Latin America

No repeat of 2016: San Juan’s Zamora vows victory vs Estrada

Rambo Talabong
No repeat of 2016: San Juan’s Zamora vows victory vs Estrada

'Paparating na po ang bagong Lungsod ng San Juan,' says PDP-Laban mayoral bet Francis Zamora, as he promises to end the Estrada dynasty

MANILA, Philippines – San Juan mayoral bet Francis Zamora is optimistic of his victory in the 2019 elections against Janella Ejercito Estrada.

In his miting de avance speech on Saturday, May 11, he said it’s time for his much-awaited comeback, after losing by a hairline against Estrada’s family in 2016.

Alam ‘nyo naman po ‘yung pinagdaanan natin mula 2016. Alam ‘nyo naman po ang ating pagod, luha, sakripisyo na pinagdaanan sa loob ng 3 napakahabang taon,” Zamora said onstage at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan as he addressed thousands of supporters in red.

(You all know what I went through in 2016. You know the exhaustion, tears, and sacrifice that we went through in the past 3 long years)

Back in 2016, Zamora competed and lost against Ejercito-Estrada matriarch Guia Gomez. He then backed a recall petition against Gomez, which lapsed before it came into fruition.

Referring to his father Ronaldo Zamora, he added: “Kahit po natalo po tayo noong 2016, naniwala po siya sa akin. Ang sabi niya ‘wag kang mag-alala, tatlong taon lang ‘yan. Babawi rin tayo. Ito na po ‘yun ngayon.” (Even if we lost in 2016. He believed in me. He said, “Don’t worry, that’s only 3 years. We will come back.” This is it.)

What’s different now? He believes he is far more qualified than Estrada, and that he has long conquered the deficit of over a thousand votes that made him lose in 2016. 

Zamora also now enjoys the backing of popular President Rodrigo Duterte. While the President has also endorsed his rival Estrada, he stressed that he was the official candidate. Zamora also possesses the backing of the bloc-voting Iglesia ni Cristo.

PACKED. PDP-Laban San Juan holds its miting de avance at the Filoil Flying V Center, filling it with supporters in red on May 11. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

He appeared to be unfazed by the Ejercito-Estrada machinery that won them the leadership of San Juan for 5 decades. Zamora claimed that it will end after May 13.

Ngayong gabi, nagsalita na po ang ating mamamayan. Nagsalita na po kayo, at nakita ko kayo ang nagdesisyon na palitan na ang sistema, baguhin ang pamamalakad, at ‘yan po, paparating na po ang bagong Lungson ng San Juan,” Zamora said.

(Tonight, our people have spoken. You have spoken, and I see that you have decided to replace the system, change the administration, and there, the new San Juan is about to come.) –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.