(UPDATE) Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada is back in politics, with Comelec now officially declaring him as winner of the Manila mayoral race.
After losing the 2010 presidential elections, the former leader is back in public service after defeating Alfredo Lim, with whom he traded childish insults at the height of the campaign.
Estrada garnered 343,993 votes over Lim's 308,544.
The former president's running mate, Isko Moreno won with 395,156 over Councilor Lou Veloso’s 234,256.
“Personally, pinatawad ko na siya dahil hindi naman nagbabago ang Lord’s Prayer. Sabi dun: ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us.’ Okay na 'yun,” Estrada said about Lim.
“Pero sa taumbayan, kailangan niyang humingi ng tawad. But I’ve forgiven him. Pwede kaming maging magkaibigan ulit, pwedeng hindi,” he added
Estrada, who served as mayor of San Juan City before serving national posts, thanked all his supporters who did not leave him through thick and thin.
The former leader continued to be popular among the masses even after being convicted and pardoned of plunder charges, even coming in second in the 2010 presidential polls.
“Salamat sa hanggang ngayon eh tiwala pa rin sila sakin. Ang pagtitiwala na yan ay susuklian ko ng buong katapatan,” he said.
But he asked his supporters to continue their support by helping him clean up the mess he will supposedly inherit from Lim's administration.
Estrada vowed to fix Manila City government’s finance, as well as peace and order situation in the country’s capital.
“Ito sigurado at natitiyak ko na sa dami ng problemang mamanahin kong problema ng ating lungsod eh talagang I have to work double time,” he said.
Estrada said this victory does not taste sweeter compared to the victory he tasted when he ran for national post since 1990s.
“Wala namang pagkakaiba. Lagi naman akong panalo,” laughed Estrada, who was obviously in the mood for celebration.