MANILA -- Makati City Rep. Mar-Len Abigail Binay said Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is bullying her family so he could gain publicity in preparation for his presidential bid.
''By bullying the vice president and his family, Senator Cayetano hopes to attract a lot of attention and generate loads of free publicity for himself. This is why he is targeting us,'' Rep. Binay said in a statement.
Rep. Binay said Cayetano is targeting her father since the latter is doing well in poll surveys.
Rep. Binay's father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, topped a Pulse Asia survey last March, with 40 percent or 4 out of 10 respondents saying they would vote for him if presidential elections were held today.
Cayetano, on the other hand, shared the seventh spot with presidential sister Kris Aquino with 4 percent.
''The senator knows that he will get scarce media hype if he quarrels with other potential targets. So he is now on hard sell mode -- forcefully trying to promote himself at the expense of the vice president and his family, which is downright uncalled-for,'' Rep. Binay said.
''We wish the senator could just promote himself through positive public relations -- by conveying to everybody all his accomplishments for the country. To be able to climb up, people do not have to put other people down.''
The Cayetano family is a fierce political rival of the Binays. Cayetano and Binay's strongholds, Taguig and Makati cities, respectively, are battling for the control of financially lucrative Fort Bonifacio.
During a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing last week, Sen. Cayetano grilled Rep. Binay's brother, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.
Rep. Binay alleged that Cayetano has been telling his staff that he wants to quadruple his voter support, and get at least 15 percent of the votes by next year or he will drop out of the presidential race.
She also claimed that Cayetano has been meeting with some House members, including those representing non-aligned party-list groups, to gather support for his presidential bid.