Ex-VP Binay on political comeback: ‘I still want to serve’

Mara Cepeda

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Ex-VP Binay on political comeback: ‘I still want to serve’

Rob Reyes

Former vice president Jejomar Binay is running for Makati congressman, but says he is not aspiring for speakership

MANILA, Philippines – Former vice president Jejomar Binay is hoping to get another shot at politics, this time to serve Makati residents as the congressman of the first district. 

Asked on Friday, March 29, why he seeks to return to the political spotlight, the 76-year-old told reporters: “Gusto ko pa maglingkod. Kaya ko pa. ‘Di ko naman ipagkakait ‘yong aking nalaman, makatulong sa bayan.” (I still want to serve. I can still do it. I don’t want to deprive the public of the things I’ve learned, so I can help the nation.) 

Unlike prominent congressional candidates, Binay said he is not aspiring to become House Speaker. He is running under the United Nationalist Alliance, the party he formed for his failed presidential bid in 2016.

“Suntok sa buwan ‘yon. Eh galing sa administrasyon ang gusto mong magiging Speaker,” said Binay. (That’s a long shot. Because you’d want the Speaker to be from the administration.) 

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 longtime Makati mayor, however, lost in the 2016 presidential race, finishing 4th with 5,318,249 votes. (READ: Jejomar Binay’s impossible dream)

The months-long Senate investigation that dug up multiple corruption allegations against Binay and his son, then-mayor Junjun Binay, is believed to have influenced Binay’s first electoral loss 3 years ago. 

Binay’s congressional bid is not without controversy either, as Junjun has decided to challenge the reelection bid of his older sister, Makati Mayor Abby Binay. (READ: Binay family feud won’t end after 2019 elections – Abby)

Binay, who allowed his children to slug it out in Makati provided they avoid throwing hurtful statements at each other, later decided to stick it out with Abby.

Binay is facing off for the congressional seat against former vice mayor Kid Peña (Liberal Party), Brigido Mesina Jr (independent), and Ferdinand Sevilla (independent). – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.