MANILA — A stalwart of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) said on Wednesday that Vice President Jejomar Binay’s popularity among the masses, particularly in the provinces, remains high despite the endless media attacks against his person and his family.
Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian personally observed how VP Binay connects with ordinary Filipinos in his provincial sorties, which he frequently joins upon the invitation of the vice president.
“I have seen VP Binay in his provincial sorties and I can say that he continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of majority of the ordinary Filipino, particularly those in the lower classes which compose the bulk of voters in the country,” said Gatchalian, who is one of the known supporters of the vice president in the House of Representatives.
The veteran solon credits the charisma being exuded by Binay among poor Filipinos to his two-decade mayoralty in Makati City, his long experience as a local executive having trained him how to interact with peoples from all walks of life.
“As a former mayor of 21 years, VP Binay can comfortably talk to local executives in the provinces since he can easily understand their problems and offer solutions which are doable,” said Gatchalian, himself a former three-term mayor of Valenzuela City.
Binay is particularly popular among senior citizens since it was during his term as Makati mayor that senior citizens were given importance by providing them with monthly free movie passes, wellness services, burial assistance, among others.
“This was never done before by a city mayor and Binay’s gesture endeared him to senior citizens who continue to exercise influence in their families and who never miss the opportunity to vote come every election,” Gatchalian pointed out.
He said Binay’s active involvement in the Boy Scouts of the Philippines have also made it possible for the BSP president to interact with the young who also shares his passion for the scouting movement.
“Whether its senior citizens or boy scouts, ordinary Filipinos or local executives, VP Binay can connect with them which is the reason why he maintains his high popularity in the provinces,” said Gatchalian, who is also BSP vice president for the National Capital Region.
The Valenzuela solon earlier said that the Filipino people would be the ultimate judge on whether VP Binay deserves to be the next president of the Republic.
“It would do well for VP Binay to go directly to the people to explain his side since the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee has already prejudged him based on how witnesses against the vice president were given the latitude to hurl their accusations, whether unfounded or not,” he noted.
According to Gatchalian, going to the Senate to attend the inquiry is like going to a “lion’s den” where the VP is likely to be devoured alive.
“VP Binay knows that the masses in the provinces remain to be his strongest base and this is where he should consolidate his supporters and make sure that he speak to them directly and get their opinion on the issues,” Gatchalian stressed.