MANILA - Former Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr on Tuesday filed his certificate of candidacy to return to city hall, possibly blocking the re-election bid of his sister, incumbent Mayor Abigail "Abby" Binay.
Their father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, said he respects Junjun and Abby's decision to run and will leave it up to the people of Makati to choose who best deserves their vote.
Junjun, whose dismissal was ordered by the Ombudsman in 2015, tapped Makati 1st District Rep. and former Olympian Monsour Del Rosario as his running mate.
He has said he is ready to run for his city's top post if there is public clamor. He alleged that his sister failed to interact with the masses, contrary to the family's brand of public service.
In a tearful interview on Monday, Abby said the rift between her and Junjun "will divide our family even after the elections," as he pleaded that he give her a "chance."
"He will have his turn. He had his turn. It doesn’t make sense that when he was mayor, I would have said, ‘Dad I want to run for mayor,'" she told ANC's Headstart.
"I hope that he goes beyond the interests of people around him. This is not about his friends. This is not about the people that have allowed to whisper into his ear and say ‘You have to run.’ There is no clamor," she said.
"You have to be man enough to say ‘I will give my ate a chance because that is what my father and our family wants,'" she added.
Based on documents acquired by ABS-CBN News, Junjun is among people perpetually disqualified from public office in connection with the construction of the P1.3 billion Makati Science High School building. This was confirmed by the city director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
James Jimenez, spokesperson of the Comelec, said the poll body would have to "determine the circumstances" around Junjun's supposed disqualification because "a final conviction will bar you from running for office."
"But if there’s any appeal, or if it’s not a final decision, then it won’t fit the criteria for disqualification," he said.