Erap no-show at debate with Lim, Bagatsing


MANILA - Re-electionist Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada was a no-show in Wednesday's debate with fellow mayoralty candidates at the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila.

Only former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing showed up at the UP campus, with Estrada nowhere to be found.

According to Estrada's staff, the debate was not in his schedule.

UP Manila, however, noted that the mayor had been invited to the event as early as March 12.

"Nilatag namin ang programa namin sa inyo. Baka wala siyang programa, kaya wala siya dito," said Bagatsing.

PANOORIN: Maynila: Erap vs. Lim vs. Bagatsing

During the debate, the two candidates discussed how they plan to solve criminality and proliferation of illegal drugs, among others, in the city.

Lim said, if elected, he will continue his shame campaign against drug pushers and will spray-paint their houses.

Bagatsing, for his part, said solving the drug problem is not that simple since pushers can easily sell drugs outside Manila. "It should be a national and local effort," he said.

Meanwhile, Lim dismissed the graft case filed against him over an allegedly unsound structure--a P68.521-million school building in Tondo, Manila built during his term--as politically motivated.

"Harassment. Bakit ang timing niyan ngayong eleksyon?" said Lim. - Report from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News