MANILA -- The fate of the 50-year rule of former President Joseph Estrada's family in San Juan should be up to the voters, his son Jinggoy and granddaughter Janella said Monday, as a former ally sought to dethrone their clan.
Janella, the city's incumbent vice mayor, is running for mayor against former vice mayor Francis Zamora, who alleged last week that Jinggoy will be the "de facto" leader if his opponent is elected in May's midterm polls.
"Let the people decide na lang. We submit ourselves to the electorate," Jinggoy, who is running for senator, told ANC.
"Siguro naman po nakikita naman ng ating mga kababayan sa San Juan kung sino po talaga ang nararapat para po sa posisyon kaya hindi naman po kami ang nagdidikta sa mga kababayan namin kung sino ang iboboto nila," added the 29-year-old Janella.
(Perhaps our constituents in San Juan see who deserves the position so we don't dictate who they should vote. They are the ones who choose.)
Jinggoy, a mayor of the city from 1992 to 2001, also denied that the city lacked progress under the Estrada rule as he enumerated the infrastructure projects spearheaded by his father, half-brother JV and JV's mother, incumbent Mayor Guia Gomez.
Janella, her father said, also rolled out a rehabilitation program for drug suspects who surrendered to authorities.
If she wins as mayor, Janella said she will accept advice from her family but will run San Juan's affairs based on her own decisions.
"Ngayon bilang vice mayor ako lang ang nagde-decide sa sarili ko. Of course, 'pag nanalo po tayo bilang mayor, ako pa rin o magde-decide para sa sarili ko," she said.
(As vice mayor, I decide by myself. Of course, if we will as mayor, I will still decide for myself.)
The Zamoras ended their alliance with the Ejercito-Estrada's in 2015 after Estrada allegedly removed them from the 2016 slate to give way to other relatives.