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MANILA, Philippines - The board of canvassers in Manila has proclaimed former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada as the city's new mayor.
Estrada, who ran under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino-United Nationalist Alliance, won with at least 288,058 votes as of the 12:05 pm, May 14 results from the Rappler Mirror Server. His rival, incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim of the Liberal Party, garnered at least 257,631 votes.
Estrada's running mate, Isko Moreno (real name Franciso Domagoso), won the vice mayoral race. He garnered at least 329,596 votes against Lou Veloso's 196,967 votes, based on Rappler's Mirror Server results as of 12:05 pm, May 14.
At around 2am on Tuesday, May 14, Lim's lawyer blocked a motion from the board of canvassers to proclaim Estrada and Moreno as the winners. As of 6:24 am, the tally already stood at 96.48.
True son of Manila
In a statement released early Tuesday, Estrada expressed gratitude to voters "for putting a true son of Manila at the helm of the Philippine capital city."
"Today, you have all shown that you want to see the rebirth of Manila as the Queen City of the Pacific, the Pearl of the Orient. This is a challenge and the full weight of responsibility is hanging over all our shoulders, mine especially, and of the set of officials you have elected into office," Estrada said.
"Dear Manileños, I will not fail you. I was born in Manila, and I will die working to bring back the glory and pride to Manila."
Estrada, who was born in Tondo, Manila, started his political career as a mayor of San juan in 1969. He held the post until 1986.
Estrada's proclamation marks the end of a contentious campaign for the Manila mayoral seat. The two sides exchanged jabs, ranging from questions about citizenship to name-calling.
Estrada criticized Lim for letting Manila "decay" under his leadership. His camp also accused his rival of extorting money from vendors, perpetrating a bogus illegal gambling charge against Moreno and orchestrating a rock-throwing incident that hurt 2 people in a campaign rally.
The two sides raised grounds for disqualification against each other. Lim's lawyers argued that Estrada could not run for the Manila mayoral seat because his presidential pardon prohibited him from doing so.
Estrada's camp, on the other hand, questioned Lim's citizenship, saying that he might have been born in a different country because the National Statistics Office (NSO) does not have his birth certificate.
With the victory, Estrada holds his first political post since being deposed as president in 2001. He ran for president in 2010 but placed second behind current President Benigno Aquino III.
"It's a fresh start for him," said Rappler Citizen Journalim editor Chay Hofileña.
Estrada also relied on the machinery of his running mate, incumbent Vice Mayor Moreno, according to Rappler editor Miriam Grace Go. - Rappler.com
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