Binay vs Binay scenario in Makati mayoral race close to becoming reality

October 15, 2018 - 2:08 PM
Jejomar "Junjun" Binay is expected to face off against his older sister Abigal "Abby" Binay-Campos in the 2019 Makati City mayoral race. ( Asuncion, file | STAR/Ernie Penaredondo,file photo)

The city of Makati is headed for a possible face-off between members of the Binay political family, after former vice-president Jejomar Binay Sr., the family’s patriarch, said that he will not intervene in the growing schism between his children Abigail “Abby” Binay-Campos and Jejomar “Junjun” BinayJr.

The older Binay in a statement to the media on Monday said that he respected the decision of his children to run and that he would let the voters of Makati decide who between his children deserved to sit as mayor.

“I am respecting their decision to run for the mayoral seat of Makati. I cannot decide on who between them is worthy of becoming the mayor,” he said in Filipino.

Incumbent Makati Mayor Abby and former mayor Junjun have both expressed their desire to lead Makati, which hosts the metropolis’ largest commercial and financial center.

The Binay family patriarch confirmed that Abby will be running under the United Nationalist Alliance, the political party led by the older Binay in his failed presidential bid in 2016, while Junjun will be running with local party Una Ang Makati.

He called for civility between the two camps and said that both potential candidates were worthy leaders.

“Whatever the results of the May 2019 elections may turn out to be, we know that ‘Serbisyong Binay’ will continue for the people of Makati,” the older Binay said in Filipino.

Abby previously claimed that she had her father’s full support for her reelection bid.

A local Game of Thrones?

Those watching the race in Makati believe that the schism between the siblings reveals the toxic nature of politics in the Philippines and the monopolization of political power in the country.

Abby in an interview on ANC on Monday pleaded with her younger brother to drop his bid.

“This will divide our family even after the elections. You know my brother, through all the joy and the sorrow I have been with him. In all the crises that he has been through, personally and politically, I was with him,” said the incumbent mayor during the interview.

She admitted that she had not spoken with him in three years.

“I was with him at the Senate, I was with him in city hall. I was standing up for him. I am the older sister, I should be given a chance,” she added in Filipino.

Junjun, who was Makati mayor from 2010 to 2015, was recently seen accompanying Sen. Nancy Binay, the eldest of the Binay siblings, when the latter filed her candidacy for a reelection bid in the 2019 senatorial race.

In recent interviews, he criticized Abby’s time as Makati mayor, accusing her of being unable to live up to their father’s legacy in governance due to her inability to approach people.

He claimed that 13 Makati councilors bolted away from Abby’s camp after she took office in 2016 and explained that the clamor from Makati residents who missed their father’s brand of governance pushed him to consider running for public office anew.

Junjun and his father Jejomar Sr., who earlier declared his intention to run as a representative of the city’s first district, are facing various graft raps in relation to a number of allegedly anomalous infrastructure projects entered into during their respective terms as Makati mayor.