Sotto, Zamora, Moreno topple giants; make history in PH politics

Marje Pelayo   •   May 14, 2019   •   8874

(L-R) Vico Sotto, Francis Zamora and Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso

MANILA, Philippines – The political arena had a complete turn-around in major cities in the country as the reign of political clans ended and new faces emerged victorious in Monday’s 2019 midterm polls.

Pasig City’s new, “millennial” mayor

A promise of a “new kind of politics” is about to start in Pasig City after 29-year-old Councilor Vico Sotto braved the pressure to break the almost three-decade unbroken line of Eusebios in the country’s eighth largest city.

On his official Facebook page, Sotto thanked his supporters for the trust while he promised to lead the city to its new beginning.

“Maraming salamat. Sa lahat ng nagbigay ng tiwala, sa mga bumoto, at sa mga nakiisa sa ating laban,” the incoming Mayor said.

“Sulit po ang pagod at effort natin. Narinig na ng bayan ang ating tinig. Handa na ang Pasig para sa tunay at pangmatagalang pagbabago!” he added.

Sotto, who topped the councilor race in 2016 in his first ever attempt in public office, is the son of veteran celebrities Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes.

Sotto did not field a vice mayor which left the incumbent Iyo Christian Caruncho Bernardo unopposed.

His party-mate former Rep. Roman Romulo also won the race against Mayor Bobby Eusebio’s brother incumbent Rep. Ricky Eusebio and is now a returning congressman for Pasig City’s lone district.

A game changer in San Juan City

Businessman Francis Zamora is the new mayor of San Juan City ending the reign of the Ejercito-Estrada clan in the smallest city in Metro Manila.

Zamora considered himself a game-changer after winning the election against Jannela Ejercito, the daughter of former senator Jinggoy Estrada and granddaughter of Manila’s incumbent mayor Joseph Estrada.

The new mayor promised to turn the old city of San Juan into a highly developed “Smart City” with improved services and state-of-the-art facilities.

Francis’ father, Ronaldo Zamora, remains in office after defeating challenger Edu Manzano for the lone district of San Juan.

The Estrada clan took hold of San Juan City since 1969 when then popular actor Joseph Estrada won as mayor. He was succeeded by his sons Jinggoy and JV Ejercito then JV’s mother Guia Gomez to whom Zamora narrowly lost his bid for mayor in 2016.

The Zamoras and Estradas were family friends for 30 years until Francis and Guia both ran in the mayoralty race in 2016. Francis claimed he was cheated in the election.

Dethroning a giant

Former Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso defeated the “giant” in the country’s capital, Manila.

The new mayor described his win as a “humbling experience” while he could only wish the best for his opponent, former president and mayor Joseph Estrada.

“Maging masaya ang kaniyang mga araw sa buhay. Maging maligaya din siya na kapiling ang kaniyang pamilya…Nakapaglingkod na naman siya sa taumbayan. Napagbigyan na rin naman siya. And I think he did enough already for the country and for the city,” Domagoso said of Estrada.

A Tondo boy who used to scavenge for food, Domagoso established his political career from serving three terms as a city councilor, another three terms as vice mayor and the most recent as an undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

As now the new mayor of Manila, he promised “more programs of governance” for the city.

“Today is just the beginning. It’s going to be challenging years for us. People are expecting pero may awa ang Dios. We always wanted to be guided by law and order and by God,” he said after securing his win.

His running mate, incumbent Vice Mayor Maria Sheilah Lacuna-Pangan, also won for a second term in office. — Marje Pelayo

Mayor Isko threatens closure of malls, establishments selling stolen mobile phones

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2019

Stolen smart phones being sold at some commercial establishments in Manila

MANILA, Philippines – Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has warned malls and commercial establishments across the city not to sell stolen cellular phones.

This, after about 148 units of alleged stolen phones were confiscated by the Manila Police District – Special Mayor’s Reaction Team at two known malls in the city.

The Mayor presented before the media on Monday (September 16) five suspects who were arrested in the act of buying and selling alleged second hand but stolen cellphones.

Domagoso said such an act is a violation of Presidential Decree No. 1612 or the Anti-Fencing Law.

“Tigilan ninyo na ang pagtitinda ng mga nakaw na bagay (Stop selling stolen items),” he warned.

“Huwag ninyong sasabihin sa amin na hindi ninyo alam (Don’t tell us that you are not aware of it),” he added.

The official has given the management of Tutuban Center Mall and Isetann Recto Mall three days to check on stall owners and seek legal permits for the used items they are selling.

Otherwise, they will be asked to close down, Domagoso warned.

Earlier, the management of Tutuban Center Mall immediately heeded to Domagoso’s order.

He also calls on consumers to stop patronizing stolen items.

He said theft is one of the common problems among minors, such as the case of a teen who was nabbed for snatching cellphones and is now under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Manila office.

“Ayaw kong may iiyak na namang nanay, may iiyak na namang tatay, dahil nasaksak ‘yung anak niya, namatay ‘yung anak niya dahil inagawan ng cellphone (I don’t want to hear another mother or father grieving for their child who died because someone snatched their cellphone),” the Mayor noted.

The Manila Police has launched a manhunt for alias “Bebeng” who is said to be the receiver or seller of the snatched mobile phones.

Meanwhile, Domagoso has ordered the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Office to inspect all malls across Manila to determine and report those who sell snatched mobile phones. – MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

Duterte commends Mayor Isko’s efforts to clean up Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2019

Manila City Mayor Francis “Isko Moreno” Domagoso

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has commended Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso for his efforts to clean up his city and strictly implement local policies.

“Bilib ako sa kanya kaya nanonood ako kung nagsasalita siya. Mas mahusay siya kaysa akin, sa totoo lang. Oo, may nakita ako na mas mahusay ang resolve niya kaysa akin. Plus two ako sa kanya.” Duterte said after the oath-taking of the Malaca؜ñang Press Corps, Presidential Photojournalists Association and Malacañang Cameramen Association on Tuesday night.

Since formally assuming as Manila City mayor, Moreno has spearheaded clearing operations in his city’s streets and parks. He also ordered for the strict implementation of local ordinances including curfew for minors among others.

In response to Duterte’s words of praise, Mayor Isko expressed his gratitude and said he was drawing inspiration from the president’s leadership.

“Thank you for the kind words, Mr. President, but to be really honest, isa po kayo sa mga naging inspirasyon ko sa kung ano mang klase ng liderato na meron kami,” he said in a statement.

Domagoso then recounted the times he went to visit Davao City, the president’s hometown, where he admitted to feeling scared to light up a cigarette and speed up his vehicle for fear he will be apprehended by local authorities.

Davao City enforces no-smoking and speed limit ordinances.

“‘Di naman po lingid sa kaalaman ng karamihan, lalong lalo na ‘yung mga taga-Maynila na ako po ay naninigarilyo. Pero kapag nasa Davao City po ako, takot na takot po akong manigarilyo dahil alam ko pong huhulihin ako,” he said.

“In fact, there was one time, galing po kami ng Tagum, pabalik ng Davao City… biglang bumagal po ang takbo ng sasakyan namin so tinanong namin ‘yung driver kung bakit. Simple lang yung sagot nya. ‘Kasi po nasa Davao City na tayo. Kahit gabi ho dito, may pulis man o wala, sumusunod kami sa batas trapiko,’” he added.

“Kung ano man ang nakikita nating pagpupursige ng mga alkalde sa buong Pilipinas, hindi lang po ako, ay reflection lamang ng klase ng liderato at Pangulo na meron tayo.” Moreno further stated. RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Hong Kong leader says she would ‘quit’ if she could; fears her ability to resolve crisis now ‘very limited’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 3, 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she has caused “unforgivable havoc” by igniting the political crisis engulfing the city and would quit if she had a choice, according to an audio recording of remarks she made last week to a group of business people.

At the closed-door meeting, Lam told the group that she now has “very limited” room to resolve the crisis because the unrest has become a national security and sovereignty issue for China amid rising tensions with the United States.

“If I have a choice,” she said, speaking in English, “the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology.”

Lam’s dramatic and at times anguished remarks offer the clearest view yet into the thinking of the Chinese leadership as it navigates the unrest in Hong Kong, the biggest political crisis to grip the country since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

Hong Kong has been convulsed by sometimes violent protests and mass demonstrations since June, in response to a proposed law by Lam’s administration that would allow people suspected of crimes on the mainland to be extradited to face trial in Chinese courts.

The law has been shelved, but Lam has been unable to end the upheaval. Protesters have expanded their demands to include complete withdrawal of the proposal, a concession her administration has so far refused. Large demonstrations wracked the city again over the weekend.

Lam suggested that Beijing had not yet reached a turning point. She said Beijing had not imposed any deadline for ending the crisis ahead of National Day celebrations scheduled for October 1.

And she said China had “absolutely no plan” to deploy People’s Liberation Army troops on Hong Kong streets.

World leaders have been closely watching whether China will send in the military to quell the protests, as it did a generation ago in the bloody Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing.

Lam noted, however, that she had few options once an issue had been elevated “to a national level,” a reference to the leadership in Beijing, “to a sort of sovereignty and security level, let alone in the midst of this sort of unprecedented tension between the two big economies in the world.”

In such a situation, she added, “the room, the political room for the chief executive who, unfortunately, has to serve two masters by constitution, that is the central people’s government and the people of Hong Kong, that political room for maneuvering is very, very, very limited.”

Three people who attended the meeting confirmed that Lam had made the comments in a talk that lasted about half an hour. A 24-minute recording of her remarks was reviewed by Reuters.

The meeting was one of a number of “closed-door sessions” that Lam said she has been doing “with people from all walks of life” in Hong Kong.

China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, a high-level agency under China’s cabinet, the State Council, did not respond to questions submitted by Reuters. China’s State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters. (Reuters)

(Production: Hyunyoung Yi)

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