MANILA – Former President Joseph Estrada has assailed Manila’s current state under Mayor Alfredo Lim.
The statement is the strongest indication that Estrada is girding for a battle royale for the mayoralty of Manila against his former ally.
Estrada hinted anew that he may run for the city’s mayoralty post next year, but quickly stated that he has not fully decided.
“Pinag-iisipan ko pa lang dahil naaawa ako sa lungsod ng Maynila dahil napagiwanan na ng Makati, Quezon City, Taguig. Eh yun pa naman ang capital city natin. hindi nagbabago ang kanilang kahirapan at ang kanilang tinitirhan, (I am thinking about it seriously because I feel bad about the sorry state of Manila. It is being left out by Makati, Quezon city and Taguig. And it’s the country’s capital. Manilans are still poor and their dwellings are the same),” he said.
“Atsaka ko na sasabihin pagtatakbo ako, kung tatakbo ako,” he said in a statement widely reported by all Manila networks and media.
Estrada distributed gifts to Manila and Quezon Ciy residents to mark his 75th birthday. His birthday bash was held later at the Le Pavillion along Roxas boulevard with 500 guests led by President Aquino.
“Hindi naman ako nangangampanya. Ito panata ko na, kahit noong nakakulong ako. Hindi ko nakakalimutan na pag aking birthday at Pasko ay nagpupunta ako sa mga depressed area,” he said.
“Noong ako naman ay nakakulong, yung aking doktora atsaka si Jinggoy naman ang pinapapunta ko. Kahit ako ay nakakulong, hindi ko sila nakakalimutan,” he added.
Estrada believes that his political career is not over yet, according to ABS-CBN. “Siguro, minsan sa aking pagdadasal, may pumapasok sa akin na hindi pa ako dapat magpahinga. Meron pa akong lakas para tumulong.”
He declined to criticize current Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. “Ayoko magsalita ng laban kanino man. Kung sino man ang mga mayor, ginagawa naman nila.”
He said either Lim or former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza would be formidable opponents if he indeed runs for the city position next year.
“Lahat naman ng laban ko mabigat eh. Mas gusto ko nga yung mabigat. ‘Pag ikaw, buo ang loob mo at taos puso ang iyong paglilingkod para sa bayan at hindi sa sarili mo, malakas ang loob mo.”
He said his Manila residency is not an issue because he owns a house in the city and he was born in Manila and lived, studied and worked in the city for a long time.
“Matagal na. Meron akong bahay sa Sta. Mesa. Hindi issue iyun,” he said.
“Lumang apartment ko. Iyun ang kaunaunahang property ko noong ako’y artista. Sa Tondo naman ako pinanganak eh, kaya wala namang problema siguro,” he said.
Estrada said his father also worked at the Manila City Hall for 30 years.