Erap loses in Manila, Isko Moreno proclaimed new mayor

Lian Buan

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Erap loses in Manila, Isko Moreno proclaimed new mayor
(4th UPDATE) 'The party made a commitment na itataas namin ang uri ng pangangampanya sa Maynila. Tinotoo namin ang sinabi namin,' says new mayor Isko Moreno

MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – The king has been dethroned.

Challenger Isko Moreno Domagoso was proclaimed the winner of the mayoralty race Tuesday evening, May 14, dislodging reelectionist Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

With all votes canvassed, Moreno had 357,925 votes against Estrada’s 210,605 votes. Former mayor Alfredo Lim got 138,923 votes. 

Of Manila’s 977,465 registered voters, 675,125 voted. 

Moreno’s running mate Honey Lacuna edged out former Manila 5th district representative Amado Bagatsing, Estrada’s running mate.

Lacuna got 394,766 votes, while Bagatsing got 267,286 votes.

Although Moreno’s lead over Estrada was already insurmountable early Tuesday morning, he was not immediately proclaimed due to a delay in the relay of a passcode from the Comelec Metro Manila office to the city board of canvassers. This is done when the threshold is lowered to proclaim a clear winner although not all votes have been processed.

It took another 18 hours because while waiting for the relay of the passcode, the board of canvassers instead waited for the manual transfer of SD cards from 3 districts. The manual transfer was finished before the passcode was relayed.

“Patience is a virtue. What is a few hours for 10 years of Manila,” Moreno said after he was proclaimed, referring to his promised 10-year plans for the city, including physical development starting with the trash problem.

Moreno said that within the next 12 months, Manileños can expect the benefits of its social amelioration program such as pension for senior citizens, allowance for students, and nutrition assistance for children.

Moreno said that he wants his leadership to be characterized as “energetic and blooming.”

“I just tried to be honest, I sent the message with regard to our hopes, aspirations, and dreams. We kept focus on our plans, as we promised in October, the Asenso Manileño party made a commitment na itataas namin ang uri ng pangangampanya sa Maynila (that we will raise the bar of campaigning here in Manila),” Moreno said Monday night, May 13.

Tinotoo namin ang sinabi namin (We kept our word),” Moreno added.

Initially contending the results by saying his loss at his own barangay was unconceivable, Estrada eventually conceded on Tuesday afternoon. 

“I did my best..We have to accept, there’s that saying the voice of the people is the voice of God,” Estrada said as shown in this video posted by News5. 

Moreno, who was Estrada’s vice mayor during his first term as local chief executive, ran his campaign on a promise of change, saying Estrada had failed in his mandate to transform Manila in his two terms so far.

Estrada – who was longtime mayor of San Juan before he became senator, vice president, and president – ran and won in Manila after he was pardoned by former president Gloria Arroyo for plunder. Estrada was born in Tondo, Manila. 

Moreno, meanwhile, grew up poor in Tondo, earning money as garbage collector when he was young until he got a break in the entertainment industry. He served as Manila councilor and then vice mayor. 

In his campaign, Moreno would usually mention his being a true-blue Manileño, while there were rhetoric from the Estrada camp that Moreno lacks utang na loob (debt of gratitude).

“It’s water under the bridge…I wish him well, I wish that he’ll be given a healthy life, a longer life, to be with his family. I know how it feels, I felt the same thing losing [the 2016 senatorial] elections,” Moreno said.

With him at the helm, Moreno said Manila’s war on drugs would respect human rights.

Manila has been a killing field in President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.

While the police did not publicly release the breakdown per city of the over 5,000 deaths from police operations, many controversial cases have been documented in the city by human rights groups and media.

Rappler investigated summary executions in Tondo, where families of slain drug personalities identified a local Manila cop behind the killings. In another report, Rappler investigated the links of local Manila police to vigilantes also in Tondo.

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.