2022 Philippine Elections

Jejomar Binay files candidacy for senator

Mara Cepeda

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Jejomar Binay files candidacy for senator

POLITICAL COMEBACK? Former vice president Jejomar Binay files his certificate candidacy for senator in the May 2022 elections at the Sofitel Harbour Garden Tent in Pasay City on October 7, 2021.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

'We learned during this pandemic how the people have been deeply neglected. We need to fix this,' says the former vice president who hopes to stage his political comeback in 2022

Former vice president Jejomar Binay filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator in the 2022 national elections.

Binay, 78, arrived at the Commission on Elections’ COC filing venue at the Sofitel hotel in Pasay City on Thursday, October 7. 

He is running for senator under the United Nationalist Alliance, the party he founded for his failed presidential bid in 2016. 

“I have been in public service for more than 30 years. This is what I will offer to our people. We have done a lot for our fellow Filipinos. We can do more, and we should do more,” Binay said in a statement on Thursday.

He said he was prompted to seek a Senate seat due to the government’s inadequate pandemic response.

“We learned during this pandemic how the people have been deeply neglected. We need to fix this,” Binay said.

“The first priority should be helping the four million Filipinos who lost their jobs, the over three million families who are experiencing hunger, and the thousands of small businesses who had no choice but to close down. We need to help them recover,” he added.

He said that in rebuilding the economy, “creating stable jobs” should be prioritized as well.

The longtime lord of Makati has a good chance of winning in the 2022 senatorial race, based on the latest Pulse Asia survey, where he ranked 11th to 15th with a voter preference rating of 29.5%.

If Binay wins in 2022, he would finally be able to stage his political comeback after losing in two consecutive elections. He would also end up serving in the Senate alongside his daughter, Nancy.

Binay was survey front-runner for months in the run-up to the 2016 presidential race, but he had to bow down to the eventual victor, then-Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

The former vice president then tried to run for Makati 1st District’s congressional seat in 2019, but he was stunned by his ally-turned-foe Kid Peña.

The messy battle for the mayoral post between his only son Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and reelectionist Mayor Abigail “Abby” Binay is believed to have contributed to the family patriarch’s surprising defeat in 2019.

Binay then retreated from the political spotlight after his successive electoral losses. 

But he has since reemerged as an opposition figure against Duterte, whom Binay had called an “executioner”  in the final days of the 2016 campaign. 

A human rights lawyer who fought the Marcos dictatorship, Binay has repeatedly hit Duterte’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and has criticized the “creeping erosion of civil liberties” under the President.

Binay also said lawyers were more scared now under Duterte than they ever were under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.