"Campaign Notes" are filed by Rappler reporters and correspondents who have been covering specific candidates or localities. The series gives insights into the candidates' character, trusted people, and campaign decisions.
Amid a sea of bodies under the sweltering heat, the most loyal fans of Vice President Jejomar Binay cheer for their presidential bet.
“Binay! Binay! Binay!” they scream as the United Nationalist Alliance standard-bearer waves to the crowd.
The excitement heightens when Binay’s speech ends and t-shirts, caps, arm sleeves, and candies are thrown to the audience.
This is a typical scene during the sorties of the Vice President, whose core supporters mostly hail from Classes D and E.
While recent surveys indicate that some of them have switched to other candidates, a good number of Binay’s supporters remain loyal to him. (READ: CAMPAIGN NOTES: Binay’s ‘personal’ political machinery)
I noticed a common trend among them: they believe that Binay performed well as Makati mayor and they are hoping he will do the same for the rest of the country if he becomes president. (READ: Meet the women who spoke for Binay)
They also refuse to believe the claims against Binay brought up during a yearlong Senate probe into corruption allegations against him when he was Makati mayor. Some are willing to overlook claims that he had overpriced some projects which, they said, is better than using public funds for ghost projects. (READ: The Tragedy of Jejomar Binay)
Here are 6 people I met on the campaign trail who have remained loyal to Binay in the belief that only he can uplift the lives of the poor:
Mariolito Asuncion, 60
Farmer from San Jose City, Nueva Ecija
“Kasi mabait siya saka marami siyang natulungan. Nung pumunta kami ng Makati, marami siyang natulungang tao doon. Tapos para ba siyang Ilocano na kapag nagsalita, maunawain siya sa mga mahihirap at magsasaka. Parang gusto niyang tulungan lahat ng maliliit na tao dito sa Nueva Ecija. Parang magbibigay siya ng puhunan dito sa mga magsasaka dito sa Nueva Ecija. ‘Yan po ‘yung sinabi nila sa akin dun sa bayan ng San Jose kasi ex-konsehal ako rito. Minsan nang nagpunta [dito si Binay] nung nakaraang buwan ho. Mabait po siya, talagang mabait, talagang maunawain sa mga mahihirap.”
(He is a good person and he has helped a lot of people. When we went to Makati, I saw he was able to help residents there. He’s also like an Ilocano when he speaks; he understands the poor and the farmers. It seems like he wants he wants to help even the small people here in Nueva Ecija. It seems he will be the one who will give seed money for the farmers here in Nueva Ecija. That’s what they told me in San Jose because I’m a former councilor here. Binay went here last month. He's really kind, very understanding when it comes to the poor.)
Miles Pomposo, 71
Retired liason officer of the National Power Corporation, from Nagcarlan, Laguna
“Sa kanyang karanasan, sa aking pananaw, siya ang magiging pangulo ng Pilipinas. Kung sakaling ganyan, wala namang patunay na siya ay [involved sa] korapsyon. Walang katibayan. Dapat ang magiging pangulo ay talagang tapat sa kanyang magiging panunungkulan para sa ikabubuti sa mga tao ng buong Pilipinas. [Kay Binay], magkaroon ng mga ospital, mabigyan ng gamot ang mga mahihirap, ang mga walang trabaho ay makakapagtrabaho, at mawala ang income tax na kanyang sinasabi.”
(In my opinion, his experience make him fit to become the next president of the Philippines. There is no proof that he is involved in corruption. The next president should be honest and committed to his job for the improvement of the lives of the poor and the rest of the Philippines. Under Binay, there will be free hospitals, medicines for the poor, the jobless will have employment, and income tax will be abolished like he said.)
Evelyn Bautista, 56
Resident of Cavite City, Cavite
“E tinitingnan po namin na kahit sinasabi nila na nago-overprice siya sa ano, okay lang po ‘yun kasi marami naman po siyang nagawa e, kagaya ng ospital at saka ‘yung mga equipment po sa ospital. Okay na po ‘yun sa amin kaysa naman po doon sa iba – nangurakot po sila pero wala namang nagawa."
(They’re saying that he’s overpricing projects, but that’s okay because he was able to do many things like free hospitals and providing free medical equipment. That’s fine with us instead of what’s happening with others – they’re corrupt but they do not do anything.)
Lanie Venerable, 54
Domestic helper at the United Arab Emirates, from Rizal, Laguna
“Talagang mahal namin si Vice President, ang magiging susunod na president, si Binay, unang-una kasi, sa aming bayan sa Rizal, Laguna, ang dami nang naibibigay na tulong, siguro specially sa mga senior citizen. Kaya talagang ang Rizal, Laguna solid Binay ‘yan. Mahal na mahal talaga namin si Binay. At saka alam namin kahit maraming paninira na ibinabato sa kanya – talagang nagbabasa ako every day sa online ng mga feedback ng mga tao, ng mga netizens – pero nagkocommment talaga ako dun. Pinagtatanggol ko talaga ang ating susunod na president sapagkat alam ko despite sa mga bad accusations against him, alam ko sa puso niya, makamahirap siya.”
(We really love Vice President Binay, who will become the next president, first because in Rizal, Laguna, he was able to help a lot of people there, especially senior citizens. That’s why Rizal, Laguna, is solid for Binay. We truly love Binay. I read online articles about netizens’ feedback about the allegations being thrown at him and I give my comments. I really defend the person who will become the next president because I know despite the bad accusations against him, he still has a heart for the poor.
Lusita Flores Nacional, 65
Senior citizen from Tres Martires City, Cavite
“Ay talaga kahit anong mangyari sa kanya kami. Dahil sinasabi nila magnanakaw, wala naman silang napapatunayan! Kakapal ng mukha nila! Hindi ako naniniwala diyan! Hindi naman nila napapatunayan. Alam ko marami siyang magagawa sapagkat sa kanyang lugar pa lang [sa Makati] ay marami na siyang nagawa. Mahal na mahal namin si Binay.”
(Whatever happens, we’re for him. They’re saying he’s a thief but they can’t prove anything! How dare them! I don’t believe them! They have no proof! I know he will be able to do many things because he delivered in his own turf in Makati. We love Binay so much.)
Gil Ballesteros, 58
Fishball vendor from Santo Tomas, Nueva Ecija
“Makamahirap siya. Si Binay ang pangulo ko. Mabibigyan niya ang mga nagfi-fishball tulad namin kasi bibigyan niya kami ng puhunan. Makamahirap siya, ‘yan ang gusto ko kay Binay. Hindi totoo ‘yun. Iboboto ko rin si Honasan. Ballesteros din ‘yun! Tanungin mo siya.”
(He is for the poor. Binay is my president. He will give capital to fishball vendors like me. He understands the poor, that’s what I like about Binay. That’s true. I will also vote Honasan. He’s a Ballesteros, too! Just ask him.) – Rappler.com