Binay to voters: Do not elect ‘unprepared, unprincipled’ lawmakers

MANILA, Philippines – Former vice president and now congressional candidate Jejomar Binay said only candidates ready for the “serious business” of lawmaking should be elected to Congress. 

“Dapat ay handa na magpanukala ng mga batas, humarap at makipagtalakayan sa mga kapwa kongresista, opisyal ng national government, mga kilalang eksperto sa larangan ng ekonomiya, pamamahala at iba pang usapin na hinaharap ng bansa,” said Binay in a recent forum on good governance. Parts of his speech were sent to reporters on Wednesday, February 27. 

(They should be ready to propose laws, debate with other lawmakers, government officials, experts on the economy and governance, and other issues being faced by the country.) 

“The process of lawmaking is serious business that should not be left to the unprepared, unprincipled, and inarticulate,” he added. 

Binay is running for congressman of Makati’s 1st District against former city vice mayor Romulo "Kid" Peña Jr.

A veteran politician, Binay was mayor of Makati for a total of 21 years and this will be his first crack at a congressional seat. 

In 2010, Binay’s rags-to-riches story propelled him to the vice presidency; he ran for president in 2016 but lost – finishing 4th with 5,318,249 votes. A 20-month Senate investigation that dug up multiple allegations of corruption and unexplained wealth against Binay is believed to be among the chief reasons for his failed presidential bid. (READ: Jejomar Binay's impossible dream) 

In the same forum, Binay hit the common practice of politicians to jump ship to the ruling party each time a new president is elected. After the May 2016 polls, for example, members of the once-ruling Liberal Party switched their allegiance to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko-Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan.

According to Binay, turncoatism removes the system of checks and balances that should be in place among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. 

“Our institutions, most especially the legislature, should never be a party to plots to prolong one group’s or one person’s stay in power at the expense of democracy and our Constitution. Congress should be an institution to build a country and achieve a vision, not a tool to undermine democracy,” said Binay. 

Makati remains a stronghold of the Binay family, yet elections in this city will be more heated than usual in May.

Binay’s own children – his only son and namesake, former mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr and reelectionist Mayor Abby Binay – are both running for mayor. (READ: Battle vs Junjun for Makati mayor to 'divide' Binay family, says Abby)

The family patriarch has allowed his children to slug it out, but he also said his daughter “deserves” to be reelected. 

Abby’s husband, Makati 2nd District Representative Luis Campos, is also seeking reelection. –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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