Ex-VP Binay hopes for Abby-Junjun reconciliation: ‘Makukuha sa dasal 'yan’

MANILA, Philippines – Former vice president Jejomar Binay is praying that his children – reelectionist Makati Mayor Abby Binay and her challenger Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr – would reconcile after the May 13 elections.

“Dadagdagan ko 'yong dasal, na tapos na eleksiyon eh magbalik na uli 'yong samahan ng pamilya,” the patriarch told reporters on the sidelines of Abby’s miting de avance on Friday evening, May 10. (I will pray harder, that the relationship of the family would return once the elections are over.)

How confident is he that his prayers would be granted?

“Walang imposible sa Diyos eh. Makukuha sa dasal 'yan,” said Jejomar Binay, a longtime Makati mayor himself before he became vice president in 2010. (Nothing is impossible with God. Prayer is the key.) 

Jejomar Binay had accepted the media’s request for an ambush interview on Friday, but told reporters with a laugh that he would not answer any questions related to Junjun, who is challenging his older sister’s reelection bid.

Still, when asked what had been the most difficult part of the campaign, the ex-vice president said it was the very public clash between Abby and Junjun, who even had a heated confrontation inside a church in April. 

“This I have to admit: 'yong nangyari doon sa mga anak ko. Siyempre parehong anak 'yon. Pareho kong mahal 'yon  (This I have to admit: what happened to my children. Of course it’s because both of them are my kids. I love them both),”said Jejomar Binay, who is running for congressman of Makati's first district.

Makati has been the stronghold of the Binay family since Jejomar was appointed officer-in-charge of the city in 1986.

But the 2019 elections exposed a clear divide within the family, with Jejomar Binay backing Abby’s candidacy while Junjun getting the support of his two other sisters, Anne and reelectionist Senator Nancy Binay.

Jejomar Binay had allowed an Abby-Junjun faceoff as long as they didn't throw hurtful comments at each other – a condition the Binay siblings were not able to meet. 

Junjun and Nancy said they are willing to reconcile with their sister. Abby, however, believes fissure caused by their rivalry had gone so deep, she felt the family feud would go on even after the winner in the mayoral race is declared.  

The Binay family fielded Abby for mayor in the 2016 elections after Junjun was dismissed from office in September 2015 due to anomalies in the construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building II.

In May 2018, the Court of Appeals overturned Junjun's dismissal, arguing that the condonation doctrine – which the Supreme Court struck down in November 2015 – still applied to him. The CA upheld this decision in March.

Other candidates for Makati mayor are Ricardo Yabut (Bigkis Pinoy), Carmelle Alanzalon (independent), and Renato Bondal (independent), who had made corruption allegations against Jejomar and Junjun Binay. – 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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