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Eleksyon 2013

Online mockery of Nancy Binay: Bullying or campaign chatter?

April 25, 2013 7:40pm

So she really didn't get court protection from her political rivals.

Satirical attacks on Nancy Binay, senatorial aspirant and daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, have been making the rounds of social media, prompting the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) bet to cry cyberbullying.

However, a political analyst noted, it might actually turn the candidate into an underdog of sorts, helping her build up a "kawawa" image that could propel her to a Senate seat.

One of the more viral satirical pieces  aimed at Binay was on the "news" site So What’s News? on April 20 after she turned down Team Pinoy candidate Risa Hontiveros' challenge to a debate, saying she had no time for it. Binay has consistently refused to test her mettle against other candidates in media fora, saying that she will debate them in the Senate instead if they are elected.

The article already has more than 10,000 shares on Facebook.

It said that a court granted Binay a "temporary protection order" against having to participate in any debate or discussion that would "make her look dumb."

The satirical article added that Nancy lost a mock debate with her personal assistant, her eight-year-old son—another potshot at Binay, who served as personal assistant to her father when he served as mayor of Makati and to her mother when she assumed the post. She is currently again her father's personal assistant.

Binay has been under scrutiny after she put "personal assistant" as part of her work experience. Her father disputes that she is unqualified.

“Sa dalawang taon ko rito [as Vice President], kasa-kasama ko yan sa mga meeting ko. Napapag-utusan ko,” said the elder Binay in an earlier interview.

In a television report on GMA’s "24 Oras" on Thursday, she said, "'Yung atake sa akin okay lang 'yun e, tanggap ko. Pinasok ko ito, I’ll get attacks di ba. Ang hindi ko matanggap, 'yung sinasama yung mga kapamilya ko, lalung-lalo na 'yung mga anak ko."

In an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer, Binay referred to the attacks against her as "cyberbullying."

Fair game

However, political analyst Ramon Casiple disagrees that the term is applicable to the comments or satirical pieces thrown at the UNA bet.

"Cyberbullying is an exaggerated term… you can’t bully these people. 'Yung mga comment, although minsan 'yung iba out of line, more or less, fair game pa 'yun," he told GMA News Online in a phone interview.

"As aspiring public officials, dapat masanay na sila riyan… Yung personal insults do not equate to cyberbullying," he added.

Moreover, the hullabaloo only adds traction to Binay's campaign and image, the political analyst said.

"She is appearing kawawa [that] she is 'just a daughter'… the political impact [of this] makes her an underdog," Casiple noted. "Parang noong panahon ni Cory—she was 'just a housewife.'"

Asked if the popularity of the article served Binay's political mileage, he said, "In a way, yes. Kasi hindi siya ganung kakilala before. Dati ang tanong nga natin di ba 'Sino ba siya?'"

"Now, she is a household name. And you know the dictum: good publicity or bad publicity is still publicity."

Asked if the matter will have an impact either way on her standing, Casiple replied in a separate text message, "I think not. But it enhances her underdog image."

In the latest Social Weather Stations survey, Binay’s ranking has risen anew to third to fourth place from her previous fifth to seventh ranking. — BM/HS, GMA News
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