MANILA, Philippines – Makati City Mayor Abby Binay slammed her brother and political rival, Junjun Binay, after being embroiled in a fight during a debate held on Saturday, April 27.
A video posted by ABS-CBN showed the siblings in a feud inside a church during an election forum organized by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). The fight happened in the presence of the family patriarch, former vice president Jejomar Binay.
"I find it most unfortunate that my brother said hurtful things to me and acted in such a manner inside a church and in the presence of my father and our Makatizens," Abby said in a statement.
"May masasakit na sinabi sa akin ang kapatid ko noong kami ay magkatabi sa forum. Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggagaling ang galit niya," she added. (My brother said some hurtful things to me when we were seated beside each other. I do not know where his anger was coming from.)
Abby called on her brother and his team to end the defamation and lies against her.
"I pray that he finds peace of mind and releases the anger that seems to have clouded his words and deeds," she said.
"I will never tire of talking about my performance as mayor and my plans for the city and our Makatizens. With two weeks left before the election, I wish that my brother and his supporters will do the same. Itigil na sana nila ang paninira at kasinungalingan (I hope they stop spreading lies)," she added.
The fight in the church reportedly started when Abby, in her speech, called on candidates to stop the lies in the campaign – a move that did not sit well with Junjun.
Upon returning to her seat beside Junjun, the two were seen furiously talking to each other, with some people trying to pacify them.
Junjun then stood up and addressed the audience.
"Alam mo, Ate Abby, nandito tayo. Puwede po katahimikan, pinandidilatan po ako ng kapatid ko. Bakit ko gagawin? Nagsasabi raw ako ng kasinungalingan. Ibang klase. Wala ako ginawa sa 'yo, nandito tayo sa simbahan, ate, dapat may paggalang," he said as quoted in ABS-CBN.
(You know, Ate Abby, we are here. Please be quiet. My sister was glaring at me. Why would I do it? She said I am spreading lies. She's one of a kind. I did not do anything to you. We are inside a church, there should be respect.)
Abby ran for mayor and won in 2016 after Junjun was dismissed from office in September 2015. The Ombudsman had found him and other city officials guilty of the administrative charges of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct over irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building. But in May this year, the Court of Appeals overturned Junjun's dismissal.
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org