Running for Makati mayor? History shows odds will be against Kid Peña

Mara Cepeda
Running for Makati mayor? History shows odds will be against Kid Peña


Three former vice mayors of Makati City all lost to a Binay when they ran for mayor

MANILA, Philippines – One month into his stint as acting mayor, and on his 46th birthday, Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr announced on Wednesday, August 5, that he is “ready” to run for the chief local executive post in 2016.  

Most possibly to face off against currently suspended Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, Peña, in the event he wins, would be the first Makati vice mayor in post-EDSA history to win against the Binays.

History shows the road to becoming mayor will be tough for Peña. All former vice mayors who gunned for the top post in Makati have been beaten by a Binay.

In 2010, then-Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, who used to be allied with Vice President Jejomar Binay, lost his bid for the mayoral post to the Vice President Jejomar Binay’s only son.

In 2001, former Vice Mayor Edu Manzano ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor against Jejomar Binay Sr, who won by a landslide.

In 1998, ex-Vice Mayor Arturo “Toro” Yabut lost to VP Binay’s wife, Dr Elenita Binay.

While Peña clarified that his discernment is still ongoing, he boasted about his “major” accomplishments as acting mayor of Makati – projects that, a councilor allied with the Binays said, started during the term of Mayor Junjun.

A little over a month ago, Peña was sworn in as acting mayor following a 6-month preventive suspension order the Ombudsman issued against Mayor Binay over an allegedly overpriced science high school. The mayor has asked the Court of Appeals to stop his suspension. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.