End of an era? Estrada-Ejercito clan suffers crushing defeat in 2019 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2019   •   2972

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, meeting the press after casting his vote at P. Burgos Elementary School in Sta. Mesa, Manila in 2019 Midterm Elections. (Daniel M. Iglesias/PVI)

MANILA, Philippines – Is it time for the Ejercito-Estrada clan to take a break from politics?

The clan’s patriarch, former president and reelectionist Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is losing by a wide margin to mayoral contender Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Based on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial, unofficial results as of 3:50 p.m. on Tuesday with 99.06 percent of election returns, Domagoso has garnered 354,327 votes while Estrada got 208,561.

Moreno previously served as vice mayor to Erap from 2013 to 2016. He joined but lost the senatorial race in 2016.

With Erap’s loss came the failed mayoral bid of his granddaughter Janella Ejercito Estrada in San Juan City.

Janella, daughter of senatorial aspirant Jinggoy Estrada, who got 24,813 votes was beaten by former vice mayor Francis Zamora who garnered 35,060 votes.

Zamora’s victory ended the Ejercito-Estrada clan’s nearly 50-year reign in the city. The Estrada clan took hold of San Juan City since 1969 when then popular actor 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.

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

Meanwhile, Erap’s nephew ER Ejercito failed in his bid for governor in Laguna against reelectionist governor Ramil Hernandez.

His other nephew, Gary Estrada Ejercito also lost in Cainta, Rizal’s vice mayoralty race against Ace Servillion.

In the senate race, Erap’s sons Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada are trailing beyond the top 12. JV is currently at 13th spot with 13,866,130 votes while his brother Jinggoy is at 15th with 11,018,985 votes as of 3:50 pm with 99.06 percent of election returns.

End of an era?

Did the May 13 midterm elections signal the end of a political era for the Estrada-Ejercito clan?

According to political analyst, Professor Edmund Tayao, Erap’s defeat could mean that the Manila voters are looking for a new leader who could bring significant changes to the city.

“Erap was considered as some kind of alternative having been a previous president, so many may have thought he would be a better Mayor compared to [Alfredo] Lim but after two terms there was not much change that happened,” Tayao told UNTV News and Rescue in an interview.

Tayao also believes that the previous rift between JV and Jinggoy have damaged their chances of winning in Senate race.

“Ang naka-contribute pa dito yung masyadong negative campaign, below the belt yung ginawa niya against his own brother, that boomeranged on him,” he said in reference to the half-brothers’ disagreements in the past.

“So, instead of maintaining his supposed advantage over his half-brother, nabaligtad ang pangyayari, mas binoto ng tao si JV Ejercito,” he added.

The two brothers had admitted to a tepid relationship after JV decided to use the Estrada name to boost his political image. Their relationship also turned sour at the height of the 2013 pork barrel scam.

Tayao said that based on his personal assessment of the general election results, Filipino voters seemed to be looking for new names and faces in politics who could deliver positive results.

“What is shown to the general results of the elections which is across the board, nage-experiment ang mga tao, ayaw na nila ng more of the same so they elected a different sort of combination,” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Manila LGU eyes building new halfway houses for cancer patients

Robie de Guzman   •   February 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – New halfway houses which will cater to cancer patients will soon rise in the Philippine capital, the Manila City government said.

In a statement Monday, Manila City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan said the construction of halfway houses is part of an integrated plan to strengthen the city’s public health facilities.

Pangan said halfway houses will serve as temporary shelters for cancer patients at the Philippine General Hospital as well as the city’s specialized health centers to ease their recovery and lessen transportation expenses.

Likewise, the city government also said it aims to build new facilities for diabetes patients and wellness centers for women.

“Our plans include building specialty centers for diabetes, halfway homes for cancer patients, and women wellness centers,” Pangan said during a consultation meeting with Manila district hospital chiefs and health center directors.

“We are also planning to create Super Health Centers with Vertical Housing for our employees,” he added.

Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso emphasized that the city government requires mutual cooperation and thorough assessments to provide the best health care services to the people.

“Kaya ako nag a-assess. I govern with data. I want to utilize whatever is here to spend it efficiently and so that the city government will be guided accordingly.”

Domagoso stressed the intent to reestablish the people’s confidence in public health systems through joint effort and correspondence.

“I encourage each and everyone of you, it’s high time to collaborate. I want to declog our hospitals. I want the people of Manila to trust our health centers. ‘Yun ang pangarap natin, ibalik ang dignidad ng mga health centers,” he said.

Manila Health Dep’t. says rumored novel coronavirus case just pneumonia

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila City government on Monday, January 27, denied rumors spreading online about a case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippine capital.

In a statement, the Manila Public Information Office (PIO) said there is no confirmed case of the 2019-nCoV involving a Chinese national who was admitted at the Metropolitan Hospital in Binondo.

Manila City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan identified the Chinese national as a 27-year old male who was working at a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO).

Pangan said the Chinese man was hospitalized last January 25, 2020, due to fever and cough. The City Health Officer said the foreigner reportedly resides on the boundary of Pasay and Paranaque Cities.

“Case is a 27-year old male, arrived in the Philippines as POGO worker last January 8, 2020. He is from Obei, China,” Pangan said in his report to the Office of the Mayor.

“MHD Surveillance Team, in coordination with DOH surveillance, and as per investigation, patient has fever and cough but negative on the history of travel to Wuhan, China, and no history of exposure to a host or positive case,” he stressed.

Pangan said the Chinese national was diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia.

“As of the moment, the patient is well and does not have fever,” he said.

“The MHD is in a continuous effort of intensive information dissemination in our public schools and respective barangays regarding precautions on stopping transmission of coronavirus,” he added.

The Manila PIO said “the coronavirus scare on social media has apparently compelled the following schools in the nation’s capital to suspend classes” for Monday.

  • Philippine Academy of Sakya
  • Saint Stephen’s High School
  • Saint Jude Catholic School
  • Chiang Kai Shek College – Padre Algue and Narra branches
  • Uno High School

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso appealed to the public to avoid sharing unverified information on social media to prevent panic or anxiety among the public over the virus spreading internationally.

“Hindi ikinikibit-balikat ang sitwasyong ito. Be vigilant. Huwag kayong maiilang. Huwag muna masyadong mag-alala. Tayo po ay makinig sa mga lathalain, panawagan ng mga tamang tao at ahensya ng gobyerno,” he said.

Mayor Isko also encouraged all citizens to immediately proceed to the nearest clinic or health center if they feel they are suffering from symptoms of the virus, which include cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

“Ngayon naman, sa lahat ng ating mga barangay, nakikisuyo ang ating MHD na kayo’y makipagtulungan by just being vigilant. Kayo rin, tayong lahat, huwag kayong matatakot kapag kayo ay may ubo. Mas maganda magpagamot at magpa-check up,” he said.

The national Department of Health (DOH) has said there is still no confirmed case yet of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines although it is monitoring at least 11 individuals for a suspected respiratory infection. These patients under investigation have been recorded in different hospitals in Muntinlupa and Pasay Cities in Metro Manila, Kalibo in Aklan, El Nido in Palawan, Cebu City, and Camiguin, based on DOH’s data.

Based on the latest report of China’s National Health Commission, the death toll from the novel coronavirus strain has spiked to 80 on Monday with hundreds of new infections despite massive travel lockdown and quarantines in China.

The virus was first detected in the Chinese City of Wuhan and has since spread to neighboring towns and other countries. Confirmed 2019-nCoV cases have been reported as far as the United States, Canada, France, Australia, Nepal, as well as in Asian cities of Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Fish vendors urged not to hike prices amid reported shortage of tilapia, bangus from Laguna and Batangas

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Wednesday, January 15, called on fish dealers not to take advantage of the reported shortage of bangus and tilapia fishes from Laguna and Batangas amid the Taal Volcano unrest.

In a radio interview, Domagoso advised fish vendors to refrain from jacking up their prices, and to accept supplies coming from other sources other than their usual dealer or “suki”.

“We already gave a directive sa aming market administrator, sa aming 17 markets namin na tanggapin lahat ng uri ng supply galing sa north kasi meron palang suki-suki, eh kapag nawala yung suking supply, hindi sila kukuha,” he said.

Mayor Isko said additional supplies would be coming in from Central Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region to meet the city’s demand for fish products, as assured by the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

“So kapag hindi sila kumuha, magkakaroon ng shortage, eh meron naman palang enough na supply, pero sa ibang lugar nanggaling. Kaya wala silang dahilan para magtaas ng presyo,” he said.

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