Is Jonvic Remulla dumping Binay?

MANILA, Philippines – Expect to see less of Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla in the campaign of Vice President Jejomar Binay. 

“Jonvic wants his peace...before the campaign takes its toll on him,” his brother, gubernatorial candidate Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said, on Thursday, April 21.

It does not necessarily mean Jonvic is “transferring support” to another presidential candidate, Boying said.

Rappler sought the family for comment after reports started circulating in political camps in Manila that Jonvic, who had been a spokesman of the VP, was breaking away.

Jonvic is out of the country.

On Tuesday, April 19, Binay was asked by a few reporters in Cagayan de Oro if it was true that the outgoing Cavite governor was leaving his camp. The Vice President said, with a straight face, “Wala akong alam (I don't know anything)."

If the Remullas pull out their support from Binay, they will be the second political family from a vote-rich province to do so. In March, the Garcias of Cebu broke away from Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance after the national party reportedly bypassed One Cebu in coordinating local sorties.

Cebu and Cavite are the two provinces with the highest number of registered voters. Cebu (including Cebu City) has 2.72 million, while Cavite has 1.84 million.

In August 2014, Jonvic officially joined Binay’s campaign as a spokesman after two years of being in talks with and doing “research” for the VP. He left the Nacionalista Party and brought the local Magdalo party to an alliance with Binay’s UNA.

That year, he wrote on Rappler why he was “all in” for Binay.

In his sorties, Binay had told Caviteños that he would appoint their outgoing governor as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government should he be elected president.

Undoubtedly, Remulla helped project Binay positively during crucial points in the campaign. Cavite hosted Binay when he delivered his counter-State of the Nation Address in June 2015 – his first since resigning from the Aquino Cabinet.

During that event, students said they came to listen to Binay because they were supporting Governor Jonvic.

When Binay was being criticized for delaying by more than an hour the Comelec-organized presidential debate in Cebu in March, it was Jonvic who faced the media to explain that the misunderstanding over debate rules was not the Vice President’s fault.

The Remullas would not comment on the dynamics in the Binay campaign that could have made Jonvic stay away.

However, half a year before the campaign officially started, Rappler wrote about how the role of the Vice President’s children in his campaign had been causing conflict within the camp, often reversing what strategists and consultants had decided on. (READ: The Scrum: VP Binay should stop listening to his familyRappler.com