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MANILA, Philippines – If Lito Lapid can do it, why can’t they?
Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada came to the defense of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s daughter, Nancy, amid questions about her competence as a senatorial aspirant.
In the United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) final campaign rally on Saturday, May 11, Estrada turned comic as he said that, like Nancy, he too was the subject of ridicule and questions about his qualifications when he first ran for senator.
“Sinasabi nila, itong anak ni Vice President, walang alam. Susmaryosep, ang yayabang! 'Kala mo ang dudunong nila. Eh ako naman noong araw, nung tumakbo ako noong 2004, sinabi ring wala akong alam.”
(They say the daughter of the Vice President knows nothing. My God, they are so arrogant! They think they are so wise. When I ran for senator in 2004, they also said I knew nothing.)
“Sabi ng ibang tao: Bakit natin iboboto iyan? Artista lang iyan. Anak lang ni Erap iyan. Walang nalalaman iyan. Sa bagay, totoo naman,” Estrada laughed. (Other people said: Why will we vote for him? He is just an actor. He is just Erap’s son. He knows nothing. Well, that’s true.)
Yet when he won, the former San Juan mayor said someone made him realize he was cut out for the Senate after all.
“Ang katabi ko, Si Sen [Juan Ponce] Enrile. Nasa kaliwa ko si Sen Miriam [Defensor Santiago], ang ingay noon. Pinapanood ko. Ingglisan nang Ingglisan. Ang gagaling mag-Inggles. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Patay na ako rito.’ Parang gusto ko na bumalik sa San Juan, pero nung tumingin ako sa malayo, may mga senador na naka-Amerikano rin.”
(Beside me was Sen Enrile. To my left was Sen Miriam who is so noisy. I watch them. They keep speaking in English. I said to myself, ‘I’m dead.’ I wanted to go back to San Juan but I saw from afar there were senators also in suits.)
“Akalain mo bungad sa akin si Lito Lapid. Nung nakita ko, sabi ko, ‘Aba’y kayang-kaya ko na ito!” (Imagine, I saw Lito Lapid. When I saw him, I said, ‘I can surely do this!')
Lapid, a former movie star like Estrada, was not able to earn a college degree. He has admitted having difficulty understanding Senate debates especially during the impeachment trial, with discussions often in English and legalese.
Nancy Binay has been the subject of criticism in the senatorial campaign because of her lack of experience. The vice president’s daughter is a University of the Philippines tourism graduate who served as personal assistant to her father for 20 years.
Estrada said, “So let’s not underestimate the capabilities of Nancy. She is so nice. You look at her and don’t think she can do much, but I guarantee you, when she wins, we will be partners in helping the Filipino masses.”
‘Nancy’s critics just jealous’
Like Estrada, the Vice President also defended his daughter anew, and slammed her critics.
“Ito ay inaalipusta, hinahamak…. Walang nalalaman, babago-bago pa lamang. Walang ganyanan sana. Pero sa bagay, talagang may mga inggitero, 'di nawawala, sapagkat si Nancy Binay, ang ganda-ganda ng suporta ng ating mga kababayan,” Binay said.
(They ridicule her. They mock her, that she knows nothing, she is just a neophyte. I hope they do not do that. But then again, there are really envious people because Nancy Binay enjoys strong support from our fellow Filipinos.)
Binay was referring to his daughter’s strong showing in surveys. In the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS), Nancy ranked 3rd-4th, tied with Sen Francis Escudero.
The Vice President said UNA’s opponents are fond of ridiculing people, including Sen Estrada who was also criticized as a senator.
Nancy’s birthday wish
When it was her turn to speak, Nancy again appealed to voters to support her.
She greeted mothers in the crowd a happy mothers’ day, saying she will push for a bigger budget for children’s health and education if elected.
Nancy said that if she wins as senator, she will be her father’s partner in pushing for housing programs.
Binay, who turns 40 on Sunday, said she had a wish on the eve of the May 13 polls.
“Ilang oras na lang, 40 years old na ako. Meron akong birthday wish. May kasabihang life begins at 40. Sana sa darating na Lunes, sa tulong niyong lahat mababago na ho talaga ang buhay ko.”
(In just a few hours, I will turn 40. I have a birthday wish. There’s a saying that life begins at 40. I hope this Monday, with your help, my life will really change.)
Nancy added, “Ang birthday wish ko sana payagan niyo ako, kasama ang UNA senatorial slate, na paglingkuran kayo sa Senado.” (My birthday wish is that you will allow me, and the rest of the UNA senatorial slate to serve you in the Senate.) – Rappler.com
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