MANILA, Philippines – Outgoing Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has conceded his defeat to newly-elected mayor Franscisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Estrada congratulated Domagoso on his win and promised to prepare for a smooth transition of government.
“The people of Manila have spoken. The new leadership of the city will be coming in and I will prepare the smooth turnover of the city government,” he said.
“I congratulate the new mayor and I wish him all the best for the good of the people of Manila,” he added.
Estrada lost to Domagoso by a wide margin in the Manila mayoral race. He received 210,605 votes against Domagoso’s 357,925, based on votes from 100 percent of election returns from clustered precincts.
He also expressed gratitude to those who helped and stood by him throughout the 50 years of his political career.
“By June 30, my 50 years in politics and public service will come to an end with sterling colors of honesty and genuine concerns for the poor,” he said in a statement.
“I wish to thank all those who stood by me for the last 5 decades of my political life,” he added.
Estrada joined the political arena in 1969 while he was still a popular film actor. He ran and won as mayor of San Juan City and was succeeded by his sons Jinggoy and John Victor “JV” Ejercito, followed by JV’s mother, Guia Gomez, when he sought national positions. He first ran as senator in 1987, then vice president in 1992, and finally president in 1998.
He was ousted in 2001 over corruption charges and convicted of plunder in 2007. He was later pardoned and returned to politics to become Manila mayor in 2013.
But his years of foray in politics suddenly came to an end after his defeat against Moreno. The Estrada-Ejercito clan’s 50-year reign in San Juan was also cut off after his granddaughter, Janella, failed in her mayoral bid against former vice mayor Francis Zamora.
Estrada also called on his supporters to rally behind the mayor-elect for the betterment of the city.
“I am calling all my supporters to rally behind the new leadership of the city,” he said.
“Hangad natin ang katagumpayan ng bagong liderato para sa kabutihan ng nakararami (We hope for the success of the new leadership for the welfare of the majority ,” he added.
He also said that he will leave the new leader with a city with no debt because he was able to clear it during his term.
“Taas-noo tayong lalabas ng city hall dahil nabayaran natin ang lahat ng pagkakautang na P4.4B na aking dinatnan noong 2013,” he said
(I will leave the city hall with head held high because we were able to pay the P4.4 billion debt that I inherited in 2013.)
“Dinatnan ko ang lungsod na bangkarote. Sa pagtatapos ng aking termino, iiwanan ko ang lungsod na may P14 bilyong pondo bunga ng masinop na pamamahala at maingat na paggasta sa perang pag-aari ng mga mamamayan,” he said.
(I inherited a bankrupt city. As my term comes to an end, I will leave a city with P14 billion fund due to good governance and careful spending of the people’s money)
He did not say whether he will retire once his term ends or plans to make a political comeback. He just said that “there’s always life after politics.”
The former mayor of Malay, Aklan, Ciceron Cawaling, who was dismissed from office by the Ombudsman, was proclaimed the winner of the mayoral race.
Cawaling garnered 16,277 votes beating his rivals, former mayor John Yap who got 12,620, and Rodgiet Ranara who gained 1,200 votes.
The Office of the Ombudsman on April 2019 ordered the dismissal from office of Cawaling after he was found guilty of gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming of a public official, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. This is in relation to the environmental problems in Boracay island.
The Ombudsman also ordered the forfeiture of his retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Cawaling has repeatedly denied the charges. His candidacy was not canceled because the Ombudsman order can still be appealed. (with details from Vincent Arboleda)
MANILA, Philippines — Several mayors in Laguna and Batangas are denying involvement in illegal drugs after President Rodrigo Duterte released a narcolist tagging their names.
Los Baños, Laguna mayor, Caesar Perez calls on the president not to believe reports against him.
“Sa mahal nating pangulo, ang masasabi ko lang, hindi po totoo ito. Gawa gawa lamang, (To our beloved president, all I can say is, the reports are not true)” he said.
Bay, Laguna Mayor Bruno Ramos was among the officials who lost their police power after his name was included on the 2017 narcolist.
His name was again included on the recent narcolist and he wishes his name to be removed even if he is no longer running this election.
“Unang-una, ako 76 years old na at ako po ay naatake pa sa puso. Ako’y nawalan na ng sigla na manungkulan sa bayan dahil nga po sa paratang sa akin na ako’y protektor ng droga, (First of all, I am already 76 years old and I already had a heart attack. I lost the drive to serve in office because of the accusations that I am a drug protector)” he said.
San Pablo city mayor Loreto Amante is waiting for his case to be filed in order for him to answer the accusations in the proper forum.
“Ako po taas noong humaharap sa inyo mata sa mata na kailanman hindi po natin ginawa iyan (I am facing all of you to say that I did not do such things),” Amante said.
His father, former San Pablo mayor Vicente Amante and current city administrator, was also included on the narcolist of the president in 2017.
Lemery, Batangas mayor Eulalio Alilio also denies his involvement in illegal drugs.
“Awardee ako nitong National Anti-drug Abuse Council sa performance award 95 percent tapos ang aming barangay anti-drug abuse council almost finish na kami sa drug clearing kami at may certification ang PDEA, [I am an awardee of National Anti-drug Abuse Council in performance award. Our barangay is 95% finished in drug clearing and there is a certification from PDEA]” according to Alilio.
He also said his city has reported zero crimes for more than four months.—Aileen Cerrudo
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