Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay during his visit Wednesday, July 6, 2011 in Zamboanga City. With him are Zamboanga City Councilmen Rommel Agan, Melchor Sadain and former Vice Mayor Jose Manuel Dalipe. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 6, 2011) – Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay arrived Wednesday in Zamboanga City in Mindanao where he led the oath-taking of new members of his political party called PDP-Laban.
Binay, accompanied by PDP-Laban Secretary-General Jose de Venecia III, was overwhelmed by supporters outside the airport. Binay, who is the party’s Chairman, waved to the crowds as he walked to his convoy. “Binay…Binay,” his supporters chanted.
PDP-Laban is the acronym for Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan. It is a merger of two major political parties – Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, founded by Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr in 1982 – and - Lakas ng Bayan, founded by former Senator Benigno Aquino, the father of current Filipino President Benigno Aquino III.
Prominent politicians led by former Zamboanga City Vice Mayor Jose Manuel Dalipe welcomed the vice President together with Councilors Rommel Agan, Melchor Sadain, Cesar Jimenez, Rudy Bayot among other well-known personalities here.
Binay’s group also met with leaders of various civil groups and organizations and later led the oath-taking of new party members at the Astoria Regency hotel. Local PDP-Laban leaders and supporters headed by environmentalist Jericho Bustamante and former councilors Juan Elago, Susan delos Reyes and Al-Jihann Edding were also at the hotel to welcome Binay.
“Hindi po kayo magsisisi sa pagiging miyembro ng PDP-Laban dahil tunay na serbisyo ang ating ibinibigay sa bayan,” (You will not regret being a member of the PDP-Laban because we offer true public service to the country) ani Binay na siyang Chairman ng naturang partido.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, the party’s President, was not with Binay’s group, although a huge sign welcoming him was seen hanging at the hotel.
After the oath-taking, Binay posed with supporters for pictures and was also spotted joking around and had his photos taken together with a newly-wed couple at the hotel lobby.
“He is so friendly and soft-spoken and we are so happy to see him in Zamboanga. He is popular here,” Astia Santiago, one of the guests at the hotel, told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. (Mindanao Examiner)