• Estrada predicts win in Manila election

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    Former president and Manila mayoral candidate Joseph “Erap” Estrada sees himself making history today as he predicts a clean sweep victory in the elections for mayor of Manila against his arch rival, re-electionist Mayor Alfredo Lim.

    Estrada said his impending assumption to power in the city of his birth is the swan song of his colorful political career.

    “This is my last hurrah, I would like to spend the remaining years of my political career to serve and bring economic growth to the city of my birth. My heart belongs to Manila and I would do my best to exceed the expectations of Manilenyos. I will surpass the development I have brought to San Juan and see to it that more investors will trust our city,” Estrada said.

    If elected, the 76-year-old former chief executive will also become the first former president to be elected mayor.

    Estrada expressed confidence in winning over incumbent Mayor Lim because of the support he got from major religious groups led by Iglesia Ni Cristo, El Shaddai, Jesus Is Lord Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Baptist Ministries, Philippine Independent Church and the Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ 4th watch, among others.

    Calling on voters
    Meanwhile, re-electionist Mayor Alfredo Lim on Sunday urged all registered voters of Manila to vote, saying that it is only during election day when the rich and the poor are on equal footing in shaping the future of the country.

    In the same breath, Lim urged voters to shun offers from unscrupulous candidates to buy their votes, stressing that vote buying and vote-selling are election offenses punishable under the Omnibus Election Code.

    “If you have any information regarding this kind activity please report it at once to the police or Comelec. It would be better if you can capture it on video through your cell phone cameras,” Lim said.

    Lim disclosed that, their camp has been receiving reports that some political operators are offering P1,000 to P3,000 per resident in exchange for their vote.

    Prediction of defeat
    Meanwhile, no less than Lim’s party mate in the Liberal Party (LP) has expressed doubts on the chances of the incumbent mayor in defeating the former president.

    Rep. Amado Bagatsing of Manila said that, he sees the defeat not only of Lim but also the entire local candidates of the LP in the city in today’s polls.

    Bagatsing, the only LP member in Manila who is running under Estrada’s local ticket, disclosed that someone from the office of Secretary Manuel Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government office called him and asked him about his assessment on the local race in Manila.

    “I told them that Manila was already lost from the Liberals,” Bagatsing said.

    Another indication that the local LP in Manila is facing an imminent defeat is the attendance during Lim’s miting de avance on Thursday wherein only two senatorial candidates from LP attended the event.

    “The LP senatorial candidates themselves must have felt that their presence in Manila’s miting de avance might pull them down, pull the ratings down. They saw the writings on the wall. Only two showed up . . . It’s a very clear message to Mayor Lim that he had lost it,” Bagatsing added.

    Van Santos, Jefferson Antiporda and Jing Villamente

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