By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) |
MANILA, Philippines - “There is more to me than my name.”
This is what Ma. Lourdes “Nancy” Binay says on comments that she is only riding on the popularity of her father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, in her senatorial bid under the United Nationalist Alliance.
Her surname, she said, is really more of a challenge than an advantage since expectations are high.
“I guess for other people it is an advantage but for me it is more of a challenge. Because the standard I set for myself is 100 percent more than the service my Daddy gives to the public,” the 39-year-old Nancy said.
Public service is in Nancy’s blood. She is the eldest daughter of the Vice President and former Makati City mayor Elenita Binay. Her brother, Jejomar “Junjun” Binay, Jr., and her sister, Abegail, are seeking re-election as mayor and representative of Makati City, respectively.
Nancy said she sees nothing wrong with political dynasties.
“At the end of the day it is the people who will vote. If they want our brand of service we are willing to work for them,” she said.
“Since we were young, we were raised with deep consciousness towards public service, so I think the desire to help is there,” she added.
For her part, Nancy vows to push for bills prioritizing housing and children’s welfare when elected to the Senate.
“I will push for bills prioritizing children’s welfare and housing… As a mother (of four), children are really close to my heart,” she said.
Nancy graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a degree in tourism, and served as personal assistant to her father and mother.
She is consistently included in the Senate “Magic 12” in both Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS) polls.
She ranked 5th to 7th places in the SWS March 15-17 survey, with a score of 47 percent. She also ranked 4th to 11th places in the Pulse Asia survey conducted from March 16 to 20, with 39.6 percent.
Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes said the rise in the surveys of new candidates like Nancy, Grace Poe and Bam Aquino suggests that voters still rely on name recall in their choices for senatorial elections.
“These are prominent names, national personalities. One (Poe) is a daughter of a celebrity (Fernando Poe, Jr.) who ran as president. The other (Aquino) is a cousin of the President, whose family name figures in Philippine history. And you have a daughter (Nancy) of the Vice President, whose political capital is the same as the political capital of the President,” Holmes said in an interview with ANC.
“Whether their standing is propelled by their surnames, I would say yes,” he added.
Holmes also noted that the respondents’ preference for Nancy, Grace and Bam shows that voters are also looking for “fresh faces” in an arena ruled by traditional politicians.