Remullas dump Binay for Duterte
SAN PEDRO CITY—Saying they were listening to the clamor of the people, members of the Remulla political clan of Cavite province on Friday said they would support Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the presidential race, effectively dropping their erstwhile ally, Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Former Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, who is running for governor, confirmed reports that his family, along with several Cavite officials, was supporting Duterte whom he said could “win big” in the vote-rich province.
Boying, older brother of incumbent Gov. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla, said the decision to jump ship from Binay’s camp was made during the last three weeks, with “many people from the ground talking to us.”
On Friday, the Remullas, the reigning political clan in Cavite, a province with 1.84 million voters, met with Duterte in a closed-door luncheon in Pasay City.
Duterte was earlier quoted as saying that an alliance had been forged between him and the Remullas.
“It’s not about us. It’s not us, leaders, deciding but sometimes it’s the followers dictating and we have to listen,” Boying said of their decision.
20 mayors for Digong
Duterte, the standard-bearer of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), met with the Remullas and 18 mayors and local officials from Cavite. “Eighteen of 23 (Cavite) mayors were there,” Boying said in a telephone interview.
Absent during the meeting were officials from Carmona town and the cities of Tagaytay, Imus, Dasmariñas and Bacoor. But of the five absent, the mayors from two key cities—Agnes Tolentino of Tagaytay City and Strike Revilla of Bacoor City—were supporting Duterte as well, Boying said.
Tolentino is the wife of Abraham Tolentino, a brother of former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino. Francis is running for senator.
Revilla, on the other hand, is the brother of detained Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla, the senator’s son, is seeking reelection as Boying’s running mate. Jolo, however, is supporting the candidacy of Sen. Grace Poe, according to Boying.
In the earlier part of the campaign, Jonvic, originally a member of the Nacionalista Party, had served as spokesperson for Binay, the standard-bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
In 2015, Binay frequented Cavite for his campaign sorties and chose the province as a venue to deliver his counter-State of the Nation Address (counter-Sona) last year where he attacked the Aquino administration.
Jonvic ran for reelection under UNA, with Boying taking over the candidacy after his brother withdrew in December.
But things changed over the past weeks.
“We did not cause his (Duterte’s) strength. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Boying said, referring to Duterte’s recent surge in pre-election voter preference surveys.
“We do not take credit from it. It’s the people dictating to us (and) we listened to their desire for change,” he said.
An Inquirer source, a member of the Remullas’ local Magdalo Party, said Duterte’s April 22 motorcade in Cavite was supposed to serve as the Remullas’ proclamation of support for the Davao mayor.
This was, however, put off as Jonvic had only returned from a trip abroad on Tuesday.
The source said Binay apparently got wind of this plan, “kaya masama ang loob (that’s why he was sullen).”
Binay, in his earlier campaign sorties, had announced he would pick Jonvic to be his interior secretary should he win the presidency.
Asked how their relationship is now with Binay, Boying said: “It’s something I would not want to talk about.”
“I have nothing bad to say (and) I have nothing good to say,” he added.
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