Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada with his Vice Mayor Isko Moreno. Photo by Rem Zamora for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA (UPDATED) - Actor-politician Joseph Estrada has won as Manila mayor, edging out re-electionist Mayor Alfredo Lim in a tight race.
"Sa buong lungsod ng Maynila ako po ay nagpapaslamat sa tiwalang ibinigay muli niyo sa akin. Asahan ninyo, itong huling taon ng aking buhay ay wala po akong hinahangad kungdi ialay ang aking karanasan sa public service, ibibigay ko lahat ang aking makakaya upang maiangat ang antas ng kabuhayan ng ating mga kapuspalad na mga kababayan," said Estrada.
Estrada vowed to improve the lives of the poor and the image of Manila, which he claims has fallen behind other cities.
"Ibabalik natin ang sigla ng Maynila na ipagmamalaki nating lahat. Alam nating lahat na sa kasalukuyang ang Maynila, ayon sa pagaaral, ang may pinakamaraming mahihirap. Ang Maynila ngayon ang pinakamaraming kababayan nating walang trabaho," he said.
He added, "Ang ating mga empleyado, di nababayaran ng monthly allowance; ang pulis halos dalawang taon nang di nabibigyan ng allowance; at ang ating mga maestra binawasan pa ng allowance. Yan po ang uunahin natin upang makapagtrabaho ng husto ang ating mga teachers, ating mga empleyado at saka ang ating alagad ng batas nang sa ganun magkaroon ng tunay na peace and order dito sa lungsod ng Maynila".
The former Philippine president, ousted from power in 2001 after an uprising triggered by allegations of corruption, got 343,993 votes.
Lim received 308,544 votes for a margin of 35,449 in favor of Estrada.
Estrada moved his residence to Manila last year, after serving for nearly 2 decades as mayor of San Juan and later serving as senator, vice-president and president.
He came second in the 2010 presidential race.
Last April, the Commission on Elections dismissed a disqualification case against Estrada for “lack of merit.”
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by lawyer Alicia Vidal, who served as counsel for Lim.
Vidal anchored her complaint on the conditional pardon granted to Estrada by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The pardon had a "whereas" clause that he is barred from seeking public office following his conviction for plunder in 2007.
"Petitioner's motion for reconsideration failed to present new or substantial arguments which have not been presented in her prior submissions," the poll body ruled.
IGLESIA, POL ADS
UP sociology professor Randy David attributed Estrada's victory to his wise use of media during the 45-day local campaign.
Estrada used the media to criticize the “way Manila is being run" by Lim.
He also noted the strong presence of Estrada via political ads while Lim had only a few.
The support of the influential Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) may have also spelled the difference for Estrada given the neck and neck race against the administration-backed Lim.
Reelectionist Vice Mayor Isko Moreno also won with 395,156 votes, against Lim’s running mate Lou Veloso, who had 234,256 votes.
"Ako ay nagpapsalamat na kasama ko ang isang vice mayor na subok na ang kanyang paglilingkod sa lungsod ng Maynila," Estrada said.
Moreno used to be on the side of Lim.
Moreno, for his part said, "Makakaasa po kayo na sa aming dalawa ni president Erap, we will initiate unity".
Earlier today, Lim went to the Ninoy Aquino Stadium where the canvassing was being held. People there applauded him while he went up the stage.
He also crossed over to where the children of Estrada were sitting and shook hands with them.