Zamoras, Estradas clash for control of San Juan
The Zamora and Estrada families were allies for the past 20 years but that's about to end with Vice Mayor Francis Zamora challenging incumbent Mayor Guia Gomez in 2016 for San Juan's mayoral seat.
Zamora says they decided to run against the ruling family to end the dynasty.
Proving again that in politics, there are no permanent friends and enemies, only permanent interests. - Rappler.com
For the past decades, elections was a quiet event here in San Juan.
But that's about to end with Vice Mayor Francis Zamora’s running against incumbent Mayor Guia Gomez.
Proving again that in politics, there are no permanent friends and enemies, only permanent interests.
FRANCIS ZAMORA, VICE MAYOR, SAN JUAN: You know, when they announced that they would run for all elective posts in the city of San Juan — from mayor, vice mayor, congressman. Since they gave word that the Estrada family should not lose hold over San Juan, that's when we decided.
The Estradas have been in power in San Juan for 46 years now. It all started in 1969 when former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada won as mayor and served until 1986.
Since then, there was always a Estrada in office in the municipality.
Now, Vice Mayor Francis Zamora is going to go against Mayor Guia Gomez, the partner of Estrada.
Councilor Totoy Bernardo would face Janella Ejercito, the daughter of Senator Jinggoy Estrada, while re-electionist Representative Ronaldo Zamora would again face-off with Jana Ejercito, Estrada’s niece.
The feud between half-brothers JV and Jinggoy appears to be over for now, as the family needs to consolidate its forces against the Zamoras.
The Estradas consider this a betrayal by the clan of a former ally.
Ronnie Zamora was the former executive secretary of then president Estrada from 1998 to 2001.
RONALDO ZAMORA, REPRESENTATIVE, SAN JUAN: Are there no other families in San Juan? Don't we have any other person who can serve San Juan instead of just one family?
The Zamoras may be calling for a change of power in San Juan but Representative Zamora has been an elected official in the city for more than 20 years now.
Francis sees no problem with this, insisting they are not a dynasty.
He cites the case in 2010, when, instead of him replacing his father, it was JV who ran for Congress.
FRANCIS ZAMORA, VICE MAYOR, SAN JUAN: He is in Congress. He is a nationally elected official while I am a local official. He did not pass on his position to me.
The heated local politics in San Juan even have a ripple effect on presidential frontrunner Grace Poe, who is closely related to the two political families. Erap is a close friend of her late father Fernando Poe Jr while her husband Neil Llamanzares is related to the Zamoras. Who would she support in the city where she grew up?
Camille Elemia, Rappler, San Juan City.