Junjun Binay admits his father discouraged his Makati mayoralty bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18) — Amid the Binays' battle for the Makati City mayoralty, Junjun Binay admitted that his father Jejomar Binay tried to convince him several times not to take the post citing various reasons.

"At one point he was convincing me not to run. Kasi noong una, hinihimok akong tumakbo ng Kongreso. And then noong sabi ko hindi ako interesado diyan, and then we have that disqualified na ako. So, from being able to run for Congress, to being disqualified. Makikita natin may unting pihit dito," he told CNN Philippines' The Source.

[Translation: At one point he was convincing me not to run. At first, I was being urged to run for Congress. And then I said I'm not interested, and then we have that (fact that) I'm disqualified. So, from being able to run for Congress, to being disqualified. You could see a shift.]

Junjun also slammed criticisms that his father backed the bid of incumbent mayor Abby for Makati City mayoralty when the former Vice President joined her in filing her certificate of candidacy on Wednesday. He said he is banking on the former vice-president to keep his word about being neutral. Jejomar Binay issued a statement on Monday saying he supported both his children's bid.

"I would like to hold on to the word of my father na maging [to be] neutral in this election," he explained.

Junjun also said his father called him on Tuesday to apologize for not being present when he filed his CoC. Only his sisters Anne and Senator Nancy Binay accompanied him to the Comelec.

He reiterated that 13 of the 16 regular councilors in the city withdrew their support for Abby, and 21 of the 33 barangay captains pledged support to him.

"It's the dissatisfaction. It's been two years, and my sister worked with them, and you know it reflects that kind of leadership," he said. "I haven't explained to him, there's public clamor. Again, we cannot deny that more than two thirds of the city council has they taken their support (away) from my sister."

But Abby, in a separate phone interview, debunked her younger brother's statements.

"I can confirm the councilors but I vehemently deny the 21 barangay officials. You have to remember also that kung may [if there is] public clamor, nasaan ang survey niya [where is his survey]?" Abby told CNN Philippines.

She said the mayoralty relies on the votes of around 500,000 Makati residents and not the elected officials, and added that it is clear her father is supporting her bid for city mayor.

"The fact my father endorsed my (certificate of nomination and acceptance). It is a written document. Wala naman na sigurong kailangan pang pagdudahan kung sino ang sinusuportahan niya. [There is no doubt who my father is supporting,]" she said.

The former Vice President's daughter then said the elections on May 13 will test both of their speculations.

"If I don't win, then that means they want to go back to their old ways," he said.

The Binay family has led Makati City for more than two decades, with Jejomar Binay as mayor before his vice presidency in 2010. Junjun took over until October 2015, when he was ordered dismissed and disqualified from running for public office by the Office of the Ombudsman over graft charges.

ABBY BINAY

Family drama

Junjun admitted that his relationship with his sister has gone sour for the past few years. He claims Abby has not had close ties with him and his other siblings, as they have not gotten together in the family's traditional Sunday lunches.

"We may have our own differences, but you know, there are times where we also support each other," he said.

Still, Junjun backed Abby's mayoral bid in 2016. He said that at that time, there was an internal agreement that her older sister will only sit as Makati City mayor for one term.

"I went around convincing people to vote for my sister, I opted not to run. It was my choice," he said.

JUNJUN BINAY

Abby belied this, saying that there was no person in that meeting which knew of her one-term limit.

"Unfortunately siya lang ata ang nakakaalala noon. Kasi kahit ang ama ko hindi 'yun sinasabi sa'kin," she said.

[Translation: Unfortunately, I think he's the only one who remembered it, because even my father's not telling me that.]

She explained that she has been consistent with her position not to talk to her siblings, and that the issues have only been brought now up due to politics.

"We agree to disagree," she said. "All I ask is that you do not wash your dirty linen in public."