Estrada 'at a loss' after crushing defeat in Manila, San Juan

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2019 01:38 PM

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada votes at the P. Burgos Elementary School in Manila on May 13, 2019. The former president lost to Vice Mayor Isko Moreno. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Mayor Joseph Estrada retreated to his Polk Street home in San Juan City, pondering his family’s political future after suffering a devastating defeat in Monday’s midterm elections.

For the first time in nearly half a century, the Estradas lost control of San Juan, with the family patriarch also beaten for the mayoralty in Manila, signaling what could be the end of one of the Philippines’ most powerful political dynasties.

The former president, who expanded his dynasty from Manila to San Juan, ended up losing both.

“Di ko alam paano nangyari, hanggang ngayon iniisip ko... sobrang bigat,” he told ABS-CBN News, claiming someone “powerful” might have engineered the electoral shutout.

(I don't know what happened. It baffles me until now... The feeling is so heavy.)

"Until now, I’m still at a loss kung sino yung malaking gumawa nito."

(Until now, I'm still at a loss as to who had a hand in this.)

Virtually all of Estrada candidates were wiped out from contention in different local and national positions, save for Sen. JV Ejercito, who was still battling it out for the 12th and final slot in a tight senatorial election.

“Miracles do happen,” the former president’s son tweeted.

NO CONCESSION

Estrada, 82, lost in his own barangay in Manila’s fourth district, suggesting an emphatic rejection from his own neighbors.

His daughter Jerika was also defeated for councilor, a candidacy seen by critics as a way to groom her for mayor in the future.

Estrada will be succeeded by Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, who won the mayoralty by more than 130,000 votes over the incumbent.

“Bakit ako magko-concede? Talagang pri-noject ako. Lahat ng survey, from the start, panalo ako. Tapos ngayon, biglang si Isko nanalo,” he said.

(Why should I concede? I was the target of a project. All surveys, from the start, said I would win. Now all of a sudden, Isko won.)

In San Juan, Estrada's granddaughter Janella lost the mayoral election to former Vice Mayor Francis Zamora, a product of the city’s other political dynasty.

GAMBLE

The end of the Estradas is part of a “cycle of dynasticism” in the Philippines where political clans eventually lose power after years of dominance, said political science professor Julio Teehankee.

Estrada might have also been ripe for the picking 6 years after expanding his political power to Manila where he won his first mayoral term in 2013.

“That is where his problem started because now he has to take care of 2 kingdoms,” Teehankee told ANC.

“It was a gamble, pardon the pun, on the part of Erap and they went all in and they’re losing big.”

FOR GOOD?

Back in March, shortly before the campaign officially began, Zamora told ABS-CBN News that it was likely easier to defeat Janella because the rest of the family were focused on their respective electoral battles.

Janella’s father Jinggoy was running for senator and was competing with his own half-brother JV, whose mother is the outgoing mayor of San Juan.

Estrada the patriarch was facing Moreno, who had steadily built his political base and campaigned with the promise to revive Manila in 10 years.

With Manila’s mayoralty decided, Estrada went back to the home where had always lived, grappling with the idea that he might have lost his San Juan bailiwick for good.

“I cannot foresee the future. I don’t know what will happen. Di ko akalain na mangyayari to e,” he said.

(I can't foresee the future. I don't know what will happen. I never imagined this could happen.)

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