Vice President Jejomar C. Binay's eldest daughter, Ma. Lourdes "Nancy" Binay Angeles, will complete the senatorial slate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
This was confirmed Thursday afternoon by UNA Secretary General Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco.
Even before the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) last Monday, the coalition between Binay's Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and former President Joseph Estrada's Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) already lost its original 12th candidate, businessman Jose "Joey" De Venecia III, who decided to "pursue immediate business endeavors bringing investments and jobs to the Philippines" instead.
According to Tiangco, Binay was opposed to the idea of having his daughter join the senatorial race "but he was outvoted" by UNA chairman emeritus Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and UNA chairman Estrada.
Binay was hesitant to field her daughter in the senatorial race, saying Nancy, who has performed well in surveys, will have other opportunities in the future.
The Vice President described his daughter as a "fast learner."
Tiangco, in a statement, said the strong showing of Nancy in surveys encouraged UNA to pick her to complete its slate.
Binay's daughter was on the 12th slot in the Pulse Asia survey on senatorial preferences conducted from August 31 to September 7.
"We are encouraged by Nancy's consistently strong performance in the surveys. She has always landed in the winning circle in both Pulse Asia and SWS with the least effort. There has also been a groundswell of support for her candidacy coming from sectoral groups and non-governmental organizations nationwide. We cannot ignore these voices and their commitment to help Nancy and the entire senatorial slate of UNA," Tiangco said.
"We are certain that Nancy Binay will bring to the Senate the Binay brand of outstanding public service, as exemplified by the social programs initiated by her father, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay. These are trailblazing programs in education, health, and senior citizens welfare, among others, that have been replicated by other local governments and recognized by international organizations for uplifting the lives of ordinary people," he added.
Tiangco said that they are confident Nancy will push for more social benefits for Filipinos at the legislature.
When asked earlier whether she is sure of running for senator, the 39-year-old Nancy said: "I'm leaving it up to the party. I'm a good soldier and if they tell me I need to run, then I will run."
Though she has apprehensions of running for public office since she is "used to working behind the scenes," Nancy, a mother of four, noted that she was born "surrounded by political issues."
Her mother, former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay was then heavy with Nancy when her father was jailed for being a human rights lawyer during the martial law period.
"I'm not used to be in the limelight but I'm ready (to run). At the end of the day, all we want is to help our country. If we can help, why not?" she asked.
Nancy, a Tourism graduate of the University of the Philippines, had been going around the country with his father even representing the Vice President in some functions. She has been helping her father on issues concerning the housing sector.
If Nancy wins a Senate seat in the 2013 midterm elections, she would join his siblings in the world of politics, namely: Jejomar Erwin Jr. who succeeded his father as mayor of Makati City, and sister Mar-Len Abigail Binay Campos who serves as the representative of Makati City's 2nd District in Congress.
The Vice President's wife was a former Makati Mayor herself.
Binay has been criticized for allegedly building a political dynasty in Makati City but in previous interviews, Binay said qualified candidates should not be deprived of serving just because of relations. (With a report from Charissa M. Luci)