Will Erap seek Manila re-election bid?
MANILA, Philippines – Now that his current term as Manila Mayor has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, will former president Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada seek another term?
It’s a yes and a no.
Speaking to reporters after the Supreme Court announced the dismissal of the disqualification case against him, Estrada said this would be his “last hurrah.”
Besides, he said, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, Estrada’s running mate in 2013, is more than qualified to take over his job. (READ: Erap thanks SC: ‘Voice of people is voice of God’)
“Magaling naman ang vice mayor ko dito. Lahat ng programa ko, kaya niyang ipagpatuloy (I have a very capable vice mayor. He can continue the programs I started),” Estrada said on Wednesday, January 21.
Moreno is out of town but will return to Manila by Wednesday evening.
Even in 2013, Estrada promised he would turn over the reins of Manila to Moreno. “Meron akong palabra de honor, tutuparin ko ang pangako ko [kay Vice Mayor Isko] (I will honor my word and fulfil my promise to Vice Mayor Isko Moreno),” the mayor said.
But Estrada’s statement came with a caveat: should Moreno decide to run for a different position, he “might” consider re-election.
Sources earlier told Rappler that Moreno may seek a national post – the Senate, to be exact – since his numbers in the Philippine capital are dipping.
The mayor, without giving specifics insisted he had had no plans of running for re-election or seeking higher office “for now,” but would concede to public clamor.
Estrada is a political ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is set to run for president in 2016. The two political kingpins formed the United Nationalist Alliance in 2013, a merger of Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
The coalition will be turned into a party in time for 2016.
The disqualification case against Estrada was dismissed by the Supreme Court with an 11-3 vote, almost two years after was elected mayor in 2013. The case was filed by lawyer Alicia Vidal, who insisted that when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pardoned Estrada from his plunder conviction, one of the conditions was for him not to seek public office.
Vidal said she would filed a motion for reconsideration with the Supreme Court and that her intention was to keep convicted plunderers out of public office.
Estrada had insisted the pardon he received was absolute and restored all his political rights, which the Supreme Court upheld. – Rappler.com
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