Binay hits Poe: 'I never abandoned my country'

LAGUNA, Philippines – Training his guns on the current poll front runner, Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday night, February 10, told supporters at a rally in Calamba that he takes pride in his Filipino citizenship, which he would never consider giving up.

Binay made the statement at the Calamba plaza, the final stop of his day-long Laguna sortie on the second day of the campaign. He did not name anyone, but was obviously referring to Senator Grace Poe who is at risk of disqualification from the presidential race over citizenship and residency questions.

Ni minsan hindi ko iniisip na sumumpa, iiwanan ko ang pagiging Pilipino (Not once did I think about pledging allegiance [to another country], or abandoning my Filipino citizenship). I am so proud of being a Filipino. I never took a pledge; I never abandoned my country,” he said.

“I’ve been here sa hirap at ginhawa. Pilipino po si Jojo Binay (I’ve been here in bad and good times. Jojo Binay is a Filipino),” added the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer. (READ: In new Binay ad, every Filipino is 'nognog' like him)

The Vice President made the indirect swipe at Poe just days after she topped two presidential polls.

In the Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated survey conducted in late January, Poe dislodged Binay from the top spot. The Vice President shared second place with administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Poe maintained her lead over other candidates in the January Laylo survey, with Binay and Roxas tied for second place.

The results of the Standard Poll conducted in early December showed that Binay would be the biggest gainer among presidential candidates should Poe be disqualified from the race. (READ: Binay benefits most from Poe disqualification – poll)

In his speech, the Vice President also stressed that he has enough experience to lead the country, a point his ally, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, had made at the UNA proclamation rally on Tuesday. (READ: Avoid suffering, choose 'experienced' Binay – Enrile)

Ang amin hong inihahandog sa inyong mga kababayan ay isang bagong mamumuno na may karanasan, may kakayahan, at may malasakit sa kanyang kapwa Pilipino (We’re offering our countrymen a new leadership with experience, capability, and compassion for their fellow Filipinos),” said Binay.

“I’ll run this government effectively and efficiently and this is on the basis of past experience,” he added, drawing applause from the crowd. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.