MANILA -- Senator Nancy Binay said she prefers to just laugh off criticisms made against her on social media, adding that what netizens say is actually different from what she hears from people on the ground.
Binay, a daughter of Vice-President Jejomar Binay and former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay, became a target of online ridicule during the campaign period for the 2013 midterm elections due to her supposed lack of experience in politics.
Prior to her bid in the Senate, she worked as a personal assistant of her father.
Binay, who placed 5th in the senatorial race last May, also became the butt of jokes among netizens due to her dark skin tone.
"One time nga nagche-check ako ng tweets diba. Tapos nakasulat dun selfie daw with me. Tapos [tiningnan] ko, sabi ko bakit ang tagal [magload], itim lang. Yun pala yun na yung selfie," said Binay, laughing while she recalled the incident in an interview with ABS-CBN's "Tapatan ni Tunying."
But despite this, she said it has never entered her mind to use skin whitening products.
"Actually nagsu-sunbathing pa nga ako eh. Daddy ko nga natuwa eh kasi nung campaign, hindi niya akalain na may iiitim pa pala ako," she said.
She believes there seems to be a "disconnect" between what netizens say on social media and what she sees when she goes to the provinces.
"There's a disconnect between social media at kung ano yung nangyayari sa baba. Example ako nung campaign, I was really hated sa social media. Pero pag umiikot naman ako sa probinsya, iba yung pagtanggap sa akin, talagang sobrang init na may mga times na naluluha ako," she said.
Instead of dwelling on negativity, Binay said she and her family just choose to make light of the issues being thrown against them.
She cited as an example the incident involving her brother, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, who has come under fire for allegedly ordering the arrest of security guards of Dasmariñas Village who barred the exit of his four-car convoy from one of the village's gates November 30 last year.
"Kasi kung didibdibin mo nga diba like for example itong sa Dasma. Hirit ko sa kanya (Junjun): 'Ikaw kasi eh, bumaba ka pa. Yan tuloy, nakita na hindi tayo mukhang pang-village,'" she said jokingly.
'All about 2016'
Binay believes the criticisms her family has been receiving are all "black propaganda" in connection with her father's plan to run for president in 2016.
"It's all about 2016," she said, noting that her father has been consistently receiving high trust ratings since 2010.
"Parang ang nangyayari ngayon...baka kung kami yung siraan baka kahit papaano maapektuhan yung rating," she said.
Binay said her family still cannot picture her father becoming the president of the Philippines. She said they did not even think of him becoming the vice-president.
"Pagkatapos nga nung nanalo siya, yun yung sumbat niya sa amin kaagad eh 'Kayo walang naniwala sa inyo,'" she said.
She said she also never saw herself entering the world of politics like her parents.
Binay, a mother of 4, believes she will never get used to the "spotlight." "Hindi pa din, hindi yata ako masasanay," she said.