Thanks, but no thanks.
This was the message of Vice President Jejomar Binay's daughter Nancy, as she reacts to co-senatorial bet Risa Hontinveros-Baraquel coming to her defense against cyber-bullies.
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But the United National Alliance (UNA) candidate clarifies her appreciation for Hontiveros’ gesture is not enough to convince her to accept former Akbayan lawmaker’s dare engaging her in a debate.
“She seemed very sincere and I’m thankful that Ms. Risa Hontiveros is coming to my defense. When this election is over, the competition or rivalry between [us] will be over as well,” Binay said.
But Binay, who has been criticized for not having impressive achievements for her to qualify as a senator, emphasizes her doubt that joining debates would win her the votes she need to get a Senate seat.
The University of the Philippines (UP) graduate explains the third ranking she recently received from Social Weather Stations (SWS) does not guarantee her victory in the May 13 polls.
She expresses fear that what happened to Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, who ran in the vice presidential race in 2010 elections, would happen to her.
Various survey painted Roxas the sure winner in the vice presidential polls, with an overwhelming 54 percent rating only to find himself defeated by now Vice President Binay on election day.
“My father’s rival got 54 percent, my father was only 2 percent in the survey. But he still continued on with his level of campaigning,” Binay told reporters.
The Binay patriarch surprised everyone with a come-from behind victory after months of trailing Roxas and Senator Loren Legarda about the vice presidential race in the 2010 surveys.
“I don’t want what happened to my father’s rival to happen to me just because I’m doing well in the surveys. For me, survey (results cannot) predict on who will win or lose in the election,” she added.
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“At the end of the day… we all want to get a Senate seat. Yes, it’s all about winning first and in my mindset, I’m not winning,” she noted, justifying her continued refusal to engage in public debates.
Binay, who claims she gained enough experience while serving as volunteer assistant to her father and mother when they were both mayors in Makati City, regrets campaigning leaves her with no time to debate.
Binay was the first among popular senatorial candidates to decline Yahoo! Philippines’ invitation for its Purple Thumb senatorial forum in Ateneo de Manila University last week.
She said she needs to work double time to campaign considering this is her first time to visit far-flung districts compared to her rivals, who have already established their constituency.
But she assured to give Hontiveros, who is still lagging behind surveys, her time for a debate should she win the elections.