Zamora ends Estrada clan’s 50-year control over San Juan

Rambo Talabong

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Zamora ends Estrada clan’s 50-year control over San Juan
(UPDATED) PDP-Laban candidate Francis Zamora defeats Janella Ejercito Estrada, whose relatives have been mayors of San Juan City, starting with her grandfather, former president Joseph Estrada

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Francis Zamora defeated Janella Ejercito Estrada in the race for San Juan City mayor, ending the powerful Ejercito-Estrada clan‘s 5 decades of control over the city.

Zamora won by 10,247 votes, garnering 35,060 against Estrada’s 24,813. He was proclaimed the next city mayor of San Juan at around 11 pm at a packed San Juan City Gymnasium.

Triumphant with him onstage was his father Ronaldo, who again clinched the congressional race with more than 35,386 votes against challenger Edu Manzano’s 23,627 votes. (WATCH: San Juan’s only choice in 2019: New blood from old families)

Warren Villa, Zamora’s vice mayoral bet, also emerged victorious with 28,882 ballots cast for him.

Zamora ran his campaign on the promise of a new San Juan, offering its residents free WiFi in all public areas, high-rise in-city housing, and affordable healthcare. He also promised to lead the city in becoming a smart city that would compete once more with wealthy neighbors Makati, Taguig, and Quezon City.

Estrada, meanwhile, anchored her campaign on the legacy of her family, which could be traced as far back as when Joseph Estrada first won as mayor in 1969. The former president was succeeded by Janella’s father Jinggoy, her uncle JV Ejercito, and JV’s mother Guia Gomez (READ: San Juan’s only choice in 2019: New blood from old families)

Zamora is the son of longtime congressman Ronaldo Zamora, who is seeking to clinch his 9th term as the representative of the lone district of San Juan City. The Zamoras are running under the ruling PDP-Laban while Estrada is the candidate of her grandfather’s party, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.

Victory is sweeter for Zamora as this is his second time to run for San Juan mayor. In 2016, he lost in his first bid against Guia Gomez, JV Ejercito’s mother, by just by over 1,000 votes.

Zamora backed a recall petition in 2017 until 2018, but it lapsed after the local Commission on Elections failed to verify the signatures and set a date for the recall polls within the permitted period of at least over a year before the 2019 regular elections. –

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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.