Is he or isn’t he? Estrada to decide mayoral bid in 9 days | Inquirer News

Is he or isn’t he? Estrada to decide mayoral bid in 9 days

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 01:51 AM May 04, 2012

Guyito, Joseph Estrada, Manila MayorFormer President Joseph Estrada on Thursday played coy about his planned run for mayor in Manila, but his jabs at Mayor Alfredo Lim were a dead giveaway of his intention.

Estrada told Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) supporters at Club Filipino to wait for the deadline for the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC) to see whether he or Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno would challenge Lim.

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Moreno, 28 Manila city councilors, former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez took their oath as new members of PMP, which merged with the PDP-Laban to form the coalition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

In his keynote address, Estrada spoke lengthily about his life, including his roots in Tondo, Manila, his rise to power as an action movie star and politician, his downfall and political comeback. But when it came to his political plan in 2013, he chose to titillate his supporters.

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‘Very hard to beat’

“There are just nine days left before the filing of the COC. Then you will know whether I’m running or [if] it will be Isko who will become your mayor,” he told a packed hall, but also dropped hints about their political tandem. “Our combination is very hard to beat.”

Even so, the 75-year-old Estrada, PMP chair emeritus, said he had to consult PMP and PDP-Laban officials whether to press ahead with his plan, or   campaign for UNA’s senatorial candidates.

“Rest assured, Isko and I will not part ways. If my plan doesn’t push through, I’ll throw my full support behind Vice Mayor Isko,” he said.

“Let’s form a united front. Let’s change Manila.”

Documentary

Moreno brought 28 out of the 38 councilors of the country’s capital to the oath-taking which ended with the showing of a documentary about Estrada’s life, betraying the former President’s real political plans in Manila.

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PMP chairman, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, said Estrada would “more likely” run for mayor in Manila, and said  he and PMP president, Senate Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, could campaign for UNA candidates.

“Manila, after all, is the oldest city of the Philippines. The temper of Manila will always determine the temper of the national political condition,” Enrile later told reporters. “It will be healthy for the city of Manila to have a choice.”

Estrada, clad in an orange polo shirt (orange is his campaign color), also took a dig at Lim, an erstwhile ally who switched loyalties after his ouster in January 2011 and backed then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“You know, the story of Manila is very pitiful. Overseas, Manila is more prominent than the Philippines. For the past 20 years, Manila has been left behind by Makati, Quezon City, Taguig and even San Juan.  San Juan is more beautiful than Manila. How has it come to that?” he said, pausing.

Urban renewal

Then he added: “This is not to belittle cops. It’s a good thing I don’t think like a cop: Shoot to kill. You can’t handle things that way. Maybe Manila needs a complete urban renewal.”

Lim is a former police general who earned the monicker “Dirty Harry” for his tough stance against criminals.

Estrada said he was not picking a fight with Lim, but merely wanted to bring back the glory of old Manila. “There’s nothing personal about it,” he later told reporters.

Moreno said he and Estrada were both identified with the poor and mocked as “simple-minded” actors who could not contribute anything positive to politics.

“But of course, I don’t want to end up in jail like him,” he said, drawing laughter. He assured Estrada of his and the councilors’ loyalty. “We will not break away from our President Estrada.”

He concluded with the slogan: “Kung si Erap para sa mahirap, si Isko ay galing sa hirap. Lalaban sa nagpapahirap (Erap is propoor. Isko was born poor. Both will fight the antipoor).” With reports from Katherine Evangelista and Kristine Felisse Mangunay

Originally posted at 01:44 pm | Thursday, May 03,  2012

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TAGS: Elections, Isko Moreno, Joseph Estrada, Manila, PMP, Politics, UNA
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