Francis Zamora challenges Guia Gomez to debate on San Juan’s future
San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora has made it clear that he is not about to take no for an answer.
After filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) for city mayor Tuesday, Zamora again called on incumbent Mayor Guia Gomez to join him in a debate, a challenge she turned down last week for not being her “cup of tea.”
“Why is she refusing to face the people? If you have a lot of things you want to do, why not present it to the people? If you say it’s not your cup of tea, then how will you present your programs and projects? Why not face us in a debate?” the 37-year-old Zamora told reporters.
The idea of having a debate, a first in the city should it push through, was raised last week as the vice mayor and his father, House minority floor leader Ronaldo Zamora, announced their candidacy in next year’s elections where they will be pitted against their former allies—the Ejercito-Estrada clan.
Sought for comment on the younger Zamora’s renewed call for a debate, Gomez said Tuesday she “would not go down to that level,” adding that she was “more of a woman who acts.”
The alliance between San Juan’s two most influential political families started to fall apart in June when the Zamoras felt left out following Gomez’s meeting in Camp Crame with detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and barangay chairs where the clan’s political future in the city was supposedly discussed.
After he filed his COC, the younger Zamora once again challenged the Ejercito-Estrada camp to a debate, saying that it would be the venue for San Juaneños to “know our programs and projects so that they can choose wisely who should be San Juan’s next leaders.”
Expected to file their respective COCs tomorrow (Thursday) are Gomez for mayor; Councilor Janella Estrada, daughter of Senator Estrada, for vice mayor; and Jana Ejercito, niece of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, for congresswoman.
The Ejercito-Estrada clan has dominated San Juan since 1969 when Erap was elected mayor. Their hold on city hall was interrupted only by the 1986 Edsa People Power revolution.
Should they win next year, the younger Zamora said he would “put an end to corruption” in San Juan and not run the city as if it was their own “kingdom.”
He added that he would “serve with utmost honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability.”
“We will ensure that everyone will have the opportunity for their voice to be heard, without being threatened or coerced,” he said.
Also filing their COCs Tuesday was the younger Zamora’s running mate — Councilor Rolando Bernardo — and “Team San Juan’s” candidates for city councilors, including YouTube sensation Ericka Villongco, cager Paul Artadi and singer-actor Lance Raymundo. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.