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Nancy laments: Editorial suggests disqualification of 80% of Philippine population from Senate race

My first reaction was to simply ignore the Inquirer’s Valentine’s Day editorial, which was devoted to me, even if it was hurtful.

But I decided to write this letter after I asked myself: “What have I done to deserve such fury? Could it be the prejudice of the editorial writer against my father?”

The editorial concluded that I am “seriously unqualified to be in the Senate” because I am not a lawyer like my father or a doctor like my mother, and I have not held any elective office before, or run a company or an NGO. With such criteria, the Inquirer has disqualified from public office 80 percent of the population.

The editorial also concluded that my education at the University of the Philippines has not equipped me to deal with national issues. The inescapable conclusion is that a UP education is inadequate in preparing its graduates for higher office. Suddenly I feel doubly prejudiced because of my UP background.

But I find this line very absurd: “Whatever one’s view may be of Cory Aquino’s preparedness for the presidency, the fact is her husband was assassinated; only then did she take up the cause. Given that Vice President Binay is very much alive, what is his daughter’s compelling reason for wanting national office?”

Is the Inquirer saying that I cannot stand by my father, while he is still alive, in his cause to protect and sustain President Aquino’s gains and improve the lives of the people?

And is it not ungallant to drag Tita Cory’s name just to belabor the point that I am unqualified for the office I seek?

After my mother’s term as Makati mayor, I chose to become a wife and mother to my four children. I also became active in several charitable foundations providing education and livelihood assistance to the youth. I later established an orphanage.  Over the years I gained an insight into the needs of children, and it has been my mission to work for their welfare.

Being the Vice President Jejomar Binay’s assistant gave me ample hands-on knowledge on how government works. I gained experience in dealing with the concerns of our people. I believe this is important in public service. A person may have the right diplomas and professional background, but if one does not know the needs of the people, then she will not be an effective public servant.

I was reluctant to run for the Senate because I was concerned about the effects of a high-profile role on my children. But I realized that it’s not enough that I just take care of my kids. We are part of a bigger community. They cannot have a better future if we adults do not start laying the foundation for a better Philippines.

I prefer to leave my fate to the democratic process. The voice of the people will hopefully be stronger than the editorials.

Lastly, one of the Inquirer columnists described me condescendingly as a “caregiver.” I am proud to be a caregiver to my mother. She took care of us and shielded us from the hard and tough times of martial law, when government was harassing my father. She is the source of our strength.

I feel an obligation to show her my love in her senior years. I guess I’m just being human and Filipino.

—NANCY S. BINAY,

8514 Caong St., San Antonio, Makati City


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