Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada will run again for president next year if the disqualification of Sen. Grace Poe from the presidential race becomes final and Vice President Jejomar Binay is removed as a presidential candidate due to the corruption cases against him.
Estrada said he can substitute for Romel Mendoza, secretary-general of Kalipunan ng Masang Pilipino (Kampil), which is allied with his Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). He wants Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to be his running mate, Estrada told The STAR in an interview.
“If I will run again, Bongbong Marcos will be my running mate,” he said.
“He is a strong candidate. He has the so-called solid North vote. He is also strong here in Metro Manila because of the housing programs that benefited thousands of Manileños in the 1970s when Mrs. Imelda Marcos was governor of the Metro Manila Commission.”
He has until Dec. 10 to make official his presidential candidacy, Estrada said.
“Many things can still happen in the remaining six or seven days before Dec. 10,” he said.
“I have seven days more to file my candidacy as president and be a substitute candidate of the PMP. We have to preserve democracy in the country by ensuring that the opposition has its own candidate.”
He is a strong candidate in Mindanao, where he won against President Aquino in 2010, Estrada said.
A highly placed source said that Mendoza is not a “nuisance” candidate, and that Estrada will not have any legal problem should he decide to be a substitute candidate.
“The PMP is putting up a team of legal luminaries to defend the legitimacy of the candidacy of Romel Mendoza,” the source said.
“He was duly nominated by PMP and has a certificate of nomination of PMP with no less than Sen. Jinggoy Estrada signing it,” the source said.
“Unlike Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City, if ever Mayor Estrada will substitute for Mendoza, he already has a complete lineup for vice president and 12 senatorial candidates.” – With Rhodina Villanueva