MANILA (UPDATE) - Former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay on Thursday said he is ready to run for his city's top post and challenge the re-election bid of his sister, Mayor Abigail Binay-Campos, if he perceives enough public clamor.
Abigail earlier said her candidacy has the backing of her father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is running for Congress in the May 2019 polls.
Junjun, however, said his elder sister destroyed the Binay brand of public service with her supposed refusal to interact with the masses -- which is what he did at the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy on Thursday.
"I think si Ate Abby never denied na hindi niya nakaugalian na bumaba at lumapit sa mga tao. Ito po ang turo ni Jojo Binay na kailanagan maglakad sa baba, makisalamuha sa mga tao para maintindihan po natin ang mga pangangailangan nila," he said.
(I think my older sister Abby never denied that she is not used to approaching the people. This is what Jojo Binay taught, that we have to interact with the grassroots, interact with the people in order to understand their needs.)
The former mayor kissed the hands of the elderly, dropped by a wake and distributed wheelchairs during an unannounced visit of residents along Makati's Singakamas Street.
Short of disowning his sister, Junjun also said a "Binay versus Campos" fight will likely erupt in the 2019 polls, stressing that it is Abigail who has repeatedly said that she is only a Binay in name and has governed unlike her brother and father.
"Mahirap kaya nga ho lumalabas na Binay vs Campos kasi yung kapatid ko ho ay sa akin hong pananaw at sa mga narinig ko, hindi po niya dinadala yung Binay brand," he said.
(It's hard, that's why it seems to be Binay vs Campos because my sibling, in my opinion and from what I've heard, she does not bring the Binay brand.)
"Ang Binay brand ho ay makikita po natin na ang pamumuno ay nanggagaling sa baba papunta sa taas. Kailangan ho malapit po tayo sa mga tao."
(The Binay brand is leading from the bottom to the top. We have to be close to the people.)
The Binay father and son are facing cases over the allegedly anomalous P2.2-billion Makati City Hall building 2 project -- the same issue that led to Jun-jun's dismissal in 2016.
The Binay patriarch is out of the country but is expected to be back over the weekend. His family will then thresh out who should run for mayor.
But whether the elder Binay supports Abigail or not, Junjun said his decision to run for mayor will depend on public support, not the backing of their father.
Majority of Makati's councilors and barangay captains have withdrawn support for Abby in favor of her father due to supposed delays in the release of perks for residents.
Abigail on Wednesday shrugged off the recent development, saying: "Hindi ako natatakot. I don't know if this is a PR campaign to get a bandwagon but I am confident."
"Nu'ng umupo ako noong 2016, andami kong problemang minana na kailangan kong ayusin. Andami kong sistemang nadatnan na bulok na kailangan itama," she added.
(I am not afraid. I don't know if this is a PR campaign to get a bandwagon but I am confident. When I took over in 2016, I inherited so many problems, rotten systems that needed reform.)