MANILA, Philippines – Reelectionist Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada boasted of his "legacy" in the Philippines' capital city as he launched on Friday evening, March 29, his campaign to win a 3rd and final consecutive term as Manila mayor.
Estrada, 81, said his local slate is called Team Legacy because he wants to leave a good legacy to his prospective heir – his vice-mayoral running mate, 71-year-old Amado Bagatsing.
Estrada was an actor who became San Juan mayor, senator, vice president, and eventually president, until he was accused of corruption and was ousted in a popular uprising in 2001. He was convicted of plunder in 2007 but in the same year was pardoned by his successor, then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
After almost clinching the presidency in 2010, he ran and won as Manila mayor in 2013.
Since then, Estrada claimed the crime rate in Manila, for instance, has gone down. "Mas tumahimik na po sa Maynila (It has become more peaceful in Manila)," he claimed.
"Safe na safe ang Maynila na ipamamana ko sa kanya (The Manila I will pass on to him is very safe)," Estrada said, referring to Bagatsing.
Estrada is running against his former ally and vice mayor, Isko Moreno, and former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim.
Of the mayor's two rivals, Moreno is Estrada's tougher challenger. This is seen in how Estrada's camp even played a video portraying Moreno as "walang utang na loob" (without a debt of gratitude) immediately before Estrada spoke on Friday.
In response to accusations such as this, Moreno said earlier on Friday, "May utang na loob ako, sa taumbayan." (I have a debt of gratitude to the people.)
Moreno, a garbage collector when he was in high school, vowed to clean up the filthy City of Manila after years of supposed neglect under Lim and Estrada.
Like Moreno, Estrada on Friday cited lingering problems in Manila. He cited a study saying Manila has high poverty and unemployment rates.
"Sana po magre-retire na ako pero hindi ko matiis na ang Lungsod ng Maynila ay lugmok," the reelectionist mayor said. (I was hoping to retire but I cannot accept seeing the City of Manila in a sorry state.) – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.