Zamora eyes more high-rises in San Juan
MANILA - San Juan Mayor-elect Francis Zamora on Wednesday said he was not seeking to replicate the political dynasty of the Ejercito-Estradas, whose 50-year rule in the city he ended in this week's election.
Zamora, son of longtime lawmaker Ronaldo Zamora, got 35,060 votes on Monday against the 24,813 of his rival Janella Ejercito Estrada, daughter of former senator Jinggoy Estrada.
The mayor-elect said his father will be retiring from politics at age 77 when his term ends in 2022.
Zamora also said his 4 children, the eldest of whom is 17 years old, were all still too young to join politics, while his wife "chooses to remain behind the scenes."
"I'm just alone. My children are all very young. No one will come after me," he told ANC.
"I'm not looking at building a political dynasty. I'm just excited to be able to serve the people of San Juan as mayor," he added.
WHAT'S GOING TO CHANGE?
Under his leadership, Zamora said city government funds will be "consolidated" with the national funds that his father can bring as congressman.
"The mayor and congressman will now work together for San Juan. We can now fulfill all our promises during the campaign and once we're able to do this, the people of San Juan will be able to see the difference of what San Juan will be under the Zamoras compared to what it was under the Estradas," he said.
Zamora said he will build in-city highrise housing projects, a plan which he presented to the National Housing Authority as early as February.
He said he will also "convert San Juan Medical Center into a real public hospital."
"Right now, we lack equipment, we lack services. For a simple blood test, you have to transfer to another hospital. If you use alcohol, you use cotton, if you plug your electric fan... you will be charged for all of this," he explained.
Zamora promised that he will not expand his properties, which currently include his family home and 3 restaurants.
"I'm not saying that nothing happened during the tenure of the Estradas. All I'm saying is we can make San Juan a lot better than what it is now," he said.
THE FALL OF THE ESTRADA-EJERCITOS
Zamora in 2016 lost by a narrow margin of some 1,000 votes when he first ran for mayor against Guia Gomez, an ex-partner of Janella's grandfather, former President Joseph Estrada.
The Estrada-Ejercito clan failed to "consolidate their forces" in the May 13 election because its members faced their own tough political battles, observed Zamora.
The Estrada patriarch ran but lost for reelection as Manila Mayor. His sons JV and Jinggoy, meanwhile, both ran for senator but clung outside the winner's circle, with around 96 percent of the votes counted as of Wednesday.
Zamora, however, attributed his electoral triumph to "the will of the people."
"San Juan is already looking for change. Fifty years [under the Estrada-Ejercito clan] is too long," said the mayor-elect.
"I will prove to the city of San Juan that the trust and confidence that they have given me will not be wasted because I know I can perform in the next 3 years," he added.