Edu Manzano on smear campaign: “I just felt bullied.”

by Bernie V. Franco
May 8, 2019
Edu Manzano, who is running for congressman in San Juan City, says the smear campaign against him is allegedly caused by his political rival.
PHOTO/S: Noel Orsal

"I just felt bullied."

Bahagi ito ng pahayag ni Edu Manzano, 63, kaugnay ng balitang dinisqualify siya ng Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division bilang kandidato sa pagka-kongresista ng San Juan.

Sa inilabas na resolution ng Comelec Second Division noong May 6, hindi raw napatunayan ng actor-politician ang kanyang Filipino citizenship.

Nagkulang daw si Edu sa pagbibigay ng konkretong katibayan ng kanyang "oath of allegiance to the Philippines."

Pero ayon kay Edu, diumano'y smear campaign ito laban sa kanya.

SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST EDU

At naniniwala si Edu na may kinalaman si incumbent San Juan Congressman Ronaldo Zamora, ang kanyang kalaban sa pagka-kongresista sa San Juan, sa umano’y smear campaign laban sa kanya.

Diretsahang sagot ni Edu, "Well, yung kanyang campaign manager, sinabi naman niya [Zamora] na, 'Hindi ko sinabihan ang aking campaign manager na i-file yung petisyon na iyan.'

"Lagi niyang sinasabi [ang pagiging] bar topnotcher niya. He has [spent] three decades in the politics ng San Juan.

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"I doubt very much na isang mere campaign manager would do any action outside for without his consent.

"So if you ask my personal opinion, naniniwala ako na talagang sinabihan [ang campaign manager] na mag-file ka ng petisyon."

Nagsalita si Edu sa ginanap na press conference sa Gloria Maris Restaurant, San Juan, nitong Miyerkules, May 8.

EDU FELT BULLIED

Pero hindi raw natitinag si Edu sa nangyari. Naniniwala nga siya na mas nakabuti pa sa kanya ang sinasabing smear campaign.

"In the onset, iisipin mo, wow, malaking dagok ito,” pagtukoy sa kanyang pagiging kandidato.

"But now that we’re thinking about it… I’m sorry, to be very honest, yung followers ko Facebook umakyat by a couple of thousands; Instagram, Twitter…

"Pag nakita n’yo po ang aming mga rallies ngayon, lalong nadadagdagan ng tao kasi lahat sila gustong malaman kung talagang ako ay hindi na makakatakbo."

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Nakabuti rin daw ito sa kanilang buong partido.

"So lahat kami, nadala nung nasabing controversy."

Dugtong ni Edu, "I just felt bullied.

"You know, I would never think that I would be bullied at the age of 63."

FAVORABLE RATINGS ON RECENT SURVEYS

Ang isa pang dahilan na nakikita ni Edu sa tangkang smear campaign laban sa kanya ay ang mataas na ratings na nakuha niya sa recent surveys.

"The last two surveys, lumamang na tayo, while in the beginning, we were trailing.

"Actually, they were looking at 80-20 pa nga, e, so hindi sila gaanong nagsasalita tungkol sa 'kin," patukoy sa kanyang katunggali.

"Nothing was being raised dahil the less said about Edu, the less mention, the better.

"But then in the first survey pa lang, I had a ninety-nine percent awareness rating, so dun na nagsimula ang kalbaryo ko.

"So, right now, the last two surveys, we've already been able to jump ahead, even in terms of our councilors, they're all doing very, very well. At gano'n din po ang aming mayor and vice mayor."

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Samantala, ipinaliwanag naman ng abogado ni Edu na si Sixto Brillantes, na dati ring chairman ng Commission on Elections, na hindi madi-disqualify ang kandidatura ng kanyang kliyente.

"Actually, yung procedure sa Comelec we received—the copy of the decision—we have five days to file the motion for reconsideration," ani Atty. Brillantes.

"Tinanggap namin iyan, May 6, last Monday. Deadline is May 11, which the 5th day, e, Sabado iyon, puwede pa naming i-file iyan the next working day, which is already May 14. Tapos na elections.

"Ibig sabihin, sa araw ng election, hindi pa final ang desisyon.

"So gusto lang naming masigurado na wag ma-miss din ng mga tao ko na disqualified na siya na sinasabi ng iba.

"Dapat alam ng commission iyon. Bakit niyo pa ilalabas iyan, na yung May 6 na alam niyo namang hindi magiging final iyan come May 13?

"What I don't really like is for the Comelec, who knows the procedures, for them to come out...it's a division ruling, the division ruling never becomes final until after five days.

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"So hindi naman siya puwedeng ma-disqualify on the basis of a May 6 decision. So anong nangyari?"

Bilang panghuling mensahe, tiniyak ni Edu na hindi siya madidisqualify bilang kandidato sa pagka-kongresista.

"Hindi matatanggal ang pangalan natin sa balota. Andyan pa rin.

"Puwede pa rin akong iboto at mabibilang ang boto ng aking mga constituents sa Lungsod ng San Juan."

Hindi raw ito ang unang pagkakataon na sinubukang i-disqualify si Edu sa kanyang pagtakbo sa government office.

Noong 1998, nang tumakbo siya bilang vice mayor ng Makati City at nanalo sa eleksyon, sinampahan siya ng kaso ng kanyang kalaban noon na si Ernesto Mercado.

Nasuspinde ang proklamasyon ni Edu dahil sa petition for disqualification ni Mercado dahil American citizen daw si Edu, at hindi Filipino citizen.

Si Edu ay isinilang ng kanyang mga magulang na parehong Pilipino sa Amerika.

Lumabas na may dual citizenship si Edu.

Na-disqualify siya ng Comelec noong una.

Pero tinanggal naman ng Comelec en banc ang disqualification sa sumunod na resolution.

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Mababasa ang detalye ng Mercado vs Manzano case sa Philippine Law Notes.

“Respondent was held to have renounced his US citizenship when he attained the age of majority and registered himself as a voter in the elections of 1992, 1995 and 1998.

“Manzano was eventually proclaimed as the Vice-Mayor of Makati City on August 31, 1998.”

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Edu Manzano, who is running for congressman in San Juan City, says the smear campaign against him is allegedly caused by his political rival.
PHOTO/S: Noel Orsal
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