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Zamora hopeful rival’s allies in council won’t derail agenda

While Francis Zamora scored a resounding victory in the San Juan mayoral race, his ambitious agenda could soon run into a political roadblock in the form of a potentially uncooperative city council.

Even though he and his PDP-Laban party-mates swept all the city’s top posts, nine of the 12 councilors-elect ran under the ticket of Zamora’s opponent, Vice Mayor Janella Ejercito Estrada.

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Zamora, however, told the Inquirer that he did not expect her party mates to obstruct his sweeping plans for the city, which included building more low-cost housing units, shoring up the ailing medical center and restructuring San Juan’s P1.2-billion debt.

“It will not look good if they oppose my programs just because of politics,” he said. “People see through that. If they end up blocking legislation that is for the benefit of the people, it’s their reputation that will be destroyed.”

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The mayor-elect also pointed out that he had worked with several of the incoming councilors when he served as a councilor for one term and as vice mayor for two terms. “I’m optimistic they will support me,” he said.

Although much of the news in the wake of the May 13 polls had focused on the losses suffered by members of the Ejercito-Estrada clan, one still managed to win. Jana Ejercito, former President Joseph Estrada’s niece, topped the councilor race in the second district.

The dynamics between Jana Ejercito and Zamora over the next three years will be closely watched, as the longtime councilor appears to be her family’s most likely standard bearer in 2022. But Zamora isn’t closing any doors.

“That’s politics,” he said. “They aligned politically with Janella this election, but nothing can stop them from supporting our executive agenda.”

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TAGS: council, Ejercito, Janella, rival, San Juan, Zamora
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