Estrada defends political dynasty

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Photo by Jamie Marie Elona

MANILA, Philippines—Stories on political dynasty in the Philippines have made headlines over the years criticizing families that held elective positions for a number of generations. But for mayoral candidate, former President Joseph Estrada, there is an advantage to dynasty in terms of the continuity of projects, as he noted that “the last say is the people.”

“There is an advantage and disadvantage. For example in my case, the advantage is [that] my program is being followed, continued,” the United Nationalist Alliance local candidate told reporters during the coalition’s proclamation rally for its local bets in San Juan City.

San Juan has been the Estrada family’s known political bailiwick after Joseph first won the mayoral seat several decades ago, and was succeeded by his son Jinggoy, and then JV, whose mother, Guia Gomez, seats as the current mayor of the city.

JV is currently vying for a senatorial position under UNA.

Joseph said in Filipino that having another mayor would derail the programs of his family for the city, citing the lack of continuity. He added his sons JV and Jinggoy were able to continue his plans for San Juan City during their own terms with the establishment of a college, a market, and a hospital.

He also reiterated that in a country running under a democratic form of government, it is still the people who will choose who they want to sit in elective posts.

“Ang masama yung monarchy [kasi] the power is inherited. Pero dito no. it is the people who decides last di ba?” Joseph said, noting that his family members still won in previous elections even when he was still incarcerated during those times.

Joseph is going up against incumbent Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim for a mayoral post in Manila City.

When elected, Joseph said he will prioritize peace and order as he believes that there can be no economic growth without these.

He said he is running as mayor, mainly, to give back to the mass that has always supported him.

Joseph attended UNA’s proclamation rally held at the Tanghalan ng Masa in San Juan City.

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