Reporters who follow Vice President Jejomar Binay get used to many things on the campaign trail – hours-long motorcades under the scorching heat, rallies in cramped barangay courts, and of course, the classic lines Binay would utter at every sortie.
I started covering the United Nationalist Alliance standard-bearer as early as July 2015. I have listened to him speak in front of chief executive officers in Manila, poor residents in Pampanga, and barangay officials in Misamis Oriental.
I know that while debating on national television may not be his forte, Binay is at his most comfortable when speaking to his core group – those who belong to Classes D and E.
Binay loves mingling with the masses, obliging requests for selfies, starting light conversations with market stall owners, and even letting senior citizens kiss him on the cheek.
His humor would come out as he cracks jokes about the elderly and when he mocks his own dark skin and shortness (even using the derogatory term “nognog” as part of his campaign strategy).
But when he is facing business executives, Binay goes straight to the point, listing down his economic blueprint for the country.
I also noticed that Binay always finds a way to connect himself to the crowd he's addressing, either by thanking people for voting for him as vice president in 2010 or by greeting them in the local language.
At the core of every speech of the Vice President is the message that he would be the champion for the poor. (READ: Cinderella Man)
He would share his life story – from his childhood years when he would collect pig slop for his uncle’s backyard piggery to the days he fought martial law as a pro-bono human rights lawyer for political detainees.
Binay would then trumpet his gains as Makati City mayor for 21 years, telling the people that what he did in Makati he would do for the rest of the country. He will also mention his stint as former chief of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, public housing chief, and presidential adviser for overseas Filipino workers.
He usually lambasts the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, telling audiences that he resigned from the Cabinet to protest its “crooked justice and failed leadership.”
I have learned to listen to every speech of the Vice President, too, because he would sometimes tweak his stump speech in tune with the latest news cycle.
In campaign speeches, Binay has brought up the allegations of corruption against him and his family, saying that these are just attempts to derail his presidential bid. (READ: The Bandit King)
He would slam the ruling Liberal Party (LP) for allegedly buying votes through existing government programs. Binay would also hit his rivals for the presidency, including LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas, Senator Grace Poe, and lately, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the current poll front-runner.
Binay tells his supporters time and time again that the country needs a leader who will hit the ground running and get things done. “Giginhawa ang buhay kay Jojo Binay (Life will be better with Jojo Binay)” goes his tagline.
One needs to listen to at least two full speeches of the Vice President to understand his key message.
Here are 12 common elements in the campaign speeches of Vice President Jejomar Binay:
1. Poverty is the moral problem that needs to be addressed
“Sa loob ng 5 taon, napakarami pa rin ang walang trabaho, mga nagugutom, at mga may sakit na walang magamutan. Mga kabataang hindi mapag-aral ng kanilang pamilya. Talamak na krimen at iligal na droga sa mga komunidad. Laganap pa rin ang kahirapan. Kaya ba ang tanong ng bayan: nasaan ang gobyerno?” (Makati City, July 1, 2015)
(Within the past 5 years, many continue to be jobless, hungry, and sick without the proper healthcare. There are children whose families could not send them to school. There is a high incidence of crime and illegal drugs in communities. There is widespread poverty. Is this why the nation is asking: where is the government?)
2. His 'connection' to the province he is visiting
"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.” (Nasugbu, Batangas, February 13, 2016)
(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.)
3. His jokes
“Binabati ko ang aking mga ‘cousin’ – mga kasing-itim, kasing-tangkad ni Jojo Binay!” (Manila, September 28, 2015)
(I greet my ‘cousins,’ those who are as dark-skinned and as short as me.)”
“Sa mga kapwa ko nognog, nasaan na ho kayo? Ang mga nognog, sa mga ‘di nakakaalam kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng nognog, sa Katagalugan, kapag tinawag kang nognog, bansot na, negro pa.” – Makati City, February 9, 2016
(Where are the nognogs like me? To those who don’t know what nognog means, for the Tagalogs, that means you’re both short and dark-skinned.)
“‘Yung 4Ps, gagawin kong 5Ps! 'Yung panglimang P, libreng pustiso!” (Bauan, Batangas, February 12, 2016)
(I’ll turn the 4Ps into 5Ps! The 5th P is free dentures!)
“Pero diyan yata sa pagbati ninyo, nagmukha ata akong Piolo Pascual! (Makati, March 28, 2016)
(But from the way you greeted me, I think I even look like Piolo Pascual!)
4. His 'competence and decisiveness' as former Makati mayor
“Pero dahil nga sa inyong suporta, dahil sa inyong dasal, naipakita ko ang aking kakayahan, naiangat ko ang buhay ng maraming taga-Makati. Naibigay ko po sa taga-Makati ang serbisyong naibigay na kailangan ng bawat mamamayan. Dahil ho sa tamang pamamahala, tayo ang kauna-unahang nakapagbigay ng libreng gamot, libreng paospital. Lahat ng pangangailangan ng mamamayan ay nagawa po natin dito sa Makati….Si Jojo Binay na taga-Makati, alam ko, lahat kayo ay tutulungan ako para malaman ng buong bansa kung ano ho ang klase ng aking pamamahala. Pakisabi lamang po sa kanila, 'di po sila magsisisi na ako ho ay iboto sa pagkapangulo dahil sa lawak ng aking karanasan sa pamamahala." (Makati City, March 28, 2016)
(Because of your support and prayers, I was able to show my capability to uplift the lives of people in Makati. Through right governance, I was able to provide free medicines and healthcare. I was able to provide what people needed in Makati.... Jojo Binay is from Makati. I know you would help me in telling the other people in the country about how I governed you. Tell them they won't regret voting for me because of my experience in governance.)
5. His rebuttal of corruption and unexplained wealth being hurled against the Binays
“Ako ho e, dahil din sa gusto ko e [matapos] ang problema ng kahirapan, ako ay siniraan, pinagbintangan ng mga bagay-bagay nang walang katotohanan. ‘Di pa sila nakunsiyensiya ‘dun! Nilait pa ko! Ang tawag sa akin, 'Si nognog!’” (Minalin, Pampanga, March 6, 2016)
(Because I wanted to help end poverty, they tried to taint my name and they made baseless allegations against me. And they did not stop there! They even insulted me! They called me nognog!’”)
6. His top 4 campaign promises
“Sa mga nagsasabing hindi ito puwedeng mangyari dahil malulugi ang pamahalaan, simple lang ang sagot ko: bilyun-bilyon ang nawawala sa pera ng bayan sa smuggling. Bilyun-bilyon ang nawawala dahil hindi wasto ang pangungulekta ng buwis sa mga mayayaman. Bilyun-bilyon ang nasasayang dahil sa hindi wastong paggastos ng pamahalaan. 'Yan ang dapat asikasuhin, hindi ang pagpapahirap sa mga manggagawang Pilipino.” (Makati City, February 9, 2016)
(To those who say this cannot be done as the government would incur significant losses, my response is simple: billions are lost to smuggling. Billions are lost due to inefficient tax collection. Billions are wasted because of improper government spending. That must be addressed, instead of adding to the sufferings of the Filipino workers.)
7. His tried and tested experience in public service compared to Duterte, Poe, and Roxas
“Dapat ho ang magiging pangulo ay nakapagpakita naman ng kakayanang mamahala. Hindi ho ‘yung baka nga may karanasan e gusto ba ho ninyong traffic na namamahala? ‘Yung MRT na mamamatay kayo sa niyerbiyos? E ‘yun e may karanasan, pulos kapalpakan naman.” (Las Piñas City, Metro Manila, February 28, 2016)
(The next president should be able to show that he can lead. Do you want someone who won’t be able to address traffic? Or the MRT problem that makes you worried to death? That’s experience filled with failures.)
“Ni minsan hindi ko iniisip na sumumpa, iiwanan ko ang pagiging Pilipino. I am so proud of being a Filipino. I never took a pledge; I never abandoned my country. I’ve been here sa hirap at ginhawa. Pilipino po si Jojo Binay.” (Calamba, Laguna, February 11, 2016)
(Not once did I think about pledging allegiance [to another country], or abandoning my Filipino citizenship. I’ve been here in bad and good times. Jojo Binay is a Filipino.)
“Meron ho sa inyo ay sa paghanga ninyo sa kanyang mga sinasabing, “Pinapatay ko ‘yan! Puputulin ko ang ulo niyan!” ‘Wag naman. ‘Yung paghanga niyo sana ay wag niyong ilipat sa pagboto. Sa pagboto ninyo, kailangan ang iboboto niyo ay maipagmamalaki ninyo na maging pangulo. Pero mali, uulitin ko ha. Responsbilidad ng bawat Pilipino na hindi dapat maging pangulo itong si Duterte!” (Caloocan City, Metro Manila, April 11, 2016)
(There are people who are amazed when he says, “I will kill him! I will cut off his head!” Please don’t. Your admiration should not translate into votes. When you vote, vote for someone whom you can be proud of as president. It’s the responsibility of every Filipino not to vote for Duterte!)
8. His attack against the Aquino administration's underspending
“Matatapos ang administrasyong na ito, sasabihin niya (Aquino), 'Ang savings po ganito.' Wow, when you are given a budget, you are supposed to spend that! Anong klaseng executive ‘to? How can they defend themselves now doon sa underspending?…That is not the job of a good executive. I will be a spending executive. The government is there to spend.” (Binmaley, Pangasinan, February 17, 2016)
(At the end of this administration he'll say, 'This is our savings.' Wow, when you are given a budget, you are supposed to spend that! What kind of executive is he? How can they defend themselves now in terms of underspending?…That is not the job of a good executive. I will be a spending executive. The government is there to spend.)
9. His promise of 'salaried' barangay officials, more IRA for LGUs
“Kay Jojo Binay, ang unang priority ko, kayong mga barangay officials ay magiging suwelduhan na. Hindi na ho kayo magiging honorarium at allowance. Kayong mga kawani, alam niyo ba, tinanong ko sa NEDA, ‘NEDA, bakit ayaw niyong itaas ang suweldo sa mga kawani sa pamahalaan? E taun-taon nag-aaway po kami. Bakit? E ayaw ho talagang gumasta.” (San Rafael, Bulacan, March 3, 2016)
(Jojo Binay’s priority is to make barangay officials salaried employees. You will no longer just receive honorarium and allowance. I asked NEDA before, “NEDA, why won’t you raise the salary of our barangay officials? We fought every year. Why? Because they do not want to spend. Savings, savings, savings! My God!)
“Sa ngayon, sakal-sakal pa rin ng pambansang pamahalaan ang mga lokal na pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng mga patakaran nito kaugnay sa internal revenue allotment o IRA, na inaasahan ng maraming LGU upang maisakatuparan ang kanilang mga serbisyo at proyekto….Trouble is, usually, the smaller the LGU, the smaller its local income, so it needs more allotments from the national government.” (Quezon City, December 11, 2015)
(Right now, the national government is holding the local government by the neck through its rules on the internal revenue allotment or IRA, which LGUs expect to use to implement their services and projects….Trouble is, usually, the smaller the LGU, the smaller its local income, so it needs more allotments from the national government.)
10. His plans for the business community, sacking BIR chief Kim Henares
“From 16 steps over 34 days, we shall work towards reducing it to 6 steps over 8 days to further improve the country’s competitiveness….If the basic requirements have been met, provisional permits shall be issued. If there is no decision from a certain department or agency within a certain number of days, the application will be considered as good as approved so as not to stall the process.” (Makati City, September 3, 2015)
“Because there are businessmen here, I don’t want you to have any worries. Within 30 minutes, you will no longer have any Kim Henares.” (Manila, February 29, 2016)
11. His pitch for running mate Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II
“Kailangan ko po ang isang tao na katulad ni Greg Honasan na puwede po akong matulog nang mahimbing.” (San Rafael, Bulacan, March 3, 2016)
(I need someone like Greg Honasan who will let me sleep soundly at night),”
12. His reminder against the ruling party's alleged vote-buying
“Kaya lalung-lalo na 'yung mga namimigay ng sa 4Ps, kayo pag nahuli-huli namin kayo eh ihahabla ko kayo, kasi electioneering ‘yan.” (Pasay City, February 15, 2016)
(Those who are buying votes through the 4Ps, we will charge you if we catch you because that's electioneering.)
“If you are handed money in the coming days, and I am sure they (politicians) will [do this], take the money, put in your pocket, and then vote for who you want, especially the likes of Binay and Honasan.” (Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, February 23, 2016)
The Vice President would then tell voters to accept the monetary bribes, but to vote for Binay and Honasan in the end. – Rappler.com