BATANGAS, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay continued his rags-to-riches campaign narrative in this province on Friday, February 12, telling supporters that his early life of poverty had made him better equipped to address the problem.
Binay and other United Nationalist Alliance bets and supporters went to Nasugbu, Balayan, Calaca, and Lemery on the fourth day of the campaign. The last stop is Bauan, the hometown of the UNA standard-bearer's father.
In his remarks in Barangay Wawa in Nasugbu, the Vice President told the audience how he got his "pennypinching" trait from his Batangueño father and his mother, an Isabela native, while talking about the problem of poverty.
"Ang tatay ko ay taga-Bauan, Batangas. Nagkataon lamang na ang napakangasawa niya, ang aking nanay, ay taga-Isabela. E minsan ang biro sa akin, ‘'Yang sa Jojo ay puno ng kakuriputan.' Bakit? Ang taga-Batangas ay talagang kilala sa mahilig mag-ipon ng pera. Tapos ang taga-Isabela, ganun din," he said.
(My father is from Bauan, Batangas. It so happened that he got married to someone from Isabela. People sometimes joke, 'Jojo is such a tightwad.' Why? People from Batangas are known for their habit of saving money. Those from Isabela are the same.)
Binay, who prides himself with rising from poverty to the vice presidency, then said: "Ang kahirapan po ay malulunasan natin; maiaangat po natin. Ang kaharap po ninyo e nanggaling sa pagharap sa ganyang problema (We can solve poverty; we can get people out of poverty. You are looking at someone who faced that problem)."
Beating the odds
Earlier: People in Bauan scrambling to get free Binay shirts after the VP's speech. #PHvote #rstream @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/kofB2ve4FD — Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) February 12, 2016
Binay won in this province in the 2010 elections, beating Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II by over 175,000 votes. Batangas has 1.53 million registered voters for the May 2016 polls.
Gaining another victory in Batangas, however, may be a challenge for Binay, with 22 out of the 34 mayors in the province administration party members. Only Lian Mayor Isagani Bolompo and Rosario Mayor Manuel Alvarez belong to UNA.
Governor Vilma Santos Recto and Vice Governor Jose Antonio Leviste II are also LP members.
The entry of Senator Grace Poe in the presidential race is an added obstacle to Binay. Poe is the preferred candidate of voters in the Balance of Luzon, based on the latest polls; Binay is second.
Binay has been trying to set himself apart from Poe, the current poll front runner, by reiterating in every public engagement that he has the experience to become the next Philippine president, among others.
Binay’s campaign spokesperson Rico Quicho said these challenges are not cause for concern.
“Alam niyo nga, sabi ko nga kanina, kaya nga po tayo dito bara-barangay, bayan-bayan sapagkat ito naman po eh di na po bago kay Vice President Binay (You know, this is why we are going to every barangay and town because this is not a new move for Vice President Binay),” Quicho told reporters.
“Kung sinasabi nga po nila na kapos tayo sa mga pulitikong kakampi, ay nakita niyo naman po na napakaraming kababayan natin ang nagtitiwala at nagmamahal kay Vice President Binay (If they’re saying we barely have political allies here, you saw how many of our countrymen here continue to trust and love Vice President Binay),” Quicho added.
Candies, arm warmers
Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler
Batangas is the third province Binay visited since the start of the official campaign period on Tuesday, after Laguna and Cavite. During the motorcade, Binay tossed to supporters and bystanders packed candies, shirts, caps, and arm covers bearing his name.
He was accompanied by running mate Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II and UNA senatorial bets Allan Montaño, Alma Moreno, Getulio Napeñas, and Rey Langit; and lawyer Harry Roque, who is running for Congress.
UNA's motorcade begins. VP Binay gives out candies to children here. #PHvote @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/c3J55txI0v — Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) February 12, 2016
In the province, Binay reiterated his 4 campaign promises which he revealed during UNA’s proclamation rally on Tuesday: tax exemption for those earning P30,000 and below, free medicine for all, free books, school supplies and uniforms for 20 million students, and expanding the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. – Rappler.com