MANILA, Philippines – Outgoing Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has conceded his defeat to newly-elected mayor Franscisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Estrada congratulated Domagoso on his win and promised to prepare for a smooth transition of government.
“The people of Manila have spoken. The new leadership of the city will be coming in and I will prepare the smooth turnover of the city government,” he said.
“I congratulate the new mayor and I wish him all the best for the good of the people of Manila,” he added.
Estrada lost to Domagoso by a wide margin in the Manila mayoral race. He received 210,605 votes against Domagoso’s 357,925, based on votes from 100 percent of election returns from clustered precincts.
He also expressed gratitude to those who helped and stood by him throughout the 50 years of his political career.
“By June 30, my 50 years in politics and public service will come to an end with sterling colors of honesty and genuine concerns for the poor,” he said in a statement.
“I wish to thank all those who stood by me for the last 5 decades of my political life,” he added.
Estrada joined the political arena in 1969 while he was still a popular film actor. He ran and won as mayor of San Juan City and was succeeded by his sons Jinggoy and John Victor “JV” Ejercito, followed by JV’s mother, Guia Gomez, when he sought national positions. He first ran as senator in 1987, then vice president in 1992, and finally president in 1998.
He was ousted in 2001 over corruption charges and convicted of plunder in 2007. He was later pardoned and returned to politics to become Manila mayor in 2013.
But his years of foray in politics suddenly came to an end after his defeat against Moreno. The Estrada-Ejercito clan’s 50-year reign in San Juan was also cut off after his granddaughter, Janella, failed in her mayoral bid against former vice mayor Francis Zamora.
Estrada also called on his supporters to rally behind the mayor-elect for the betterment of the city.
“I am calling all my supporters to rally behind the new leadership of the city,” he said.
“Hangad natin ang katagumpayan ng bagong liderato para sa kabutihan ng nakararami (We hope for the success of the new leadership for the welfare of the majority ,” he added.
He also said that he will leave the new leader with a city with no debt because he was able to clear it during his term.
“Taas-noo tayong lalabas ng city hall dahil nabayaran natin ang lahat ng pagkakautang na P4.4B na aking dinatnan noong 2013,” he said
(I will leave the city hall with head held high because we were able to pay the P4.4 billion debt that I inherited in 2013.)
“Dinatnan ko ang lungsod na bangkarote. Sa pagtatapos ng aking termino, iiwanan ko ang lungsod na may P14 bilyong pondo bunga ng masinop na pamamahala at maingat na paggasta sa perang pag-aari ng mga mamamayan,” he said.
(I inherited a bankrupt city. As my term comes to an end, I will leave a city with P14 billion fund due to good governance and careful spending of the people’s money)
He did not say whether he will retire once his term ends or plans to make a political comeback. He just said that “there’s always life after politics.”
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