MANILA, Philippines—Former President Joseph Estrada should first address the problems of the poor in his San Juan bailiwick before thinking of becoming mayor of Manila, a member of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said Saturday.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chair of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, noted that Estrada’s family has ruled San Juan for years and yet many problems involving the poor there remain unresolved.
“There are a lot of poor in San Juan. If his family cannot address the problems in such a small city, what more in Manila? Can he do it?” Pabillo told reporters.
Estrada, a resident of San Juan, was mayor of that city from 1969 to 1986. The current mayor is Guia Gomez, the mother of Estrada’s son, JV Ejercito, who is the city’s congressman and previously served as mayor too. Jinggoy Estrada also served as mayor of San Juan before becoming senator.
Among the problems in San Juan that Pabillo cited was the violent demolition of shanties in the city last January in which a number of people were injured.
“His family is involved in the demolitions in San Juan…. What happened in Corazon De Jesus should serve as a model. They should address that first,” said Pabillo.
But Pabillo declined to comment any further on Estrada’s plan to run for mayor of the capital, saying that it was still “hearsay” because the former President had yet to formally announce his plans for 2013.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections said Estrada has until next Friday to file his transfer of voter registration to Manila from San Juan if indeed he plans to run for mayor of Manila next year.
“He should register before May 12 because it say’s in the law that it should be one year before the elections,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
The midterm elections next year are scheduled on May 13. Estrada earlier said he would announce on Friday his decision on whether to run for Manila mayor or not.