Junjun Binay may challenge sister Abby in Makati mayoralty race

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 12) — Jejomar "Junjun" Binay Jr. is keen on bringing back the "Binay style of governance" to Makati City, even if this means going against his sister, incumbent Mayor Abby Binay.

On Friday, he said his only option is to run for mayor, a post he held from 2010 to 2015.

"For me, kung maglilingkod ako, lalaban ako ng mayor," he said in an interview after he accompanied his sister, reelectionist Senator Nancy Binay to the Commission on Elections.

Junjun is unfazed with the possibility of challenging his older sister. He said there is a clamor from the people of Makati to bring back the type of governance implemented by their father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay Sr., when he was mayor.

"There are 13 councilors that bolted away from my sister. So dito nagsstart ang clamor. Maraming dissatisfied na senior citizens, mga vendors, people of Makati. When I go around, namimiss nila ang Binay style of governance. Namimiss nila ang Binay brand," he said.

Junjun said Abby does not embody that brand, because she is using the leadership style of her husband, Luis Campos.

"Binay vs. Campos ang lumalabas dito, kasi what I'm carrying right now is the Binay brand, the style of governance that my father has started for the people of Makati,"  he said.

He added, "In fact, she has already said many times that ibang Binay siya, na hindi niya gagawin ang ginawa ng tatay namin, na hindi siya yung bababa para lumapit doon sa mga tao. We've seen that already. Hindi siya yung makikisalamuha doon sa baba. Inamin naman niya iyon."

Junjun said, once their family has ironed out the issue, it'll be up to the people of Makati to decide whom they will elect.

"I think what's more important is sino ang gusto ng mga tao na maglingkod dito sa lungsod. I think that's the more important question," he said.

No legal impediment

Junjun said he can still run for public office as there is no final conviction yet on his pending cases.

"Kailangan final and executory. Supreme Court lang ang pwedeng gumawa ng desisyon na iyon. I can still run, definitely," he said.

The Office of the Ombudsman in October 2015 ordered Binay's dismissal as mayor and his perpetual disqualification from public office after finding him guilty of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty in the bidding of the Makati City Hall Parking Building. But in May 2018, the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the Ombudsman decision.

The CA applied in Binay's case the condonation doctrine — that it can be assumed that voters have forgiven a politician for an administrative offence if they choose to elect him.

Related: CA reverses Ombudsman ruling against Junjun Binay

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said there has to be a final conviction for Binay to be permanently disqualified from public office.

Binay questioned reports that Abby raised the issue of his legal challenges.

"There's no legal impediment. For me, that's a sign of desperation... Why would she say that? Ito na lang ang way na manalo ang kapatid ko, na hindi ako tumakbo? For me, it will not hold water. Malinaw dito walang legal impediment. It's not final and executory," he said.

CNN Philippines multiplatform writer Regine Cabato contributed to this report.