Binay, Honasan build on 'core votes' in Laguna

LAGUNA, Philippines – There is no rest for Vice President Jejomar Binay and running mate Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II as the tandem headed to vote-rich Laguna on the second day of the campaign on Wednesday, February 10.

Riding a pick-up truck fitted with campaign trimmings, the tandem and their senatorial candidates toured barangays in San Pedro and Biñan in the morning and went around Santa Rosa and Cabuyao. He will wrap up his visit in Calamba in the evening.

With them were Binay children Senator Nancy Binay and dismissed Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr; United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial bets Princess Jacel Kiram, broadcaster Rey Langit, Parañaque Councilor Alma Moreno, Getulio Napeñas Jr, and lawyer Allan Montaño; and lawyer Harry Roque, who is eyeing a congressional seat.

UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan said the Vice President chose Laguna following his proclamation rally in Mandaluyong City because the province is considered to be Binay’s bailiwick.

In the 2010 vice presidential race, Binay defeated Liberal Party candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II in Laguna with 560,978 votes against Roxas’ 328,130.

Laguna has a total of 1,675,366 registered voters for the May polls.

Malakas si Vice President Binay dito at maganda ang core vote dito (Vice President Binay is strong here and his core vote here is good as well),” said Ilagan.

He added that Binay is confident that dismissed Laguna governor ER Ejercito can secure votes for UNA in the province.

Of course. Mahal pa rin siya (Ejercito) ng tao. Makikita mo naman ‘yung salubong ngayon. It’s the first day of the national campaign at confident siya, kumpiyansa siya kasi maganda naman ‘yung kanyang legacy, maganda naman ‘yung kanyang iniwan. He’s very confident that he’s going to win in the coming elections,” said Ilagan.

(Of course. Ejercito is still loved by the people. You will notice the way they were welcomed today. It’s the first day of the national campaign and he’s confident because he left a good legacy. He is very confident that he’s going to win in the coming elections.)

Binay ‘capable’ to help poor

BINAY'S ALLY. Dismissed Laguna governor ER Ejercito says he will fully support Binay and his party, UNA. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

BINAY'S ALLY. Dismissed Laguna governor ER Ejercito says he will fully support Binay and his party, UNA.

Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Binay recently lost his front runner status in the latest Pulse Asia survey to Senator Grace Poe. The Vice President is tied in second place with administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

The Vice President also tied with Roxas in the Laylo survey released on Tuesday. Poe maintains the lead in the Standard-conducted election poll.

Ejercito, however, believes Binay is still the most fit to become president, and took an indirect potshot at Poe to drive home his point.

"'Di natin kailangan ng on-the-job training. ‘Di kailangan natin ng student council meeting. Kailangan natin dito ‘yung karapat-dapat na makatulong sa mahihirap na Pilipino sa ating bansa,” said the former governor, taking an indirect jab at Poe.

(We don’t need someone who still has to go through on-the-job training. We don’t need a student council meeting. What we need is someone who is capable of helping the poor Filipinos in the country.)  

‘Only Binay’

CORE BASE. Supporters scramble to view Vice President Jejomar Binay at the Southville covered court in Santa Rosa, Laguna, on February 10, 2016. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

CORE BASE. Supporters scramble to view Vice President Jejomar Binay at the Southville covered court in Santa Rosa, Laguna, on February 10, 2016.

Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Jhun Encio, a 46-year-old resident of Barangay Caingin in Santa Rosa, said he will vote for Binay.

Wala naman akong ibang iboboto kundi si Binay lang. Kahit masabi natin na maraming nababalita, ‘di naman natin napapatunayan pa na korap siya (There’s no one else I’m going to vote for but Binay. Even if there are reports about him, we haven’t proven yet that he is corrupt),” said Encio.

The Laguna resident was referring to the corruption accusations against the Vice President involving alleged anomalous deals the Makati city government entered into while he was mayor.

The Office of the Ombudsman already found probable cause to indict him and his son, dismissed Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, and several others for allegedly overpricing the Makati city hall parking building II.

As Vice President, Binay is immune from any criminal charges. But if he is not elected president in the May elections, the Ombudsman may already file the cases against him before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.

Binay's communications director Joey Salgado brushed aside the Ombudsman's decisions as "political tools" against Binay. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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