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Nancy Binay prepares for more attacks

MANILA, Philippines – “This is just the beginning of another battle.”

Senator-elect Nancy Binay is anticipating more attacks against her after a campaign filled with questions about her competence and Internet jokes on her skin color.

In a press conference on Friday, May 17, Binay looked back at the colorful campaign period where she went under fire for her inexperience.

Dapat pagkatapos ng eleksyon, tapos na ang naging issue. Trabaho na tayo [but] I am preparing for more attacks. Ang linya ko nga this is just the beginning of another battle,” she said. (After the elections, the issues should also end. We should start working.)

Now that she is proclaimed senator, Binay said her first priority is pursuing her campaign platforms: more daycare and feeding centers, and an expanded immunization program.

Binay, who used the slogan “nanay ng Senado” (mother of the Senate), built her campaign around her image as the mother of 4, and the eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay. 

Nancy said her father was key to her decision to enroll in a short course in the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance. (UP NCPAG).

Kasi di ba dapat lagi tayong nag-aaral eh, ‘yun ang natutunan ko sa father ko. Aral ka nang aral eh to enrich yourself.” (We should keep studying. That’s what I learned from my father. You should study to enrich yourself.)

Binay, a UP tourism graduate, expects senior members of the chamber to reach out to her.

“Siyempre medyo may kaba rin lalo na sa mga senior senators pero siyempre advantage ko nga si Senate President [Juan Ponce] Enrile, during the course of the campaign, nakakasama ko siya. Si Sen [Franklin] Drilon, ninong ko naman siya.”

(Of course, I am also nervous especially being with senior senators but of course there’s an advantage that Senate President Enrile, during the course of the campaign, we’ve been together. Sen Drilon is my godfather.)

How about Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago?

“I guess siya lang ang wala akong ano. Hoping for the best. Medyo may kaba.” (I guess she is the only one I don’t have a connection with. Hoping for the best but I’m nervous.)

Yet when asked if she is already preparing her office, Binay said, “Gusto ko munang magpahinga. Ang mga anak ko, laging tinatanong, ‘Kailan tayo magbabakasyon?’

(I really want to rest first. My kids always ask me, “When are we going on vacation?”)

'Dad let me decide on proclamation'

Nancy Binay said she consulted her father, the Vice President, about skipping her proclamation Thursday night but it was ultimately her decision.  

Binay said she was not comfortable being proclaimed with only 24% of the results canvassed.

“At this point, he let me decide. Of course, I am the one accountable for my action, not him …. It was a personal conviction,” she said.

“Alam mo sa amin, para kasi sa amin, lalo na sa father ko, siguro kasi lawyer siya, gusto niya nasusunod ng tama, step by step na proseso.” 

(For us, especially my father, because he is a lawyer, he wants to follow the proper process, step by step.)

“I don’t have peace of mind that with just those votes, I will already tell myself that I won, I’m part of the top 5. When my lawyers advise me, when they compute the figures and tell me you will not be removed from the top 5, maybe by that time, I can send word to the Comelec that I can have my certificate of proclamation," she added. 

Binay said she plans to wait for the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) to canvass a “substantial” number of votes.

“If it’s there, I will think whether I still want to go there for the proclamation, even just for the photo-op. I was thinking I might still be given a chance for the photo-op.”

Asked what she was doing while the 5 other candidates were proclaimed, Binay cracked a joke.

“Nag-aalaga ng anak.” (Taking care of my children.) –