MANILA, Philippines – Former vice president Jejomar Binay is running for a congressional seat in the 2019 midterm elections.
This was confirmed to Rappler by Binay's spokesperson Joey Salgado on Monday, September 24.
"I can confirm he's running for Congress, for the 1st District of Makati," Salgado said in a phone call.
Binay's rags-to-riches story propelled him to the vice presidency in 2010 and soon after, he was announcing his plan to gun for the highest post of the land. The former vice president, however, lost in the 2016 presidential race, finishing 4th with 5,318,249 votes. (READ: Jejomar Binay's impossible dream)
Another Binay is also eyeing another run in 2019.
Binay's daughter, Makati City Mayor Abigail "Abby" Binay, also said during the flag ceremony at the city hall on Monday morning that she is going to seek reelection in 2019. The younger Binay had publicized her bid to run for mayor again as early as August 2018.
The former vice president and his daughter are going to run under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), of which Abby's sister Senator Nancy Binay is the president. The family patriarch is currently UNA chairperson.
Lawyer Michael Camina, Makati city government spokesperson, confirmed that Abby had announced her reelection bid in her speech during the flag ceremony.
"I was there during the flag ceremony and I did hear her say that she's running for reelection. But with regards to her father...she said, 'Magbabalik si VP Binay (VP Binay is going to return),'" said Camina.
Up against Kid Peña
Another source said Jejomar Binay's bid for Congress had been announced in Makati as early as Saturday, September 22, during the Ugnayan at Lingkod Bayan Caravan organized by Abby, her husband and Makati City 2nd District Representative Luis Campos, Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo, and barangay officials.
According to Salgado, Binay is likely going to run against former vice mayor Romulo "Kid" Peña, who went against Abby for mayor in the 2016 polls. Peña's Facebook profile shows he has been going around the district ahead of the official campaign period.
Incumbent Makati City 1st District Representative Monsour del Rosario had run in 2016 under UNA, but he has jumped ship to the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). Del Rosario is eyeing the Senate in 2019 under PDP-Laban.
Meanwhile, Peña had served as acting Makati City mayor in 2015 when Abby's brother, then-mayor Jejomar "Junjun" Binay Jr, was suspended over the alleged overpricing of the Makati Science High School Building and the Makati City Hall Parking Building II.
It was a close fight between Abby and Peña in 2016. Abby won with 160,320 votes against Peña's 142,257 votes. The 3rd candidate, art director Jimmy Jumawan, got 1,823 votes. – with reports from Camille Elemia/Rappler.com