Muslim group shifts support from Estrada to Bagatsing in Manila mayoral race
MANILA, Philippines — A Muslim that supported Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada in 2016 jumped ship on Monday, and pledged to support Manila fifth district congressman Amado Bagatsing in this May’s mayoral race.
The Muslim group, known as Alyansang Aakbay sa Makabagong Tagumpay headed by Manuel Diria, made the announcement in press conference on Monday morning, saying Manila’s Muslim communities have been neglected by the incumbent and previous administrations.
“Our members agree that the Muslims in the city are totally neglected,” Diria said in a separate statement.
Alamat claims membership of over 80 percent of the city’s Muslim group, particularly in Baseco, San Andres Bukid, San Andres Malate, and Quiapo.
“We chose congressman Bagatsing because we think he’s the only one who has a serious platform for the residents of Manila,” Diria said. He added that Bagatsing would be the best choice in the three-way fight.
Bagatsing will run against Estrada and former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.
Bagatsing vowed to consider and look into their needs through the Office of Muslim Affairs.
“I feel overwhelmed by the support,” said Bagatsing, adding one of his projects for the Muslim community would be to build elementary schools for Muslim children that would help keep their culture intact. SFM
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