MANILA, Philippines – The sibling rivalry in Makati City runs so deep that reelectionist Mayor Abby Binay believes the outcome of the May 13 elections will not resolve their political clan's conflict.
Abby Binay told reporters in an ambush interview ahead of her proclamation rally on Friday, March 29, that she finds it "very unfortunate" she is up against her younger brother, former mayor Junjun Binay Jr, for the mayoral post.
"'Di lang naman kami 'yong magkalaban. It is very unfortunate na magkalaban kami. It is something very, very avoidable but pinili niyang labanan ako," said Abby, who is confident of her victory despite facing 4 other candidates in her reelection bid. (READ: Abby Binay: 'I'm banking on my track record, not my surname’)
(We're not the only candidates here. It is very unfortunate that we're up against each other. It is something very, very avoidable, but he chose to fight me.)
"So lagi kong sinasabi, matatapos ang elekyson. May mananalo, may matatalo, pero hindi pa rin kami magkakaayos ng pamilya ko. So hindi matatapos ang problema ko sa araw ng eleksyon. So 'yon ang mas mahirap para sa akin," she added.
(So I always say that elections will end. Someone will win, someone will lose, but this conflict within the family will still not be mended. So my problems will not be over on the day of the elections. And that is what's tough for me.)
The battle for Makati mayor is set to be a hot race, with Junjun expected not to bow down so easily to his older sister Abby.
It's an arrangement that their father – former vice president and now Makati congressional bet Jejomar Binay – had allowed, but only under the condition that they do not throw mud at each other.
In the end, Binay had to pick sides – and he chose Abby, with whom he shared the stage on Friday.
"Magiging sinungaling naman ako kung 'di kami naapektuhan ano? Masyadong abnormal na kung kung hindi [ko sabihing] nagkaroon kami ng problema… Dadagdagan ko pa ang aking pagdadasal. Matatapos din 'yan," said Binay in an ambush interview.
(I would be lying if I'd say we are not affected by this, right? It would be abnormal for me to deny that we have a problem… I will pray more. Hopefully this will end.)
Like a variety show
Abby pulled out all the stops for her proclamation rally, which can be likened to a festive variety show.
Singer Lloyd Zaragoza sang for the crowd, while actor and reelectionist Councilor Jhong Hilario led Abby's Team Performance slate in a dance number.
Headlining the performances is comedian Vice Ganda, who not only entertained the audience, but talked about Abby's top programs for Makati together with co-host Kaladkaren Davila.
Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler
As Abby finally took the stage, the crowd continued to cheer for her as she promised to introduce hospice care for senior citizens, urgent care centers for residents, and free nutritious meals for students.
"Minsan ko pong sinabi na ang subway ang magiging legacy project ko… Higit dito, nais ko na ituring ninyo ang subway project na ito na inyong legacy o pamana ng Makati sa buong Pilipinas," said Abby.
(I once said the subway will be my legacy project… But more than this, I want you to treat this subway project as your legacy too or as your inheritance for the rest of the Philippines.)
Three senatorial bets were also given the chance to speak on stage: former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile, and Hugpong ng Pagbabago candidates Francis Tolentino and Bato dela Rosa. But only Enrile shared the stage with Binay, his longtime ally.
Junjun will be holding his own proclamation rally on Saturday afternoon, March 30. His father said he has not been invited yet, but Binay would attend if Junjun asks him. – Rappler.com