Erap dispels rumors on 2016 VP bid

By Jose Rodel Calpano, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 27 2014 10:17 AM | Updated as of May 27 2014 06:17 PM

MANILA - Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada dispelled yesterday rumors that he will run for vice president in the 2016 elections.

Estrada told The STAR that his position as Manila mayor would be his last public office.

Estrada said that he would turn over the mayoralty post to Vice Mayor Isko Moreno once his term ends in 2016.

“I’m not running for a higher post. I will be retiring from politics after my first term as mayor ends in 2016. I would rather stay as mayor than run for a higher post,” he said.

Estrada said that he is now preparing Moreno for the turnover of the mayor’s office so that he could continue all the reforms that the Estrada administration has started.

“My vice mayor could continue what I have started, that is why I’m giving him more exposure as traffic czar,” Estrada said.

There had been speculations that Estrada is planning to run for vice president in 2016 as replacement for his son, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who is facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel scam or the misuse of the Priority Development Allocation Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers.

“That would be a demotion,” Estrada said.

“Where is this coming from? I have not even made any such declaration (to run),” he pointed out.

Estrada is also not bothered by the disqualification case that is now pending in the Supreme Court (SC) to declare as invalid his victory as Manila mayor.

He cited the three similar disqualification cases filed against him that were previously dismissed one after the other.

The disqualification cases were earlier dismissed at the Manila regional trial court, the Sandiganbayan and before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The disqualification case was first dismissed by the Comelec division of three commissioners and subsequently upheld by the entire seven-man bench headed by chairman Sixto Brillantes.

This final Comelec ruling on Estrada’s disqualification case was elevated to the SC and is the one being resolved now by the High Court.

The SC earlier ordered Estrada’s lawyers and the petitioner seeking the disqualification of the mayor to file their respective final memoranda so that the case will be submitted for resolution.