Sibling Rivalry: Makati mayoral candidates Abby and Junjun Binay argue in church forum

Photo: Abby Binay Facebook page.
Photo: Abby Binay Facebook page.

Fights between siblings are normal but perhaps most aren’t as intense as this one between Makati mayoral candidates Abby and Junjun Binay.

The two had a very public confrontation in the San Ildefonso Parish, Makati City yesterday when they exchanged harsh words during a forum organized by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting for Makati City candidates.

Abby and Junjun are running against each other for the city’s mayoral post. Abby is the incumbent mayor after her brother was dismissed by the Ombudsman for corruption allegations in 2o15. This decision was overturned by the Court of Appeals in May last year.

Their family has been very influential in Makati City ever since their father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay became mayor, a post he held for more than 20 non-consecutive years.

Abby and Junjun sat beside each other in front of the church’s altar but, like angry kids, gave each other the cold shoulder, ABS-CBN News reported. As political events go, they each bad-mouthed the other during their speeches.

At one point, Abby insinuated that his brother was spreading lies about her and her husband.

“In the remaining days of campaigning, let’s stop the spread of lies … stop destroying my and my husband’s reputation. You won’t win that way,” Abby said in Filipino.

After the forum, Abby said that Junjun has allegedly been blaming her husband for the death of her brother’s assistant, another ABS-CBN News report says.

Junjun’s secretary Monaliza “Monette” Bernardo was shot outside her home in Makati last month. The former mayor has said that the attack could have been politically motivated.

Abby’s allegation during yesterday’s forum visibly pissed Junjun off. So much so that they got into a heated argument shortly after Abby went back to her seat. They both shouted and literally pointed fingers at each other. At one point, Junjun even knelt to the ground, raised his hands to the air, and bowed to her sister — a gesture Abby interpreted as condescending.

It got so intense that Makati Police Chief Col. Pablo Simon and their father Jejomar had to mediate the fight. Abby and Junjun sat away from each other to allow things to cool down but it did not stop there.

Junjun defended himself during his speech, shouting: “I did not do anything to you. We are in the middle of a church right, ate (older sister)? I give you all the respect but your true colors are showing,” he said.

In an open letter posted on Facebook yesterday, Abby reiterated her accusations against Junjun and blasted her brother for his behavior during the forum.

“They bad mouth me every day. They blame me without evidence. They make me a laughing stock. But I never answered back because according to my father, I should not stoop to their level,” she said in Filipino.

She also apologized to Makati citizens and their father for what happened.

“I promised you that I won’t say anything no matter how hurtful the lies they throw at me are,” she told her father. “But I’m only human.”

Junjun has not released a statement about the incident as of posting time.

Someone give these kids a time out.

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CITY: MANILACATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: POLITICS

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