By Jel Santos
Former Makati mayor Junjun Binay on Friday said he last spoke to his elder sister, incumbent Mayor Abigail Binay around three months ago, which was during his birthday.
Junjun accompanied his other sister, Sen. Nancy Binay, to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office when the senator filed her certificate of candidacy to seek reelection.
“The last time we spoke was during my birthday—July 12. We don’t really see her,” he revealed.
The former Makati mayor stressed that their family is going to talk this weekend, saying they are just waiting for the return of their parents who went on a pilgrimage tour in Italy.
“My mom and dad are arriving tomorrow or Sunday. Hopefully, by that time, mapag-usapan na kung ano ang magiging direction for the family. (Hopefully, by that time, we could discuss if what will be our direction for the family),” Junjun said.
Meanwhile, he did not answer directly if he has the support of his sister, Sen. Nancy.
“Because I’m her brother, there is nobody to accompany her because our parents are away,” he said.
Asked about Abigail’s whereabouts, he just said: ” I have no idea.”
Junjun confirmed that there was an agreement that Abigail would sit as Makati mayor for only one term. Yet, she announced she is running again as mayor, with the blessing of their father, former vice president Jejomar “Jojo” Binay.
He said that many people are dissatisfied with Abigail’s leadership, citing 13 councilors “bolted away” from her.
“Let’s get the facts straight, 13 councilors bolted away from my sister so ito ngayon ‘yung… dito nag-start ‘yung clamor. Many dissatisfied senior citizens, vendors, you know people of Makati, when I go around. They miss the Binay style of governance,” Junjun said.
“They miss the Binay brand of governance of Jojo Binay. That type where he was the one approaching people, and not the other way around. We are always on the ground,” he added.
When pressed further, Junjun said: “I think, she already made mention na hindi niya ugali ‘yung bababa siya sa communities.”
Can he still run?
Recently, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) released a list of candidates who may be perpetually barred from holding office.
But according to Sixto Brillantes, counsel of Junjun, there is no disqualification against the former Makati mayor as a case is still undergoing trial.
“It cannot apply because it has to be final and executory. Hindi pa final. How can you talk of disqualification? It is still pending in court,” the former Comelec chairman said.
“Hindi naman authorized ang DILG mag-determine kung sino ang disqualified or hindi. Ang puwede mag-disqualify dito sa Comelec lang. Magkakaroon ng due process. At pwede pag-umakyat, kahit disqualification pa dito pwede pang umakyat sa Supreme Court (DILG is not authorized to determine if who is disqualified or not. Only Comelec has the power to disqualify. There will be due process. And when it goes up, even disqualification here, it can still go to Supreme Court),” he added.
Junjun’s case stemmed from the construction if the P1.3 billion Makati Science High School while he was still Makati mayor in 2007.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said that Junjun can run as long as he has not been handed a final conviction.