UNA crowd: We trust Binay

Mara Cepeda
UNA crowd: We trust Binay

LeAnne Jazul

Despite the corruption charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay, the ordinary men and women who went to the UNA party launch say they are unfazed

MANILA, Philippines – They came to the Makati Coliseum bearing balloons, banners, and streamers, all expressing support for the official launch of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s opposition party, the the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), on Wednesday, July 1. (READ: Binay hits Aquino’s ‘lazy, teka-teka’ government)

There was an air of excitement as delegates from different regions across the nation cheered every time the hosts mentioned their barangay, municipality, city, or province.

Many of them were bobbing their heads to the beat of the band music. Everyone joined in when the hosts asked for a crowd wave.

It was like a fiesta.

The people in the coliseum only screamed louder when Binay finally took the stage and gave his speech. (READ: FULL TEXT: Binay asks: Nasaan ang gobyerno?)

Sobrang pong ganda at nakakaantig ng damdamin (It was so beautiful and very touching),” said 55-year-old Marina Mendoza, a resident of Nagcarlan, Laguna.

She said her favorite part of Binay’s speech was when he assured the audience that UNA is not composed of lazy and slow individuals who are apathetic to the problems of Filipinos. 

According to her, the Vice President’s words gave hope to poor people like her. 

Meanwhile, Valenzuela City resident Michael Mayol said he came to the launch not only to support UNA but also their representative Sherwin Gatchalian, who is among those being considered for UNA’s 2016 senatorial slate.

Ang [partidong UNA], marami nang natulungan [sa amin]. Kagaya nung isang araw, nagpunta si Bise President Jojo Binay dun, nagpunta para tulungan ‘yung mga senior citizens namin,” Mayol said, adding that wheelchairs were given out to the elderly.

(As a party, UNA has helped a lot of people in our area. The other day, Vice President Jojo Binay went there and helped our senior citizens.)

This is a sentiment echoed by 62-year-old Violi Bautista from Barangay Carmona in Makati City, where Binay was mayor for 21 years.

Napakaraming benefits ng senior citizens sa Makati,” she said, sharing that she receives regular medical assistance from the local government.

Asked what they think about the corruption allegations against the Vice President, they said they were unfazed in their support for Binay.

Alam naman nating oras na ng pulitika ngayon eh. Wala pa namang napapatunayan regarding sa mga alegasyon ng korapsyon na ginagawa kina Vice President Binay. Puro alegasyon lang, alingasngas lang ‘yung ginagawa ng mga kalaban sa pulitika,” Mayol said.

(We know that this period is a time of politics. They haven’t proved anything about the corruption allegations against Vice President Binay. They are all allegations, scandalous statements made by their political enemies.)

Mendoza added, “May tiwala kami sa kanya (We trust him).” – Rappler.com

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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 mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.