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Kid Peña: Makati will be nat'l ‘laughing stock’ if you vote Binay

MANILA, Philippines – Acting Makati Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr urged voters not to support his rival, Second District Representative Abigail "Abby" Binay-Campos of the United Nationalist Alliance, saying the whole city will lose face if this happens.

The ruling Liberal Party’s mayoral bet made the statement at his proclamation rally for the city’s first district late Tuesday night, March 30.

Ang nakataya dito ay ang reputasyon po ng lungsod ng Makati. Tayo po ay pagtatawanan ng ibang lungsod [dahil] tumatangkilik po tayo ng liderato na sinusuka na po sa kabuaan ng bansa,” said Peña.

(The reputation of the city of Makati is at stake here. We will be the laughing stock of other cities because we would be patronizing a leadership that the rest of the country despises.) 

It was a hit against the Binays, who held the leadership of the country’s premier business district for nearly 3 decades – from the time Vice President Jejomar Binay, was appointed officer-in-charge in 1986, until his son, Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr was dismissed in 2015.

Aside from the two, the Vice President's wife, Elenita Binay, was also Makati mayor. 

Junjun did not finish the last year of his second term after the Ombudsman dismissed  and barred him from holding public office last year due to the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Parking Building II. UNA then decided to field Abby in his place. (READ: Abby Binay: Running for mayor a ‘big sacrifice’)

New Makati

Peña appealed to his constituents to support him and his promise of a Bagong Makati (New Makati),” in contrast to Abby’s vow to bring back the “Serbisyong Binay (Binay brand of service).”

Tulungan niyo po kami. Lumaban po tayo. Magtatapos po ito sa senyales ng kamulatan. Magtatapos po ito sa kapakanan ng kabataan,” said Peña, who also held another proclamation rally at Plaza Lawton on Monday for the city’s second district. 

(Please help us. Let's fight. This will lead to our awakening. This will lead to the welfare of our youth.)

LP bets in Makati proclaimed, with Peña as mayor and Mercado as vice mayor #PHVote pic.twitter.com/ATGsLrXQYL — Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) March 29, 2016

 

Sabotage

During the event, Peña defended himself against the claims of his rival that the state of Makati sity services worsened since he became acting mayor in June 2015. 

In her proclamation speech on Monday, Abby said the city-run Ospital ng Makati (OsMak) is faced with a shortage in medicine, lack of space for patients, and broken airconditioning system. She claimed doctors were almost sacked due to politics.

Abby also claimed that the trash and traffic situation in the city worsened under Peña’s leadership, 

Peña told reporters that a faction of the Binay camp is sabotaging OsMak, but declined to give details.

Sa totoo lang, ako hindi magsasalita ng mga bagay na makasira sa isang tao. Naniniwala kami na ang Bagong Makati talagang bago. Sa Ospital ng Makati, napakaluwag ngayon dun. Nagkakataon lang kasi na may ilang problema na nangyayari dun na nangyayari rin sa ilang parte o paksyon na ginagawan ho ng problema ‘yung ospital,” said Peña. 

(Honestly, I don’t want to say anything that would hurt a person. We believe that the ‘New Makati’ will really offer something new. The Ospital ng Makati has more space now. It just so happens that a faction of their camp is creating problems in the hospital.)

Peña said the city's trash problem already existed during the time of the Binays. The city government, under his helm is trying its best to address it, but he said  barangays have been reluctant to cooperate with them – an apparent allusion to the Binays' remaining influence among community officials. 

Nararamdaman namin ang kabarangayan ay siguro nahihiyang lumantad, nahihiyang magtrabaho, e napipilitan po na ‘wag makipag-coordinate sa amin. Dumaan ang truck ng basura, pero ‘yung proper timing ng paglalabas ng basura, ‘di coordinated,” he added.

(We feel that the barangays are having difficulty coordinating with us, as if they're embarrassed to work with us. The garbage truck passes by, but the proper timing for the people to bring out their trash isn’t coordinated.)

Desperate act

Peña also described the song and dance number performed by UNA’s bets in the city at Abby’s proclamation rally on Monday, including her emotional speech, as acts of desperation to win votes. (READ: Emotional Abby Binay: Bring back 'Serbisyong Binay' to Makati)  

Sila po ay nanliligaw na lang. Ngayon pong panahong ito, hindi 'nyo po ba napapansin, ginagawa na nila ang ‘di nila ginagawa noon? Sumayaw, kumanta, umiyak! Lumuluhod na po ang mga tala!” said Peña, who also reminded voters that he was “bullied” by the Binays when he was vice mayor. 

(They are now courting the people. Did you notice that they’re doing things they didn’t do before? They danced, sang, and cried! The stars are now on their knees!) 

Peña used be allied with the Binays until he became the running mate of former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado in the 2010 Makati local polls. Mercado lost but Peña won as an independent candidate. 

Peña, who was reelected vice mayor in the 2013 polls, is running with Karla Mercado, daughter of Binay's political rival.

Abby: ‘Why blame us?’ 

Abby laughed off Peña's allegations, saying he should not point fingers as he has been acting mayor for the past several months. 

Natatawa po kami sa mga sinasabi ni Mr Kid Peña. Paano po masasabotahe ng mga Binay ang OsMak gayung tinanggal nga po nila ang mga tao na sa tingin nila kamampi ng mga Binay?” Abby said in a text message to Rappler on Wednesday. 

(We find Mr Kid Peña’s statements as funny. How can the Binays sabotage OsMak when he already removed the people he thought are allied with us?) 

Peña appointed new officers-in-charge in key city-run institutions and city hall departments since becoming acting mayor. (READ: Kid Peña’s staff now using Junjun Binay’s 21st floor office in city hall)

Abby added that the current city government has the responsibility to fix Makati’s trash collection system.

Sa mga nangyayaring problema na ito sa OsMak at sa basura, pinapakita niya na hindi siya handa at wala siyang kakayahan na mamuno sa lungsod (These problems in OsMak and with the trash only show that he is not ready and he is not capable to lead the city),” she said. – 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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