MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Dislodged as the front runner in polls on voters' preference for president, Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Thursday, June 18, that he will work harder to bring his platform of governance directly to the people.
"Alam mo, kung mayroong ganyang report, alam mo, to me, that is a wake-up call (You know, when there's a report like that, to me, that is a wake-up call)," Binay told reporters at the Taytay Public Market hours after Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated released the results of its latest survey.
In a statement, Binay said: "Hindi po ako bago sa ganitong sitwasyon. Ilang beses na akong naging underdog sa aking mga laban. At mas determinado ako na ipagpatuloy ang aking laban para sa taumbayan. Lalo ko pa pong pag-iibayuhin ang pagdulog nang direkta sa ating mga kababayan para malaman ko ang tunay nilang damdamin."
(I'm not new to this kind of situation. I've been an underdog before. I am now more determined to continue the fight for the people. I will work harder to connect directly to the people to hear their true sentiments.)
He thanked those who continue to support his declared presidential bid.
"Pabagu-bago man ang resulta ng survey, hindi magbabago ang aking determinasyon na lumaban para mabigyan ng ginhawa ang ating mga kababayan," Binay said. (Survey results may change but my determination to fight to improve the lives of our people will never change.)
'The Makati experience'
In his interview with reporters in Taytay, Rizal, Binay reiterated that the Philippines can only see meaningful change under the leadership of someone who has "experience as a local executive, tested in times of crisis, and ready to serve the poor."
"Kung ano ang Makati ay dahil sa merong executive ability (Whatever Makati is today is due to executive ability)," he said.
When asked, Binay said he had no idea why his ratings fell, but he had a plan to recover his lost ground. He declined to divulge it but said it's linked to his apparent grassroots campaign nationwide.
"Panoorin mo na lang. Secret ‘yon e. Secret....Basta’t may resulta ‘yong pagharap at pakikipag-usap sa ating mga kababayan nang diretso sa kalye (Just wait and see. It's a secret....My meetings and personal interaction with our people on the streets would bear results)," he said.
Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, who is United Nationalist Alliance interim president, said in an interview on ANC that he was not surprised by the lower numbers of Binay – from 29% in March to 22% in June.
Tiangco said during the survey period, the Court of Appeals issued a freeze order on the accounts of the Vice President and several personalities linked to him, based on an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report.
The Senate subcommittee probing corruption allegations against Binay also conducted hearings during that time, and recommended the filing of plunder charges against him and his son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr, over the alleged overpriced Makati City Parking Building II.
In an interview also on ANC, Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes cited the same developments as a possible explanation for Binay's lower numbers. – Rappler.com