More than 200 officials and members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and political activists on Saturday threw their support behind the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Led by Manila councilor Bernardito “Bernie” Ang, the party’s national treasurer, former Quezon City mayor Jun Simon and Chito Borromeo, former consultant of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), PDP-Laban leaders from all over the country trooped to the Grand Opera Hotel in Santa Cruz, Manila to declare their support to Binay.
Binay urged his supporters to stand their ground and not be disappointed by the series of attacks from his opponents. He said the demolition jobs against him and his family, including the dismissal issued by the Office of the Ombudsman against his son Makati Mayor Erwin “Junjun” Binay, were meant to discredit him and derail his presidential ambition.
Among those who attended the event yesterday were national officers, committee chairmen, regional presidents and secretary-generals, and all elected officials except Senator Kiko Pimentel who is supporting Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte.
“What we have here are not salaried loyalty but voluntary workers, “ Binay said.
The vice president also expressed dismay over the manipulated surveys and disinformation campaigns on his dwindling survey ratings.
“I am thanking this core group of PDP-Laban for your support. We can hurdle all these attacks and we will be victorious,” he said.
An organization composed of political activists and veterans of protest actions against the Marcos dictatorship in the so-called First Quarter Storm also backed Binay’s candidacy.
“We strongly sense the country is on the threshold of a great upheaval,” said Mauro Gia Samonte, Barangay Binay’s National Spokesperson. “There is no stopping the Binay surge to victory.”
The group is composed of former revolutionary leaders in such organizations as the Katipunan ng mga Sama¬han ng Manggagawa (Kasama), Kaba¬taang Makabayan (KM), Sama¬hang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) and other pro-democracy associations under the umbrella of the Movement for Democratic Philippines (MDP) which pushed the people’s struggle in that turbulent period of the Marcos dictatorship.
“The Vice President is the historically-mandated heir to the presidency of the Republic. And with Vice President Jojo Binay clear on the task of putting in place once and for all the failed dreams of our youth, dark forces are at work to frustrate our aspirations once again,” Samonte said.
“We cannot allow this to happen. We must be vigilant. We must be prepared. We must ensure that VP Binay is not robbed of his impending victory,” Samonte added.
He said that a Binay presidency would bring economic achievements similar to Makati, social services like housing will be amply funded, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will no longer be neglected.
Samonte added that a hallmark of the Binay administration is a genuine concern for human rights and a return to respect for our democratic institutions. “No more vendettas, no more bullying, no more KKK,” he said.
“In foreign relations, we see a pragmatic policy that recognizes the importance of friendly relations with everyone while we strive to set our own independent course and attain true self-sufficiency,” Samonte stated.
He vowed that Barangay Binay will be glad to assist the imminent Binay administration in whatever way it can in the implementation of the Binay program of government.
“Keeping faith in his proven concern for his fellowman, faith in his proven sincerity in serving the people, and faith in his proven capacity to govern whereby to bring to the populace the best that government can offer, on the eve of his filing of certificate of candidacy for the presidency, we declare our full support for Vice President Jejomar C. Binay,” Samonte said.
WITH NEIL A. ALCOBER