After a brief hiatus, Jejomar Binay is returning to politics

September 24, 2018 - 6:40 PM
Jejomar Binay attending the State of the Nation Address of President Noynoy Aquino in 2014. ( Bolando)

Former vice president and Makati mayor Jejomar Binay has announced that he will run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the coming May 2019 elections, years after a failed bid at the presidency and a string of corruption allegations.

Binay’s spokesperson Joey Salgado in a text to media outlets confirmed that the former vice president is looking to run for the lower house as representative of the first district of Makati City.

The 75-year-old veteran politician will be running alongside his daughter, incumbent Makati mayor Abigail Binay, who is seeking reelection.

The younger Binay is expected to run under the United Nationalist Alliance, the political party that once headed the opposition to the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III.

Incumbent Makati Mayor Abigail Binay, daughter of former vice president Jejomar Binay. (PNA)

The older Binay ran as president under UNA in the 2016 presidential race with Sen. Gringo Honasan as his running mate.

Binay, however, finished fourth in the race, with just 5.4 million votes. He conceded just four days into the count. Honasan also lost, finishing sixth with close to 800,000 votes.

Prior to his 2016 presidential bid, he served as a multi-term mayor of Makati before winning the 2010 vice-presidential race under the PDP-Laban banner.

Despite the Binay family’s continuing popularity in Makati, not all are pleased with his announcement.

The older Binay, a known human rights lawyer during the Martial Law era, has been the subject of corruption allegations over the years.

Controversial politico

Binay and his son Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr., also a former Makati mayor, are currently facing graft and corruption charges in the Sandiganbayan in relation to the anomalous construction of a P1.3-billion Makati Science High School building.

The father and son are facing four counts each of a violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and three counts each of falsification of public documents.

The two are also facing charges in relation to construction of phase 3 of the P2.2-billion “world-class” Makati Parking building.

The charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman from back in July 2016 allege that Binay Sr.’s involvement consisted of acts done during his term as mayor of Makati.

Both Binays over the years have denied the charges against them, claiming that they were politically motivated.

Prior to the reopening of the corruption investigation against him, Binay Sr. was regarded as one of the most popular candidates in the 2016 presidential race.

The probe into the allegations, which started in 2014, are believed to have affected his popularity with the masses leading up to the race.

Surveys in early 2016 showed that Binay was the most popular pick for that year’s presidential race, beating even eventual winner Rodrigo Duterte, shortly before the investigation into the allegations were reopened.