MANILA- Reelectionist Sen. Nancy Binay on Thursday expressed confidence that she has secured the last Senate seat even before the final election results.
Binay is clinging on to the 12th and last spot in the winning roster, based on a partial, unofficial tally.
With 14,367,041 votes as of 2:04 p.m. Thursday based on 97.46 percent of election returns in a parallel tally, Binay is only ahead by some 200,000 votes of her fellow reelectionist Sen. JV Ejercito.
"I opted not to talk [during the past few days] kasi ayoko maging presumptuous na baka hindi pa sigurado na sa akin 'yung 12th spot but I think today I can claim it," Binay told reporters Thursday.
(I opted not to talk because I don't want to be presumptuous, I was not yet sure that the 12th spot was mine but I think today I can claim it.)
"Parang stable na ako sa number 12...Hindi na ako worried," she said.
(I feel like I am stable on the number 12... I am no longer worried.)
The 45-year-old lawmaker, however, lamented the possible loss of Ejercito, who she described as a friend.
"Hindi rin ako puwede mag-celebrate at ipagsigawan na ako na ang number 12 kasi alam ko kaibigan ko, kasama ko 'yung di na makakabalik," Binay said.
(I can't celebrate and shout that I am the 12th senator because I know that my friend and colleague can no longer return.)
Binay's 12th-place ranking in the midterm polls came as a surprise to some given that she was among the initial lead contenders in pre-election surveys.
She placed as high as 3rd in the initial Pulse Asia pre-election survey in September last year but dropped to the 8-15 bracket in the last poll conducted from May 3 to 6.
From December 2018 to April of last year, Binay was in a safe spot placing as high as 5th to as low as 9th.
Her ranking this election, however, was no longer a surprise for Binay, noting that she viewed the last Pulse Asia survey as a "warning sign."
"Siguro nung election day itself sumipa na 'yung makinarya which I don't have. Di ako part ng PDP or ng Hugpong," she said, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP-Laban party and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party.
(Maybe during election day the political machinery, which I don't have, kicked in. I'm not part of PDP or Hugpong.)
The senator also did not join any organized campaign rally and instead mounted her own alongside former senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who is also lagging in partial and unofficial results.
Binay sought reelection under the United Nationalist Alliance, the party of her father, former vice president Jejomar Binay. The elder Binay lost his bid to become Makati representative in a shock upset by former Makati City acting mayor Romulo "Kid" Peña Jr.
Binay admitted that the feud between her younger siblings Abby and Junjun also affected her reelection bid.
Abby and Junjun both ran for the mayoral post of the Binay family bailiwick Makati City.
Nancy supported her younger brother Junjun while their father backed Abby, who won the mayoral post.
Nancy said she has spoken to several people during the campaign who mistook her for her sister, Abby.
"Kasi diba magkakamukha kami so may lumalapit sa akin na 'ma'am napanood kita sa TV bakit ka nakipag-away sa kapatid mo'," Nancy said, referring to the verbal tussle between her siblings during a Church forum.
(We look alike so some tell me 'Ma'am I saw you on TV, why were you fighting with your brother?')
"I think hindi nila na-differentiate sino 'yung mayor, na-mix up," she said.
(I think they mixed us up.)
For her reelection bid, Binay anchored her campaign on the heavy bashing that she has endured since entering politics in 2013, when she placed 5th in the senatorial race.