Senator Estrada wants Manila under Comelec controlBy Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada on Wednesday called on the Commission on Elections to place Manila under its Comelec control to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of campaign in the area.
Estrada backed Vice Mayor Isko Moreno’s call that Manila be declared an election hot spot due to a rising tension between the groups of mayoral candidates incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim and former President Joseph Estrada.
Moreno is the running mate of the former president, the father of the Senate official.
“Let’s not wait for things to get out of hand in Manila. This incident should be a call for the Comelec to step in and prevent the tension from escalating,” Senator Estrada said.
Moreno himself and several councilors, who are his political allies, recently had a run-in with Manila policemen over a bingo event that the authorities said constituted illegal gambling.
The vice mayor’s camp accused Lim of being involved in the alleged harassment.
Estrada said that while he believes Moreno and his supporters would adhere to the provisions of a covenant of peace, he expressed concern that other political groups in the city might resort to “desperate moves” to win the elections.
Section 1 of Comelec Resolution No. 3618 provides that the Comelec can place certain areas under its immediate and direct control when there is intense political rivalry between or among candidates, political factions or parties.
“Placing Manila under Comelec control would definitely ensure peaceful and orderly elections,” Estrada said.