IN PHOTOS: The heat is on for local races
MANILA, Philippines – The pre-summer heat did not deter candidates in the local elections from hitting the streets this weekend to officially start their respective campaigns for the May 2019 elections.
Former vice mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Dumagoso kicked off his bid for Manila mayor with reelectionist Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna. They went on a motorcade around Tondo just after sunrise.
Also in Tondo, former mayor Alfredo Lim went to the Sto Nino Church to attend mass to start his campaign to become Manila mayor once again.
Reelectionist Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada was expected to start his sortie through a debate at the University of the Philippines in Manila but was a no-show, together with Lim. Only Dumagoso was present at the “Thrilla in UP Manila” were he promised to clean up the filthy city.
Later in the evening, Erap’s Team Legacy gathered their supporters in Pandacan for their own kick-off event. A large crowd turned out for his rival, Dumagoso, in Sampaloc.
Former foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, with wife Lani, joined his brother Lino in the latter's kick-off campaign for Taguig City mayor. During the event, Alan denied that the Cayetano clan is a political dynasty, saying that there are no political dynasties in a democracy like the Philippines, where national and local officials are elected.
The Cayetanos officially began their respective bids for the May elections on one stage on March 30. Alan is running for Taguig City-Pateros 1st District congressman, and his wife, Taguig-Pateros 2nd District representative.
The battle for Makati mayor is expected to be a hot race, with the Binay siblings pitted against each other. Mayor Abby Binay kicked off her reelection bid with her dad, former vice president Jejomar Binay, endorsing her run. Senatorial candidates were also present in the event.
The family feud continues the following day, as Junjun Binay and his two siblings banded together against the reelection bid of their sister, Abby. Anne represented their father, former vice president and now Makati congressional candidate Jejomar Binay.
Francis Zamora is running again for mayor of San Juan City after losing to Guia Gomez in 2016 and failing to redo the election through a now-lapsed recall petition. Zamora, with the battle cry of having "a new San Juan," aims to end the 5-decade domination of the Ejercito-Estrada clan.
Zamora's rival, Vice Mayor Janella Ejercito Estrada, met thousands of San Juan residents at the Plaza ng Masa on March 30, for Team One San Juan's proclamation rally. The daughter of former senator Jinggoy Estrada vowed to provide affordable healthcare and more housing for the poor.
Vincent "Bingbong" Crisologo is challenging the reign of the Belmontes in Quezon City. Crisologo is running against Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte for city mayor.
During her campaign kick off, Belmonte's Serbisyo sa Bayan Party campaigned for administration allies Imee Marcos, Bong Go, and Bong Revilla – even if her brother Kit, a critic of the Duterte administration, was on the same stage.