By Hannah Torregoza
Even though the counting of the votes for the senatorial race is not yet over, Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay said she is confident she can maintain her lead and stay in the 12th spot.
“Hindi na ako worried…ayoko lang maging presumptuous na baka hindi sakin yung 12th spot, but you know, I think today, I can claim it,” Binay said in a press briefing at the Senate.
“Parang stable na ako sa number 12,” she further said.
Though the remaining votes to be counted would be coming from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) which is known to be an Estrada bailiwick, Binay said she believes she can still maintain a significant lead over Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito Estrada who is still hanging on the 13th spot.
“Unang –una, hindi naman ako masi-zero sa Mindanao. So yung natitirang votes na nandyan, may makukuha pa din ako, (In the first place I doubt I would get zero votes in Mindanao. So I believe, I would still be able to get some votes there),” she pointed out.
“Also, based on the computations of those who have been helping me out, the worst case scenario for me is a possible 200,000 na lang na lamang over Sen. JV,” she pointed out.
But the difficulty, she said, is being unable to celebrate knowing that her closest rival in the Senate race was a friend and a close colleague.
Both Ejercito and Binay are reelectionist senators who are part of the so-called “Senate seatmates.”
“Pinakamahirap ngayon kasi di ako pwedeng mag-celebrate at ipagsigawan na ako na yung No. 12, dahil alam ko kabibigan ko, kasamahan ko yung hindi makakabalik (The difficulty at this point is that I can’t celebrate or even shout aloud that I am No. 12, when I know that my friend and colleague won’t make it back),” Binay lamented.
Binay also admitted that she already had an inkling she would be having a hard time winning in the May 2019 midterm elections after noting that the trajectory of her ratings in the Pulse Asia and Social Weather Station (SWS) preferential surveys was sliding down.
“When I slid down to 9 or 15th, that was a little warning sign,” she said.
“And that’s also expected…Sumipa na yung makinarya ng administration which I don’t have,” she pointed out.
Binay has been running as an independent and is endorsed neither by the Duterte administration’s political party Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) nor Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).
“I am not part of PDP-Laban or HNP. So yung kapit mo sa mga LGU (local government units), mayors, governors, medyo kulang ako dun.. and I am not part of the administration slate,” she pointed out.
She also said their personal family problems may have also been a factor why she slipped to number 12.
Binay was recently embroiled in an emotional tug-of-war with her sister, Makati City Mayor Abby Binay, after their younger brother, former Makati city mayor Junjun Binay decided to fight it out with the incumbent mayor.
“Siyempre yung problema din namin sa Makati, naka-factor in din dun sa equation,” Binay said.