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Estrada vows to bring glory to Manila.

Former Philippine president and newly proclaimed Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada (left) raises the hand of newly proclaimed Vice Mayor Isko Moreno during Estrada's proclamation as mayor-elect of Manila at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium yesterday. Manila Times/Manila Former president Joseph 'Erap" Estrada was proclaimed the mayor-elect of Manila yesterday after walloping incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim in one of the tightest electoral races witnessed in the capital city.

Estrada, who was kicked out of office halfway through his term in 2001 was also convicted of plunder in 2007 and jailed. He was later pardoned by his successor, Gloria Arroyo.

During his proclamation, Estrada offered a reconciliatory hand to his "enemies," asking them not to remove him from office again. He was proclaimed along with his runningmate, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.

Estrada vowed to reclaim the city's old pride and glory.

"I am a very forgiving man. I have forgiven those who have removed me illegally (from the presidency), I hope they don't do it again," Estrada told a crowd of supporters.

"Thus, starting tomorrow, I am asking my worthy political opponents and the entire 1.6mn people in Manila to finally leave politics behind, and to rally behind me in putting Manila back to the pedestal of being one of the greatest cities of the world, the Paris of Asia," he said.

"Tomorrow we wake up to the dawning of a new Manila," he added.

With almost all of the votes counted as of press time, the former president was proclaimed the mayor-elect of the city of Manila after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decided to lower the threshold needed to proclaim a winner.

According to Manila Chief Prosecutor and the vice chairman of the Manila Board of Canvassers Ed Togonon, with 97.16% of the total votes cast counted, they decided to proclaim Estrada because his wide margin will not change.

Estrada got 343,993 votes against Lim's 308,544 votes while Moreno stole victory with 395,156 votes against the 234, 256 votes of Lou Veloso. Estrada arrived at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium at 11pm on Monday believing that he would be proclaimed that night. He was accompanied by his wife, former senator Loi Ejercito, and children Senator Jose 'Jinggoy' Estrada, Jackie and Jude Ejercito-Estrada.

Also seen at the stadium was his son with San Juan Mayor-elect Guia Gomez and Joseph Victor (JV) Ejercito, who at press time was also winning in the Senate race.

However, the early proclamation of Estrada was stalled after lawyers of Lim asked for a deferment even as the lead of the former chief executive was insurmountable with 95% of the votes already counted.

About 650,000 of the more than 900,000 registered Manila voters cast their votes in Monday's polls.

Estrada, a struggling actor in the 1960s, became a household name after he portrayed the role of "Asiong Salonga" in a movie about the life of the popular mob kingpin who sowed terror in Manila in the 1950s.

Lim on the other hand, earned the moniker "Dirty Harry" for his no-nonsense police exploits similar to the lead character in a Hollywood movie featuring Clint Eastwood.

Malacanang said President Benigno Aquino can work with the mayor-elect because both leaders are "good friends."

Gulf Times Newspaper 2013

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 14, 2013
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