Former President and Manila mayoralty candidate Joseph Estrada howled foul over the fresh wave of dirty tricks supposedly employed by rivals aimed at exploiting poor people’s sentiments.
Estrada, who is also one of the leader of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), was referring to false text messages sent to some residents of Manila telling them of Estrada’s medical mission and distribution of groceries.
The false message was able to convince some residents of Manila to rush to Estrada’s residence in Altura Street in Sampaloc, Manila.
One of the text messages reads: “Sa mga taga Dist 4 pumunta po kyo sa Altura st 458 na naminigay ng grocery at pera 300 c Erap at Isko [District 4 residents, please go to 458 Altura St. where groceries and P300 cash are given away by Erap and Isko].”
“This is an inhuman way to play with people’s emotions. They are feeding the poor people with false hopes by spreading messages that we are giving away money and grocery items,” Estrada laments.
Estrada also denied that the text messages came from his camp and they will not do that because they know that it is a violation of the election code.
The worst part is that while the crowd is gathered in front of the UNA leader’s residence a group of men in jeepneys suddenly arrived and assaulted the people without provocation causing disorder in the area.
Estrada appealed to his political opponents to stick to the issues and play fair, and reminded them of the peace covenant they signed where they agreed to make the local elections peaceful, orderly and honest.
Meanwhile, Manila 5th district Rep. Amado Bagatsing expressed belief that the people of Manila are already fed up by the failure of Mayor Afredo Lim to improve the condition of the city and they want change.
Bagatsing said that this is reflected in the latest pre-election survey in the city which showed Estrada garnering 86 percent voter preference share compared with Lim’s 14 percent.
Bagatsing was himself a big winner in the said survey conducted by civic group Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Kaunlaran (Kabaka).
“We are looking at a runaway sweep by Estrada and his whole ticket in the coming local election. I believe that the people here want progress, improved life, they want change, especially amid the deterioration of the city under the Lim administration,” the Manila lawmaker said.
The fact that Manila has been overtaken by Makati, Taguig, Quezon City and other cities that used to be mere cow grazing lands is enough proof the city needs a new leader with vision, he added.
Bagatsing is the founder of Kabaka, which he said, counts around 150,000 members as of their last membership audit. He said these members are spread in all the six districts of Manila.
He explained that Kabaka conducted the comprehensive survey, which spanned two months (February to April), during which the group’s designated survey teams conducted house-to-house interviews with up to 22,000 Kabaka members in all the Manila districts.