By Erma Edera
Only mayoralty candidate Isko Moreno showed in the “Thrilla in UP Manila”, a supposedly three-cornered-debate for Manila mayoral bets at the University of the Philippines Manila as the campaign period for local candidates in the May 13 elections started on Friday.
Former Senator Alfredo Lim sent lawyer Renato dela Cruz to represent him during the debate while incumbent and reelectionist Mayor Joseph Estrada is represented by vice mayoral running mate, Amado Bagatsing.
During the forum, Moreno said the debate is much better if his two rivals are present.
“As candidates, it is our obligation to tell voters our dreams and aspirations for Manila. If they don’t want to go here, then it’s not up to us. What’s important is for us to share to everyone, including the youth, our platforms to build a new Manila,” Moreno said.
“I have nothing against Mayor Lim and Mayor Estrada. This is not about us anymore. I think it’s high time for the City of Manila to talk about our people. Governance is about the people, he added.
He also emphasized in his speech that one of the largest problem in Manila is the Recto Avenue.
Moreno bared his plans for the ambitious Divisoria street vendor program to address proliferation of illegal vending in Manila.
If he gets elected, Moreno also vowed that he will bring Makati to Manila with regards to the delivery of social services to residents.
“We will copy and bring all the benefits of the Makati residents were [to be] experience here at the city of Manila,” he said.
As early as 6:00 a.m., Moreno kicked off his campaign with an early mass at the Sto. Nino de Tondo Church followed by a motorcade with his running mate and incumbent Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna. They capped off the first day with a proclamation rally in Sampaloc, Manila.
On the other hand, Erap’s proclamation rally for his opening salvo took place near the Dagohoy Market in Ermita, Manila.
Lim also attended a mass in the Sto Nino de Tondo Church, shortly after Moreno left the church at 7:00 a.m.
After attending the mass, he went to a small gathering at a fast-food restaurant nearby and talked with his supporters. He also kicked off his campaign by wooing voters during a motorcade in Tondo, Manila. #MatalinongBoto2019