Press Release
June 23, 2021

Transcript of Senator Nancy Binay's interview on
OneNew's THE CHIEFS (hosted by Ed Lingao, Roby Alampay, Luchi Cruz, Ana Pamintuan)

Senator Nancy Binay-Angeles (SNBA): Good evening, Ma'am Amy, Ma'am Luchi, Sir Ed, and Sir Roby. Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.

Question (Q): Ma'am if you don't mind, I'll start off with a political question. Of course, I know you'd rather not talk about 2022 but everybody has been gearing up for it, and you have invitations from 1Sambayan, and even from the Liberal Party, to which you said nga that "some wounds need to heal first." Of course, we do understand what happened in 2016. I suppose my question would be, is that a final, conclusive answer, or is that a pending answer that may change as we go down to October?

SNBA: Well, siguro just to set the record straight, I am not running for any position in 2022. My term ends in 2025, so, I have 3 more years as a senator. And then doon naman pagdating doon sa offer ng Liberal Party, 'yung colleagues ko in the Senate who belong to the Liberal Party, we've worked together very well. But alam naman natin ang history ng Liberal Party with my family since 2010, 2013 and lalo na nung 2016. May mga sugat na nangyari, eh. Sayang, kasi nung 2019 there was an opportunity to put a band-aid doon sa sugat na 'yun, but parang for me instead of putting a band-aid, parang binudburan pa nila ng asin, 'di ba? So parang for me...

Q: Can you be more specific what you're referring to?

SNBA: I guess after the 2016 experience, mas naging protective ako with my family. And nung 2019, 'yung naging kalaban ng daddy ko was a Liberal Party member. And then, I was approached by my colleagues in the Senate, and they told me na parang sinabihan nila party-mates nila, baka maybe it's best na huwag na tayong sumali doon sa local na away. And then they told me na they were overturned by party-mates, so nabigyan pa rin ng CONA ang naging kalaban ng daddy ko. So 'di ba? How can we talk about healing when sila 'yung parang during the 2019 elections couldn't move forward yet. So ako, I'm more than ready to work together lalo na if it will help our country. But parang sa kanila, I guess mayroong mga members from the party na hindi maka-move on.

Q: Yes, but ma'am, as they say, politics makes for strange bedfellows. Certainly we're used to a lot of funny things in Philippine politics, we were talking to PDP-Laban knowing its history and now...

SNBA: And remember, my dad was part of PDP-Laban.

Q: ...and they would recount their ano about ano, and they have some members seeking an alliance with the Marcoses and the allies of the Marcoses and so on. Anyway ang punto lang po is politics makes for strange bedfellows as they say. But wouldn't you say that this overture and invitation to you to join the alliance is precisely a gesture of them moving forward and moving on?

SNBA: Well, siguro sa akin, it depends on ano ba talaga ang motive, eh. Is it really for the country or for their party? 'Di ba? Magandang pag-usapan ano ba talaga ang motives nung partido. To strengthen their party, or...

Q: Well, tutal sabi n'yo po mag-diretsahan tayo, mag-diretsahan tayo, hindi po ba ang lahat ng partido ngayon ang pakay ay manalo? There is no secret to that. Whether you're a party or a coalition, yes, you want to win, you want to build a coalition, I think that's a given, that if they're inviting you, they believe that you have something to bring to the coalition, you will make the coalition stronger and at the same time I think part of the message is--I don't think any of you are effusive with each other-- but at the very least the most effusive the politicians can realistically be in the Philippines is, "pwede ka na sa amin, at sana kami pwede na rin sa'yo."

SNBA: Actually kasi, Sir Roby, hindi ganun ang politika ko, eh. May mga bagay na, it's not all about kung ano ang makakapanalo, 'di ba? May boundaries, may limitations. And I guess when it comes to the Liberal Party, grabe kasi ang naging sugat I guess na ginawa namin sa isa't isa. So for me, siguro kailangan ayusin muna namin 'yun--I am not closing my door, it's just that I guess pag-usapan muna kasi 'di ba parang baka sila din sa partido nila do not agree with Sen. Kiko reaching out to a Binay. 'Di ba? Which was what happened nung 2019.

Q: Senator nasaan ba ang party n'yo in the political spectrum? Nasaan ba kayo ngayon, are you more aligned with the opposition, or more with the administration? Kumusta na ba ang party na founded by your father, United Nationalist Alliance?

SNBA: Actually kami, Ma'am Amy, wala kami, hindi kami admin, hindi kami opposition. But you know, at the end of the day, kung ano ang makakabuti doon sa mga kababayan natin, doon kami lilinya. So kung may mga policy ang admin that we think works for the people, we will agree with them. And then kung nakikita natin na may mali, pipintasin natin 'yung maling ginagawa nila.

Q: So may non-aligned group din kayo. Kasi we were talking last night with Senator Tito Sotto and yan din ang sinabi niya na hindi opposition, hindi rin admin, parang dumadami yata ang nandiyan sa gitna. Are you also exploring an alliance with Tito Sotto's Nationalist People's Coalition kung saka-sakali?

SNBA: I guess that is an option together with other parties. Siguro mas madaling makipag-trabaho with the other parties para sa akin compared doon sa Liberal Party kasi during the past elections, mayroon na kaming collaboration with NPC, in fact noong tumakbo ako noong 2019 dinala ako ni, I was part of the slate that was endorsed by Senate President Sotto.

Q: Setting aside the 1Sambayan offer, is the vice presidency something that's attractive to you? Is that something that you would have considered if it were not offered to you by 1Sambayan, for instance?

SNBA: No. No talaga. Right now, running for a higher office ng 2022 is something that, you know, I cannot give my 100 percent. And for me, kung tatakbo ka for 2022 dapat ready ka to give 100 percent kasi 'di ba alam naman natin, Ma'am Luchi, na ang laki ng problema natin ngayon, eh. Ang hirap na nga to begin with ng trabaho ng presidente tsaka vice president in normal circumstances, dagdagan mo pa ng pandemic, so kailangan kumbaga buong-buo. At the moment I cannot, eh. I need to balance my being a mother to my being a public servant. And I cannot give up one, kumbaga, I cannot give up being a mom to be a 100 percent public servant.

Q: What do you think attracted 1Sambayan to you, that you would even make it to their nomination list given that, I mean 'yun na nga, mayroong rivalry talaga na matindi which harks back to 2016 even with your dad. Why do you think you're now being considered?

SNBA: Well, when they talked to me, they said na they liked ang mga pronouncements ko daw, that's one, na iyon, parang nakikita nila that I can go for a higher office. Iyon ang sabi nila, but I don't know.

Q: Naku-curious kami kasi sa process. So parang gusto rin namin malaman paano ba sila nag-aalok. What do they ask, what do they look for?

SNBA: When they talked to me nga parang ano lang, eh, nabanggit lang. So I didn't know that it was a solid offer.

Q: Did they even ask you, ma'am? Did they bother to ask you if you're running? Kasi they put you in the list on nomination day na apparently hindi kinunsulta sa inyo?

SNBA: They did. They asked me naman, they asked me na what if nga kung naiisip ko ba to run for higher office. I told them na, huwag na, I'm not interested.

Q: So that early pa lang.

SNBA: Wala naman na ako sa final list, eh. I guess siguro baka noong una akala nila hindi ako seryoso. Kasi 'di ba may mga ganung kandidato na, deny nang deny bandang dulo tatakbo din pala. I'm not like that, so I guess siguro naintindihan nila na talagang I am not interested.

Q: I'm curious about, as you said mayroon ka namang mga kaalyado, mayroon kang mga mas ka-natural, you have a history of working with certain people. But related to Amy's question, every time we talk about 2022, we're always thinking of these 2 camps. Whoever is going to be endorsed by Duterte administration, and then the opposition that's trying to come together and have a united slate. Rightly or wrongly, that's aligned or identified very strongly with the Liberal Party and so on. But as you see things shaping up, do you think there is room, there is opportunity or there is a need for a third force, a third force down the middle to emerge?

SNBA: Maybe that is an option. I think isa 'yan sa mga tinitingnan din yata ng 1Sambayan, eh, to be that 3rd force. But I guess masyado silang na-identify with one party. So I don't know how they can rebrand themselves. But I've seen that, na naghahanap talaga ng...kasi 'di ba masyadong polarizing ang DDS at saka 'yung Dilaw, eh. People are looking for, you know, at the end of the day, who can work for them and not get parang identified with any color. Parang kahit ako 'yun ang hinahanap ko na it's not yellow, 'di ba parang color-blind way of leadership. Parang for me that is what we need right now.

Q: Do you think that is possible, do you see any personalities right now, short of endorsing anyone, we're not trying to trick you into showing your cards or committing to anyone, but do you think that's possible at this point, can you see personalities in the horizon that are: 1, both winnable and at the same time someone that people will not automatically box into either side?

SNBA: Siguro naman meron, 'di ba? Hopefully meron. But ang hirap nga kasi 'di ba at this point parang walang gustong magsabi kung sinong tatakbo.

Q: Wala pa, wala pa actually.

SNBA: I think lahat sila na-trauma sa pinagdaanan ng father ko kaya mukhang walang nagde-deklara ngayon, 'di ba? So whether it's admin or opposition, no one's declaring, which is very weird. I mean in a few months magfa-file na pero wala pa rin nagsasabi na "I am running for higher office, I'm running for president or vice president." Buti nga ngayon, may nagde-declare na for senator, eh. Siguro, hopefully in the coming months may mag-declare na rin.

Q: Can you see your party being part of 1Sambayan? It's a coalition, eh. Can you see your party being part of this group that's really identified with the opposition?

SNBA: It's a possibility. 'Di ba, we've talked and nakikita ko naman talaga ang sincerity nila in helping our country. So tignan natin ang proseso na gagawin nila to pick their candidate.

Q: Interestingly kasi, the Liberal Party is not even a convenor of 1Sambayan. In fact, the Liberal Party has been critical of the processes that 1Sambayan is undergoing, 'yung selection process nila. So in a way parang, might be a completely different political animal.

SNBA: Baka nga, eh. Actually nako-Covid din yata ang politika natin.

Q: What do you mean by that, exactly?

SNBA: Parang ang daming mutations, 'di ba? Ang daming variants, ang daming unknown. It's so hard to read kung ano ang mangyayari sa 2022 na...'di ba parang sanay na tayo every election na "ito ang template," right? But with 2022, from the way to campaign, 'yung political alliances, parang magulo, 'di ba? I mean saan ka nakakita na 'yung admin nagkakagulo din sila sa partido nila, and then sa opposition, parang ganun din. Parang labo-labo ang nangyayari ngayon sa 2022.

Q: Do you really feel that way? Because I don't know if we're just overly cynical. But the more basic instinct for a lot of people is to say, "heto na naman." None of this is actually new, na 'yung labo-labo, even the ruling coalition nagkakagulo, ambitions of individuals are taking precedence and you know we have analysts saying parties have never been important anyway. But do you really see anything different about how things are shaping up in 2022 relative to past national elections?

SNBA: I think lalo na with this presidential election compared noong 2016. Kasi 'di ba noong 2016, alam naman na natin kung sino ang makakalaban at makakalaban ng father ko during the 2016 elections, 'di ba? More or less clear kung sino ang mga candidates. But this time around 'yung sa admin hindi nila alam kung sino ang ifi-field nila, sa opposition hindi rin nila alam kung sino ang ilalagay nila. So parang ang daming question mark.

Q: Talking about your dad, what are your dad's plans?

SNBA: Actually i don't know if he will run for any position sa 2022. It's an option for him, malakas pa naman sya. He is very much active when it comes to public service. Kumbaga nananalantay na yun sa dugo nya.

Q: How about your brother?

SNBA: I think my brother is not running for any position.

Q: So ang dad mo ang possible? And of course si Abby ano?

SNBA: My sister will just run for re-election.

Q: How do you feel as a Binay when people call your family a political dynasty. Does that hurt?

SNBA: No. Kasi iba yung thinking ko sa the way we got this position. At the end of the day, we went through a process. We got elected by the people. Ako it was not easy for me noong tumakbo ako ng 2013. Noong tumakbo nga ako ng 2019 muntikan pa akong hindi makapasok. So it is not a given na just because I am a Binay automatic na mananalo ako for any position. I need to introduce myself to the people, I need to tell them what I can do and at the end of the day, desisyon pa rin nila iyon and hindi sya parang royalty na mamanahin mo yung titulo.

Q: But at the same time you have to acknowledge that there is an advantage to the incumbency. When a family has somebody say in the past a vice president, somebody in congress, and somebody running the city so that doesn't happen by accident and that can't be ascribed to just we worked hard. Not to take away from the hard work that you do put in. Not just speaking for yourself but majority of the people in congress for example the reality is that it's a few families keep changing hands. That is our definition of a dynasty. We asked this, it's very hard to ask somebody from Congress who is not part of a dynasty. Chances are we have to ask a member of Congress who is part of a political clan, who is entrenched in a dynasty. I guess the question is how do we get out of this cycle? Congress does not even want to fulfill its constitutional mandate to pass an anti-dynasty law?

SNBA: At the end of the day baka it is about educating the voters na meron pa silang puwedeng pagpilian. Babalikan ko lang, for example sa Pasig, natalo niya yung incumbent na mayor who is part of a political family. So it can happen. For me it's not automatic e. I guess we need to empower our voters. Titignan nila talaga yung quality ng kandidato beyond their last name.

Q: So do you think this is something that does not need legislating?

SNBA: Hindi kasi nandoon sa constitution yan na kailangan talaga.

Q: Kailangan lang ng political will.

SNBA: Yun lang ang nagiging problema but doon sa SK we were able to introduce na parang anti-dynasty and it's a start.

Q: Senator balikan ko lang yung 1Sambayan kasi sabi nila para matalo yung i-eendorse ni pangulong Duterte kailangan ng unified opposition. You think it is still possible?

SNBA: Baka hindi naman talaga unified opposition, baka just one candidate can go against dun sa admin candidate.

Q: But we are not seeing a one on one fight. Mukhang multi nanaman ito.

SNBA: Maybe hindi ganoon kadami. And the geographic might be different also. Kasi noong 2016 almost majority came from Luzon kaya nabiyak yung vote ng Luzon.

Q: Balikan lang po natin ang 1Sambayan. Hindi ko na babalikan yung Liberal party, you have been very clear on how you feel about the Liberal Party but you also said that 1Sambayan una kinausap niyo...

SNBA: Yung sa Liberal Party, I am not closing my doors to them but we need to discuss things first before we talk about 2022.

Q: In the larger 1Sambayan coalition, who there is credible to you? Who there do you listen to?

SNBA: Si Justice Carpio. Sino pa ba nandoon? Kasi nakatrabaho ko na si Justice Carpio. Sina Bro. Armin. Si Atty. Calleja din and si Cong. Colmenares.

Q: Because you yourself mentioned what happened to you father in 2016 having declared early, do you think it is politically not astute to declare early? Do you think lessons were learned from that experience?

SNBA: Feeling ko whether or not he declared early, nakaprogram na yung attack against my family.

Q: Why did you say that?

SNBA: Looking back, kakaupo pa lang ng dad ko may I remember may nagsabi na na ganito ang magiging strategy nila na tatanggalin nila si Chief Justice tapos tataggalin nila si Senate President Enrile and then they will impeach your dad. Parang kami ayaw naming maniwala, how can you do that? Tatanggalin niyo yung Chief Justice through impeachment? Do we want to go through that process again? Si SP Enrile parang andaming steps. But look what happened? Natanggal nila si Chief Justice Corona then, and then si SP Enrile was removed as senate president.

Q: So you think this was an orchestrated plan from the get go?

SNBA: I think so kasi may ganoon na na warning sa amin. Early on I guess mga 2010, 2011. And i did not think that they would do that kasi nakita naman natin yung how my father was a loyal soldier of the Aquino family so bakit naman nila gagawin yun sa amin. Hindi naman kami kaaway.

Q: So at the start there was a disbelief from your father kasi ang tingin ng mga tao parang anak-anakan niya si Noynoy Aquino. So sa umpisa there was a disbelief on the part of your dad na mangyayari yung mga sinabi sa inyo?

SNBA: Disbelief sa whole family. Right after manalo ng dad ko, you can sense na naging iba yung treatment sa kanya. Kasi masyado atang hindi expected na mananalo sya.

Q: Hindi sya yung candidate

SNBA: Hindi sya yung candidate so muntikan na rin yung scenario na nangyari kay Vice President Robredo sa oath taking niya. I mean that was a scenario for us during 2010 but that did not happen.

Q: Your dad's old party PDP Laban was built on the backs of human rights lawyers. I was wondering how your dad, your family, feels about what happened to PDP Laban?

SNBA: I'm speechless. I guess at some point nawala na rin yung prinsipyo sa partido di ba? At the end of the day nagpagamit naman talaga sila para magkaroon ng vehicle si president Duterte to run for president. I guess ito yung consequence of that action.

Q: Moving forward, if somebody wants to talk to you, what are the baseline values where you would set that. Not just you even deriving your father, his history in PDP Laban. For you what are the baseline values that will bring you to the table at least.

SNBA: Ako I am looking for somebody who can really do something about our problem with COVID-19. That is one and number two yung may concept of continuity and healing. Kasi nakita naman natin na everytime we elect a president, ang number one agenda niya is to get back at the former president. Maybe that is something that we should not continue anymore. Yung ganoong practice na pag upo mo pa lang ang una mong gagawin is lahat ng ginawa ng former president kahit ok sya, itigil yan. Wala tayong sense of continuity which is very sad. Isipin niyo yung NEDA will only plan every six years kasi daw based on their experience kahit mag plan sila ng 20 years, hindi rin masusunod kasi kapag nagpalit na yung presidente gusto every 6 years lang ang plano. Di that is very sad dahil wala tayong long term planning. It's always pang six years lang.

Q: Avenger mentality or Thanos, burahin ko muna lahat.

SNBA: Balikan ko lang din yung PDP Laban, my dad left the party kasi nirerespeto din naman niya na that party was really started by the father of Sen. Koko and you know at this point nakakalungkot din na baka mawala pa kina Senator Pimentel yung PDP Laban. Sad. But maybe that is a consequence of certain actions that the party had to make.

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