Profile: Jejomar C. Binay


Jejomar C. Binay was born on November 11, 1942 at Paco, Manila. He is the only child of the Diego Medrano Binay of Bauan, Batangas and Lourdes Gatan Cabauatan of Cabagan, Isabela.

Jojo to his friends, Binay finished his elementary education at the Philippine Normal College and preparatory high school at the University of the Philippines. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree major in Political Science and subsequently a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Philippines (UP). He passed the bar exams in 1968, and took masteral subjects in public administration and law in UP and the University of Sto. Tomas, respectively.

For all his academic achievements, Binay never fails to recall the generous help of his relatives particularly his uncles, Atty. Ponciano Binay and Quirico Binay. He would not have become one of the country's human rights lawyer today had not his uncles offered to finance his studies at the UP College of Arts and Sciences. And the grateful nephew reciprocated by doing household chores for his uncle, Atty. Binay.

Aside from the circumstances surrounding his education, the political milieu during his college days greatly influenced his militant stand for human rights. Binay was part of the student-activist movement that engulfed the nation in the middle 60's. He was a University Councilor of the UP Student Council then headed by Voltaire Garcia. When US President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Manila in 1966 during the Summit Conference of the Philippines-Indonesia-Malaysia and Thailand, Binay was one of those who picketed at Manila Hotel while chanting: “Hey, hay, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” That time the students were protesting the US involvement in the Vietnam War.

Upon graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences, he enrolled in the UP College of Law and at the same time worked as a Claims Examiner in Insular Life Assurance Company. He started his law practice as a legal Counsel of Carlos Loyzaga who was then a Councilor of Manila. He became an assistant attorney in the Deogracias T. Reyes Law Office, and later on, a senior partner in the Binay, Cueva and Associates Law Office.

While practicing his profession, Binay also taught Taxation and Land Reform at St. Catherine's School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Management, Political Science and Law at the Philippine College of Commerce in 1970-1972, where he co-founded the Lupon ng mga Manananggol ng Bayan (LUMABAN) whose primary task was to extend legal assistance to students and workers arrested during demonstrations. He also taught at the Philippine Women's University and St. Scholastica's College.

For being a plain nationalist who fought for human rights, Binay was detained in 1973 when martial law was imposed. Hence, the stockades of Fort Bonifacio and Camp Crame are not foreign to him.

He joined the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) of former Senator Jose Diokno (who is now the Commissioner of Human Rights) and then Executive Secretary Joker Arroyo, where he later became the Chairman for Metro Manila. Later on, Binay co-founded the Movement for the Advancement of Brotherhood, Integrity, Nationalism and Independence (MABINI) with Exec. Sec. Arroyo, Minister Augusto Sanchez, Deputy Secretary Fulgencio Factoran, Presidential Spokesman Rene Saguisag and MP Egmidio Tanjuatco. “In MABINI, it is not only our legal experience that we offered to our poor and defenseless clients but also our support by participating and joining them in rallies and demonstrations against the dictatorship of Marcos as well as taking a stand on national issues,” Binay said. And so, while defending persons accused of subversion and rebellion, he found himself shuttling from one rally to another. It is no surprise therefore that Binay was accused of being anti-government and a communist, which definitely he is not.

As a member of the MABINI, Binay recalls the days when he had to travel from Manila to provinces like Isabela, Pampanga and Quezon to defend detainees. “We spent our own money as it was our policy not to accept a single centavo from any funding agency or entity, most especially from people who badly needed our help.” He said that certain people wanted to give hefty contributions to a MABINI but they turned down such offers lest they compromise the ideals of their legal movement.

Shortly after Senator Ninoy Aquino was assassinated in 1983, Binay joined the August Twenty-One Movement. Presently, he is the legal Counsel and a member of the ATOM's Executive Committee. He is also a member of the National Executive Council of the cause-oriented group, BANDILA.

Before and during the February 7 elections, Binay concentrated on Makati. He was appointed campaign manager of the Dominant Opposition Party. He was a regular visitor in the Makati Police Headquarters, either on behalf of his clients or upon invitation on the police for trumped-up charges.

When the new government of President Corazon C. Aquino was inaugurated, Binay was the first appointee in local government. He was appointed Officer-In-Charge of the Municipality of Makati effective 27 February 1986.

Binay is married to the former Elenita Gabriel Sombillo of Angat, Bulacan, a Doctor of Medicine by profession. They live at Caong St., San Antonio Village, Makati with their four children.

Constantly striving to improve himself, Binay attended many special courses such as Creative Problem Solving, Effective Business Correspondence, and Introduction to Elementary Life Insurance Courses. He has passed the following government examinations: Bar Examinations (Professional), Career Service Examinations (Professional), and General Clerical Examinations.

As chief executive of the city, Binay hopes to bring into Makati, his hometown, a higher quality of public service and increased delivery of basic services. He adheres strongly to the new government's call for moral generation and he expects also to bring a higher level of morality in public service.

He was sworn in by former President Corazon C. Aquino as Acting Mayor of Makati on April 8, 1986.


The Official Website of the City Government of Makati
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