Ex-VP Binay urges Makati: Pray that I become a model congressman for you

MANILA, Philippines – Former vice president Jejomar Binay is asking residents of Makati City to help him become their model congressman after the May 13 elections.

The longtime mayor of the country’s premiere business district faced Makati residents anew during the miting de avance of his daughter and reelectionist Mayor Abby Binay on Friday, May 10. 

“Ako po si Jojo Binay. Mayroon lamang po akong pakiusap sa inyo: na ipagdasal po naman ninyo ako na sana maging huwaran ho akong kinatawan ng lungsod,” said Binay. (READ: Ex-VP Binay on political comeback: 'I still want to serve’)

(I am Jojo Binay. I have one thing to ask of you: that you pray I become a model representative of the city.)

His speech served as a throwback to his failed presidential bid in 2016, as Binay still used the same "Only Binay" jingle for his 2019 campaign, though the main lyrics have been changed to "Jojo Binay.” He still uses his 2016 blue campaign color.

This election, Binay is facing off for the congressional seat against former vice mayor Kid Peña of the once-ruling Liberal Party, and independent candidates Brigido Mesina Jr and Ferdinand Sevilla.

During his speech, Binay told the jampacked crowd it is crucial for lawmakers to be experts of the law and to be eloquent in public speaking – qualities he said he possesses given his vast track record in public service and as a former human rights lawyer. 

Binay is currently dean emeritus of the University of Makati College of Law.

“Ako naman ho ay maraming natapos. Lalung-lalo na sa pupuntahan kong Kongreso, dapat marunong ka kahit papaano ng batas. Hindi lang ako marunong ng batas, nag-practice pa ho ako kung hindi po ninyo nalalaman. Ito pong pagpunta sa Kongreso, kailangang marunong ka magsalita, lalung-lalo na sa Ingles,” said Binay. 

(I finished many things. This is important especially because in Congress where I want to go, you have to know the law. I do not only know the law, but I also practiced it, if you didn’t know that. When you go to Congress, you need to know how to speak, especially in English.)

He also said it is important for Makati to elect another lawmaker they would be proud of, citing past Makati legislators: the late Joker Arroyo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr, the late Butz Aquino, reelectionist Makati Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo, and Binay’s own daughter Abby.

“So tama lamang maipagpatuloy ho ‘yong huwarang kinatawan ng ating lungsod doon po sa Kongreso. Mayroon ho tayong dapat pag-ingatan, mayroon tayong dapat masunod – ‘yon hong respeto at dignidad na ibinigay ng buong bansa sa kinatawan ng lungsod ng Makati,” said Binay.

(So it is only right that I continue this legacy of model representatives of the city in Congress. There is something we need to protect, there is something that we must continue – the respect and dignity given by the rest of the country to the representative of the city of Makati.)

Binay's rags-to-riches story propelled him to the vice presidency in 2010, and soon after, he was announcing his plan to gun for the highest post of the land. But he lost in the 2016 presidential race, finishing 4th with 5,318,249 votes. 

The months-long Senate investigation that dug up multiple corruption allegations against Binay and his son, then-mayor Junjun Binay, helped cause Binay's first electoral loss 3 years ago.

Binay's congressional bid is not without controversy either, as Junjun has decided to challenge the reelection bid of his older sister Abby. (READ: Ex-VP Binay hopes for Abby-Junjun reconciliation: ‘Makukuha sa dasal ‘yan’

Binay decided to stick it out with Abby. –Rappler.com

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 mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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