Nancy Binay on UNA: We share Team PNoy goal
CEBU, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) officials brand the start of the campaign period as the drawing of lines between the administration and the opposition. But is there really a difference?
For vice presidential daughter and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial bet Nancy Binay, the squabbling coalitions are not all that different.
“If their goal is also to help the Filipino people, we share in that same goal,” Binay said in a press conference in Cebu City.
Binay faced reporters on the eve of the start of the campaign period for national candidates. UNA will hold its proclamation rally in Plaza Independencia in Cebu on Tuesday, February 12.
Asked if there is no distinction between LP and the so-called constructive opposition that is UNA, Binay said, “We in UNA, our enemies are poverty and lack of jobs. It’s not the Liberal Party [administration coalition].”
“What we want is a solution to the lack of jobs and to poverty.”
The LP has challenged UNA to distinguish itself from the Team PNoy slate. Analysts point out that in 2013, there is no “real opposition.” UNA insists it supports President Benigno Aquino III’s government but will criticize it when necessary.
Binay’s answers prompted reporters to ask whether UNA’s stand is akin to the Noy-Bi scenario in 2010 when allies supported Binay and Aquino even if they ran on different political parties.
Asked if she welcomes a repeat of Noy-Bi, Binay said, “Yes because why will we want to pit the President against the Vice President? At the end of the day, we only have one country.”
“We all want a better Philippines so division cannot lead to that. It won’t help our countrymen in need.”
Binay said UNA is just offering the “better way” to achieve Aquino’s agenda. “For example, the 6.6% GDP, more people still lose jobs. My father is very results-oriented. He wants people to immediately feel the effects of policies and programs he does and UNA will also be like that.”
LP campaign manager Sen Franklin Drilon has said that it will take time for the President’s reforms to trickle down.
Just proxies of common bets
In the press conference, Nancy Binay revealed that two of 3 common candidates will just send proxies to the UNA proclamation rally. The 3 bets UNA shares with the LP chose to attend the Team PNoy event in Plaza Miranda, Manila.
Former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares is just sending her son, Brian, to the UNA event. Re-electionist Sen Loren Legarda’s father, Antonio Legarda, will be present on her behalf.
Sen Francis Escudero has yet to give word whether he is sending a proxy or not.
Binay said UNA is not slighted by the three’s absence. “For us, we don’t consider that snubbing. We are not selfish. We’re very understanding.”
The statement was in reaction to LP’s standing policy that the common candidates should not appear in UNA events.
Even before the rally at 5pm, UNA will kick off the campaign period through a Mass at the Cebu Cathedral to be officiated by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
The senatorial slate will then split into two teams to visit Cebu’s north and south districts. Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former President Joseph Estrada will also hold a press conference before the rally.
As part of the spectacle, Binay said UNA has its own celebrities to match the Aga Muhlach-Charlene Gonzales tandem of the LP. She said the Gutierrez family will be present to join UNA. Showbiz talent manager Annabelle Rama is running for congresswoman of Cebu’s North District. UNA ally Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is her first cousin.
What makes the UNA event different from the LP? This, too, is unclear.
Binay said, “We have the 3: the Vice President, the Senate President, and the former president.”
Who funds UNA?
Even if the campaign period is about to start, Nancy Binay was unsure about UNA’s funders. She was also unfamiliar about whether or not Binay, Enrile and Estrada split expenses for their coalition.
“I think we have friends who contributed, from the private sector.”
Binay though denied reports that UNA used the funds and resources of the Cebu City government for its proclamation rally. “We’re using UNA funds,” she said.
The senatorial bet said her focus was on her own candidacy, welcoming news about her rise to rank 4 in Pulse Asia’s January 2013 senatorial survey.
While she credited the rise to the “Binay brand of service,” the political neophyte said, “Hopefully by tomorrow, I will be more known as Nancy Binay and not the daughter of the vice president.” (Read: Nancy Binay, the accidental candidate)
Binay said she is also hopeful of support from her wedding godfather, Drilon, despite the rivalry between the two coalitions. Ironically, it is Drilon who said the LP will be strict about supporting purely Team PNoy candidates.
For Nancy Binay, her family's ties with Drilon go deeper than politics, saying the late senator’s wife, Violeta, was also her godmother and a close friend of her father.
“Kaya personally, feeling ko ‘di ako papabayaan ng ninong ko.” (So personally, I feel my godfather will not abandon me.) – Rappler.com
Visit #PHvote, Rappler's coverage of the 2013 Philippine elections.
Get to know the candidates through our comprehensive profile pages and help spread the word about these candidates by answering our poll.
Check out our fun timeline to find interesting trivia on the candidates.
Help us monitor violence & vote buying! Report them through #VoteWatch and our tool will automatically map your report.
Share this page and pledge to #votesmart by clicking on the button below.
More from Rappler's 2013 Philippine elections coverage: