Binay mum on Jonvic Remulla breaking away from UNA
PANGASINAN, Philippines — Is Vice President Jejomar Binay losing another key ally?
Reports say Binay's longtime political adviser and former spokesman Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla is severing ties with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Mara Cepeda reports.
Vice President Jejomar Binay returns to Pangasinan, the third most vote-rich province in the country, amid reports that a close political ally will soon bolt the United Nationalist Alliance.
In Pangasinan, the UNA standard-bearer evades questions about Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla allegedly leaving his campaign team.
Jonvic is currently Binay's adviser on domestic and political policy.
Jonvic's brother Boying, a gubernatorial bet in Cavite, told Rappler that Jonvic "wants his peace before the campaign takes its toll on him."
But this does not necessarily mean Jonvic is leaving Binay for another candidate.
JEJOMAR BINAY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why is your conclusion, 'wants his peace?' He wants to rest. He's tired from campaigning.
Media: How is your relationship with Congressman Boying and Governor Jonvic?
JEJOMAR BINAY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Friends; best of friends. Governor Jonvic will be my DILG secretary.
Binay is an adopted member of Jonvic's local party, Partido Magdalo. Is their partnership still intact?
JEJOMAR BINAY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You are speculating that we will be breaking apart. If I answer you, "Our partnership is no longer intact" then it will be true that we're parting ways. Your questions have no basis.
If the Remullas pull out their support for Binay, they will be the second political family from a vote-rich province to do so.
The Garcias of Cebu broke away from Binay in March to support current poll front-runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte instead.
Binay's chances in Pangasinan remain unclear too.
The province is considered to be Senator Grace Poe's bailiwick because her father, the late action star Fernando Poe Jr, is from San Carlos City.
Binay is allied with Pangasinan 5th District Representative Mark Cojuanco, who is running for governor against Amado Espino III.
Espino's Partido ng Pangasinan supports Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, who beat Binay for the vice presidency in the province in 2010 by 76,000 votes.
Binay is unfazed, saying the best survey is the elections itself.
The Vice President is confident that his core supporters will back him on election day.
They say in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies, just common interests. As May 9 approaches, can Binay keep the allies he needs to propel him to the presidency?
Mara Cepeda, Rappler, Pangasinan
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