City council slips from Abby

November 19, 2018
Abby Binay

Makati City Council elects councilor King Yabut majority floor leader.

MAKATI Second District Councilor Nemesio “King” Yabut Jr. is the new Majority Floor Leader of the  Council after 11 members of the Makati City Council voted to replace Councilor Maria Concepcion Yabut of the First District.

Yabut Jr., a candidate for representative in the Makati’s Second Congressional District, was elected Majority Floor Leader on Wednesday. Among the councilors who supported him were Councilors Shirley Aspillaga,  Maria Alethea Casal-Uy, Iony de Lara-Bes, Ferdinand Eusebio, Divina Jacome, Leonardo Magpantay, Romeo Medina, Arlene Ortega, Nelson Pasia, Mary Ruth Tolentino, and Evelyn Delfina Villamor.

The 12 councilors who comprise the new majority of the Makati City Council were among the 13 of 16 elected incumbent Makati City councilors who called for former Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. to reclaim the post he won convincingly in 2010 and 2013.

The 13th councilor was the late Rico J. Puno, who passed away on October 30.

According to Yabut Jr., his election as Majority Leader was “a natural consequence of the fact that the 12 of us in the City Council who support Mayor Junjun are now the majority. This is merely the action of a group that is exercising its right to be led by one of its own.”

“This is expected in a democracy. Just like in the House of Representatives, when the majority elected a new Speaker of the House, the majority likewise replaced the other House posts, like the majority floor leader,” added Yabut Jr., who is running against incumbent Second District Rep. Luis Campos, the husband of Makati Mayor Abigail B. Campos.

With the support of 12 out of 15 elected incumbent councilors in Makati City Hall and 21 of 33 incumbent barangay captains, Binay Jr. is now campaigning with the support of the majority of Makati’s elected officials––a rarity given that incumbent mayoralty candidates usually enjoy the support of the city council and barangay leadership.

However, last month one of the incumbent councilors, Councilor Ferdinand Eusebio, said that there was “an overwhelming clamor” for Binay’s return to Makati City Hall.

“If you go around the barangays and talk to Makati residents and the different sectors, you will discover that everyone misses Mayor Junjun. Nami-miss nila ang serbisyong Binay,” said the six-term councilor.

The absence of support for Campos’ reelection efforts stands in stark contrast to the reelection campaign of Binay Jr., who in the 2013 local elections obtained 80% of votes in Makati. Binay Jr. got 208,748 votes, a whopping 182,957 more votes than his opponent, Rene Bondal, who only obtained 25,791 votes.