Binay launches UNA in Mindanao
MISAMIS ORIENTAL, Philippines - With no vice presidential candidate yet, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) drops its national convention and instead holds a series of regional launches across the country.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, UNA's standard-bearer, leads the launch in Mindanao. - Rappler.com
Vice President Jejomar Binay might still be looking for a running mate, but the standard-bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance remains optimistic as he faces the people of Mindanao.
Misamis Oriental is a Binay bailiwick where more than 800,000 voters are currently registered as of July 2015.
JEJOMAR BINAY, VICE PRESIDENT: Today is a special day not just for the United Nationalist Alliance or UNA, but for the whole Mindanao. The joining of your leaders here in the south of the Philippines to UNA is proof that you believe in what UNA wants to achieve.
In 2010, Binay won over Mar Roxas in the province for vice president with 164,448 votes versus Roxas’ 120,442.
YEVGENY VICENTE "BAMBI" EMANO, GOVERNOR, MISAMIS ORIENTAL: We warmly welcome you to Misamis Oriental. Everyone here believes and supports in the next president of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay!
After the local leaders swear their oath as members of UNA, the Vice President bares his promises for Mindanao: ending the electricity shortage, attracting foreign investors, providing more jobs, and finishing infrastructure projects.
JEJOMAR BINAY, VICE PRESIDENT: Here in Cagayan de Oro, I know that the local government wants an international airport that would greatly help all of you.
Because Cagayan de Oro is considered as the gateway of Mindanao in the northern part, my plan is to expand your highway from Cagayan de Oro to Iligan City.
SITS EMANO & PELAEZ ON STAGE
Local leaders are optimistic of Binay’s chances in 2016.
JOEY PELAEZ, VICE GOVERNOR, MISAMIS ORIENTAL: The chances I think are good in Mindanao because the Vice President has gone probably to almost all towns and cities in Mindanao, have eaten in most of the public markets.
YEVGENY VICENTE "BAMBI" EMANO, GOVERNOR, MISAMIS ORIENTAL: God knows and the Vice President knows that we will try very, very hard to work and campaign for him because we believe in his programs.
Although Binay may be lagging behind in recent election polls, UNA’s regional launch in Mindanao shows grassroots support for vice president is still strong.
The event in Misamis Oriental is only the beginning of UNA's regional launches across the country, with the next one happening in Cebu next week.
For the Vice President and his party, the work has just begun.
Mara Cepeda, Rappler, Misamis Oriental