Monday, April 01, 2013

'Easterada' Sunday: Erap launches bid to resurrect political career in Manila


For supporters of former President Joseph Estrada, it's “Easterada” Sunday in Manila.
Estrada kicked off on Sunday afternoon his campaign to resurrect his political career by running for mayor of the Philippines' capital city, Manila, years after he was ousted from the presidency and subsequently convicted of plunder.

Hundreds of orange-clad supporters gathered at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila to back Estrada's mayoral bid. Estrada won the presidency in 1998 by a landslide on a pro-poor platform.

The ex-President vowed to bring "urban renewal" in Manila, which he said "was left behind by the neighboring cities and municipalities."

"The outgoing mayor has been there for 12 years. What has he done for Manila?... Bubuhayin namin muli ang Maynila. That's why we timed the proclamation rally on Easter Sunday," the mayoral candidate told reporters at the sidelines of the sortie.

Estrada, who was found guilty of amassing ill-gotten wealth by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court in 2007, likewise pledged to be more transparent with Manila's funds.

"The problem of Manila is its debt. Bangkarote ang Manila... Everything must be transparent. If all of the income in Manila will go to the treasury, then we will have enough money," he said.

Last August, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, citing Commission on Audit records, reported that the Manila city government had over P3 billion in debt. City officials have denied the report, saying Manila "was clearly updated in its payments."


Estrada's rival, incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim, will launch his candidacy on Monday in an event set to be attended by President Benigno Aquino III. Lim won over 59 percent of city's total votes during the 2010 polls.

Estrada said candidates of the administration party for local posts in Manila timed their proclamation rally on April Fools' Day because they are all "fools."

"Puro luko-luko 'yun kaya gusto nila April Fools," the former President said.

He likewise called on Lim to stop personal attacks against him and just focus on their platforms.

"He [Lim] is the one attacking me. Let us just limit to the issues in Manila, and let's not be personal. Dinamay pa niya yung plunder. That's beside the point," Estrada said.

He added that his years in government, especially as a former Philippine leader, gives him the edge over Lim.

"I would say I have gained enough experience. I have been mayor, senator, vice-president and president. I know the problem from A to Z," the ex-President said.

Manila has a total of 953,382 registered voters in the upcoming elections. It is the city with the second highest number of registered voters in Metro Manila, next to Quezon City.

The official campaign period for local bets was supposed to start last March 29, but since it was a Good Friday, candidates were only allowed to begin campaigning on Saturday.


No comments:

Post a Comment