MANILA, Philippines – Her father may not have nabbed the support of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), but Makati Second District Representative Abigal Binay-Campos' mayoral bid is being endorsed by the powerful church.
A sample ballot being handed out to INC members in the country's financial business district bears the name of Abby. She is running against acting Mayor Kid Peña of the Liberal Party and art director Jimmy Jumawan from the Partido Bagong Maharlika.
Abby promises to bring back the "Serbisyong Binay (Binay brand of service)" in Makati, saying she will continue and expand on what her father Vice President Jejomar Binay has started in the city.
"Buong pakumbaba kong tinatanggap ang tiwala at suporta ng Iglesia ni Cristo," said Abby in a text message sent through VP's Binay's communications director Joey Salgado.
(I humbly accept the trust and support from the Iglesia ni Cristo.)
"Nangangako kaming lahat sa Team Binay na ipagpapatuloy namin ang sinimulan ni VP Jojo Binay. Ang serbisyong subok na ay dadagdagan pa ng serbisyong Abby Binay," she added.
(The entire Team Binay promises to continue what VP Jojo Binay has started. The service people already experience, Abby Binay will improve upon.)
Other UNA bets supported, too
Other local candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance got the endorsement as well:
Most of the city council members being endorsed by the INC in the country's premier business business district hail from UNA too.
Unlike his daughter, the elder Binay failed to get the INC's endorsement after it publicly supported the candidacy of current poll front-runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
From being an early survey leader, Binay is now 4th at 13% in the latest Social Weather Stations survey. Duterte is far ahead with 33%.
The INC, with about 1.37 million voters, is known for its practice of bloc voting, where members only elect the candidates whom their leaders support.
The last 3 presidential candidates it endorsed – Benigno Aquino III, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Joseph Estrada – won.
It remains to be seen, however, if the INC's bloc voting will be as potent as previous elections.
Several controversies rocked the religious institution last year, with former ministers alleging corruption and abductions from within the 101-year-old church.