would recover. Because political analysts said we’re goners, we’re losing. It will keep going that way. But, as it turned out, we got back, now momentum is on our side.) CDG