Erap justifies allowing vendors on the streets of Manila, ‘A hungry stomach knows no law’

Former Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada photo from Philstar (ctto)

Manila, Philippines— Former Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada said on Monday that the welfare of the vendor was more important to him over the efforts of clearing the streets of Manila.

With the series of clearing operations and other efforts to make the city in order again, He is being compared to the newly elected Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

A lot of people are wondering why he did not clear the illegal vendors blocking the city streets of Manila during his term.

"Kung ‘yung sasabihin mo sa’kin na yung mga vendors nalinis, naayos lahat e hindi ko kayang gawin yun hangga’t walang kapalit na hanap-buhay sila,” Estrada said in a GMA News' 24 oras interview.

“Kayang-kaya. Utusan mo lang hindi ba puwedeng sumunod sa mayor ang pulis saka mga bumbero? Orderan mo lang ‘yan. Sandali lang ‘yun, pero isipin mo naman yung damage na kawawa naman yung mga mahihirap dun lang umaasa sa pagkain nila,” Erap added.

In spite of this, Erap praises Moreno’s efforts but emphasized that “a hungry stomach knows no law.”

Clearing operations can be easily implemented, but you have to consider the vendors’ welfare and their opportunity to make a small living to support their families.

“Di na ako magpakita pa pero may ginagawa ako, (I don’t publicize the things I am doing),” Estrada added.

The former Mayor was once criticized by Netizens after an ABS-CBN report showed a video of him staging a Manila Bay cleanup drive while a woman intentionally throwing garbage into the water while Erap was posing as if cleaning the Bay in July of 2017.

He insisted that the Manila Bay clean up drive was sabotaged.

Estrada also mentioned that while Moreno was his Vice Mayor during his term, Moreno was busy grabbing credits from his move to clean up the capital city.

However, Moreno defended his efforts to eradicate illegal vendors on major streets. He said most of the vendor are not poor and can afford to pay P30,000 per table or P350 and P500 a day to “Eddie and Patty” referring to syndicates or organizers collecting money from the vendors.

“Let's be honest, 95 % sa kanila hindi mahirap (Let’s be honest, 95% of them are not poor),” Moreno said on  "Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho" aired last Sunday.

On the issue of the so-called organizers during his term, Estrada added that even barangay officials were involved in the bribery system but he said they already stopped.

“Nawala naman dun…nu’ng panahon ko, ewan ko wala (They are now gone. During my term, they disappeared),” Estrada said.

Source: Philstar

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