MANILA - San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, partner of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, is crossing party lines in the 2016 elections by backing the presidential bid of Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas.
Gomez endorsed Roxas during her speech in front of hundreds of city hall employees, barangay officials and city councilors during the flag raising ceremony at San Juan City Hall.
She told her constituents that she had sleepless nights before making her decision. In the end, she decided to support and endorse Roxas' candidacy despite being a member of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino, which is allied with the United Nationalist Alliance of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Roxas and Binay are rivals in this year's presidential election.
Gomez said she decided to endorse Roxas because he took care of San Juan constituents. She credited Roxas for building the St. Josephville condominum complex for the poor, a housing project for victims of a fire in San Juan in 2012 and many other housing projects for people who live in danger zones even though he belongs to a different political party.
During an interview, Gomez said that she consulted with Mayor Estrada and their son, Senator JV Ejercito, first before her announcement.
She said the senator did not like the idea of her endorsing Roxas but eventually understood her mother's position.
Gomez said that she will try to convince Estrada to also support Roxas but she said that she has her own mind.
For his part, Roxas thanked Gomez and said he is honored to receive the mayor's endorsement, saying it will be a big help in his campaign. He said other officials from different parties have also supported him.
His wife, Korina Sanchez Roxas, earlier posted a photo on her Instagram account, showing her with former president Estrada.
The caption read: "Usapang masinsinan: 'Korina I always tell everyone and Will tell you again that I think Mar Roxas is the most qualified to become president!'"
Roxas, meanwhile, backed President Aquino's veto of a bill increasing SSS pensions, saying the move will bankrupt the pension fund in a few years.
However, he said that he is open to other possibilities to help pensioners. He said that the proposed law would have burdened 31 million contributors compared to 2 million pensioners that will benefit from it.