MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – As two of his children slug it out in the Makati mayoral race, ex-vice president Jejomar Binay said his daughter Abigail "Abby" Binay Campos "deserves to be reelected" as local chief executive.
The former vice president, who himself was Makati mayor for 21 years, said this in a media forum in Manila on Wednesday, November 14.
In endorsing Abby's reelection, Binay took a swipe against Vice Mayor Romulo Peña, who had served as acting mayor before Abby won the polls in 2016.
"Ang sinundan ni Abby, masama ang pamumuno. Halimbawa, 'yung mga benefits ng libreng gamot, itinigil 'yun. She showed very good performance. She deserves to be reelected," said Binay.
(The person Abby succeeded governed badly. For example, he stopped benefits such as free medicines. She showed very good performance. She deserves to be reelected.)
In 2017, Makati City overtook Quezon City as the Philippines’ richest local government unit, becoming the first local government unit to breach the P100-billion mark in terms of assets. Makati reported a total assets worth P196.574 billion in 2017, almost triple the P54.85 billion it reported in 2016.
The increase is largely due to a change in the way the city reported its income. For 2017, Makati included the value of infrastructure projects, as required by the Philippine Public Sector Accounting Standards. This totaled P127.7 billion.
Peña took over the Makati City government in 2015 after the Office of the Ombudsman suspended then-mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr, the elder Binay's only son and namesake, and Abby's younger brother.
The Ombudsman had found Junjun and other city officials guilty of the administrative charges of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct over irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building II.
But in May this year, the Court of Appeals overturned Junjun's dismissal.
Now, Junjun wants to run for mayor again, spoiling his older sister's bid to seek reelection unopposed.
The family patriarch previously said he will not intervene in the sibling rivalry of his two children, arguing they have both proven their capability to lead during their respective terms as mayor.
Binay, however, joined Abby when she and her running mate, reelectionist Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo, filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) on October 17. Abby is running under the United Nationalist Alliance, the same party her father formed for his failed presidential bid in 2016.
Junjun, meanwhile, is running under his local party Una ang Makati. His other siblings accompanied him as he filed his COC for mayor on October 16, with Makati 1st District Representative Monsour del Rosario as his vice mayoral bet.