MAYOR Joseph “Erap” Estrada vowed that he will have his neck cut if public markets in Manila are privatized under his administration.
“Ipapaputol ko ang leeg ko bago ako magbenta, bago mangyari iyan. Kahit isang pasong lupa na pag-aari ng lungsod, wala akong binebenta. At kailanman hindi ako magbebenta.
17 taong akong Mayor ng San Juan, wala akong ibinenta. Naging Pangulo ako, wala akong binenta. Ngayon pa bilang Mayor ng Maynila? [I will have my neck cut before I sell, before it happens. I have not sold even a small lot owned by the Manila government. I will never sell. In my 17 years as mayor of San Juan, I did not sell any land. I became president, I did not sell anything. How much more now that I am mayor of Manila?)” Estrada told residents of Tondo.
He denied allegations being spread by his opponents for the mayoralty post that he is selling the public markets to private groups.
Estrada is seeking reelection while former Mayor Alfredo Lim and Rep. Amado Bagatsing are also eyeing the mayoralty.
Estrada explained that the public markets that are currently undergoing top-to-bottom rehabilitation will remain the property of the Manila city government even after their development.
Among those undergoing modernization and structural reconstruction under joint venture agreements include the Quinta Market in Quiapo, Sampaloc Market, Sta. Ana Market, San Andres Market and Trabajo Market in Sampaloc.
According to Manila City Engineer Roberto Bernardo, the budget for the renovation projects were sourced from the city government funds.