Metro Manila politicians launch bids
(The Philippine Star) - March 28, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Local candidates in at least three cities in Metro Manila held proclamation rallies yesterday.

In Makati, Mayor Romulo Peña and District 2 Rep. Mar Len Abigail Binay launched their mayoral bids.

Peña found himself heading the city government after the dismissal of Binay’s brother, Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. as the city’s chief executive last October.

At his sister’s proclamation, Junjun said he was a victim of the detractors of his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is running for president and dealing with accusations of graft.

Peña and his running mate, Karla Mercado, both members of the administration’s Liberal Party, are up against Rep. Binay and her running mate, District 1 Rep. Monique Lagdameo Binay, who are running under the banner of the United Nationalist Alliance.

Mercado is a daughter of Ernesto Mercado, who had served as vice mayor during the elder Binay’s term as mayor. Mercado later accused the Vice President of corruption.

In Manila, reelectionist Mayor Joseph Estrada held his proclamation rally at Liwasang Bonifacio while his rival, former mayor Alfredo Lim, held his proclamation rally at Plaza Miranda.

All roads leading to downtown Manila were rendered practically impassable.

Estrada’s supporters, clad in orange t-shirts, gathered as early as 1 p.m. and occupied both lanes of Taft Avenue.

Lim, on the other hand, presented a certificate from the city treasury as proof that he left the city government with P1.5 billion in cash when he stepped down in 2013.

“Somebody is lying, claiming that when my term ended, I left the city bankrupt,” he said, referring to Estrada.

San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora staged his proclamation rally launching his mayoral bid last night. His former ally, reelectionist Mayor Guia Gomez, is set to hold her proclamation rally today. – Mike Frialde, Ghio Ong, Rey Galupo

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