Representative Amado Bagatsing and Councilor Ali Atienza on Wednesday announced their intentions to run as a tandem and seek the mayoral and vice mayoral posts,
respectively, of Manila in the 2016 elections.
Declaration of their political plans was held during the general assembly of Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Kaunlaran or Kabaka at the group’s headquarters along Jesus Street in Pandacan.
Bagatsing, who is on his last term as congressman of the 5th District, and Atienza are running under the Kabaka Party. Bagatsing ran under Liberal Party in 2010 elections. The two are both sons of former mayors of Manila.
Bagatsing is the son of Ramon Bagatsing, known as “The Incorruptible,” the longest-serving mayor of Manila from 1971 to 1986. He died in 2006. Atienza is the son of Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-List, who served as mayor from 1998 to 2004. He is known to have established the popular group Kababaihan ng Maynila (The Women of Manila) and championed the ‘Buhayin ang Maynila’ (Revive Manila) campaign. He was Environment secretary in 2007.
True to the reputation of his father, Bagatsing vowed to stamp out corruption at Manila City Hall, accusing the administration of Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada of a string of irregularities.
He admitted that he is facing two “Goliaths” in Estrada and former mayor Alfredo Lim.
“Manila during Lim’s term was filthy and bankrupt. Manila’s residents suffered a lot under Estrada,” Bagatsing told his supporters.
“Enough is enough. The two [Lim and Estrada] have been deceiving us Manileños. We have suffered enough. It is about time to uplift our condition,” he declared amid thunderous applause from the masses who came in droves from the six districts of the city.
Bagatsing cited numerous policies of Estrada that he called anti-poor like the charging of P200 for hospital consultations. Manila City operates six hospitals. Youth and sports facilities are for rent. Vendors’ fees are raised from P20 to P40 daily. Towing and clamping operations are allegedly abusive. Bus operators are not allowed to operate. Truckers are limited to pass the city roads, causing port congestion. Business tax and real estate taxes are also allegedly wantonly raised, raging from 150 to 300 percent. Lacson underpass was privatized. A part of Manila Zoo is now for sale.
And the recent controversy is the privatization of Quinta Public Market where 500 vendors will be dislocated. All 17 public markets in Manila will be privatized.
Bagatsing chided Estrada for boosting that Manila has a P10-billion fund, saying it is not being felt by the residents.
“Estrada is practically selling Manila to businessmen. Soon, they will sell City Hall. That is the reason why I am joining and fighting for mayor of the City of Manila in 2016 polls,” he said.
Atienza, for himself, vowed to cascade to the poor Manileños the basic services, including health, livelihood, education and sports. He is currently chairman of the Manila Youth Sports Committee.