Binay mum on Poe’s SC win: 'I’m focused on my campaign'
ZAMBALES, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday, March 9, remained mum on the victory of toughest rival Senator Grace Poe at the Supreme Court, saying he would rather focus on his own campaign.
“Naka-focus kami sa… ‘di ba tayo ay nangangampanya (Aren’t we focused on campaigning)?” Binay told reporters in a chance interview at the sidelines of a sortie here on Wednesday, March 9, when asked for his comment on the High Court's decision allowing Poe to run.
It was a quick but concise answer from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer, who had been evading reporters since news broke out that the legal bar to Poe's candidacy has been removed.
Other presidential candidates immediately congratulated Poe on her victory.
Binay, running mate Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II, and UNA’s Senate bets were conducting their motorcade in Zambales on Tuesday when the High Court announced its decision in favor of Poe.
According to an ABS-CBN-commissioned Pulse Asia survey released on Wednesday, Binay would have been the biggest gainer had the senator been disqualified: he would have gained the support of 32% of Poe’s original voters if she was not allowed to run.
A December 2015 poll by The Standard showed the same results, with 33% of Poe’s voters likely going for the Vice President instead if she was out of the race.
‘No bearing’ on Binay’s campaign
Binay’s campaign spokesperson Rico Quicho said on Tuesday night that the SC ruling has “no bearing” on the candidacy of Binay, who ties with Poe for the top spot among presidential candidates in several pre-election polls.
“Wala ho itong bearing sa campaigin ni Vice President Binay sapagkat naka-focus po talaga tayo sa dapat nating gawin upang lalong maipahatid ‘yung mensahe na ang talagang problema na kinahaharap natin ngayon ay ‘yung problema sa kahirapan,” said Quicho.
(This won’t affect nor have any bearing on the campaign of Vice President Binay because we are focused on what we are supposed to do: to deliver the message that the problem we’re facing today is the problem of poverty.)
He added that the experience and capability of Binay, who is the most experienced public servant among all the presidential candidates, would allow him to address poverty in the country.
According to Senator Nancy Binay, Poe's legal victory has been factored into her father's campaign strategy.
“At least ngayon ‘di ba, ang napag-uusapan na ngayon ‘yung mga qualifications nung 5 kandidato. Kasi for the longest time, ang pinag-uusapan kung madidisqualify ba o hindi madidisqualify. At least ngayon, sana ang pag-usapan na kung ano ba talaga ‘yung gagawin nila para sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.
(At least now, we can instead talk about the qualifications of the 5 candidates. For the longest time, people are talking about whether or not Poe will be disqualified. I hope now they can begin talking about what they can do for our countrymen.) – Rappler.com
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