By JO ERLINDA G. NEBRES
President sister and Queen of All Media Kris Aquino is again on the headlines.
This time, she is reportedly being groomed to run for mayor in Manila against Mayor Joseph Estrada’s heir apparent, Vice Mayor Francisco Domagoso, who is known under his actor’s name as Isko Moreno.
This developed as Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista broke his silence on his relationship with the presidential sister, pointing out that they remain as friends.
Bautista was interviewed on television as he showed much concern about her children from two live-in partners and talked about the possibility of getting married but not with Kris but probably with one of his partners.
In another television interview over ABS-CBN, Mayor Bautista admitted that he has stopped wooing the presidential sister and TV host.
Bautista told ABS-CBN News’ Mario Dumaual that he and Aquino managed to keep their friendship despite their short-lived romance.
“We started as friends so we are still friends. We try to keep in touch pero lately hindi masyado dahil busy pareho,” said Bautista.
The mayor said he is thankful that Aquino is still able to “accommodate” him as her friend “just like she is with Derek (Ramsay) and some of her friends like Vice Ganda.”
Setting aside his love life, the actor-turned-politician said his main priority at this moment are Quezon City and his children.
“[My priorities are] Quezon City and my kids. Mag-e-enroll na sila sa June. Kahapon kasama ko yung mga anak ko, pasyal pasyal naman kami,” he said.
It was in the April 7 episode of “Aquino & Abunda Tonight” where Aquino admitted that she is seeing Bautista.
However, Aquino surprised everyone when she debuted her new, short hairstyle during the April 21 episode of “Aquino & Abunda Tonight,” hinting that the change was over a heartache.
Earlier that day, the “Sisterakas” star posted a message on Instagram by quoting French fashion designer Coco Chanel: “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”
Two days since Aquino cut her hair, a source close to Bautista told ABS-CBN News that the politician stopped pursuing the TV host supposedly over concern for his children who were hurt by the news of the blooming romance.
Bautista has two children with long-time partner Teresita Tates Gana. The city official has two other children from a previous relationship.
Vice Mayor Domagoso said in a television interview that he was confident that Mayor Estrada will be true to his word that he (Estrada) will not run for reelection and that he will support him in the mayoralty race in 2016.
Domagoso said he is ready to face any one in the coming elections, even Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada himself who is widely perceived to be preparing to run for mayor of Manila.
What about presidential sister Kris Aquino as possible opponent?
Domagoso quickly said “yes,” indicating he was ready to face even the popular actress and television host in the Manila mayoralty race.
There are reports, however, that since Kris moved her residence from Makati City to Quezon City, she could be gunning for mayor, vice mayor or congresswoman in that city, explaining the publicity on alleged romantic ties with Mayor Bautista.
Also being groomed to run for mayor or congressman of Quezon City are former Vice President Noli de Castro and Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto or his brother, the popular television host and comedian Vic Sotto.
In Manila, incumbent Congressman Amado S. Bagatsing of the fifth district is reportedly being groomed as Liberal Party candidate for mayor. Bagatsing’s bailiwick covers Intramuros, Port Area, Ermita, Malate, Paco, San Andres, and Singalong areas. He is also expected to draw support from the fourth district, the bailiwick of his late father, former mayor and congressman Ramon D. Bagatsing, and his brother former congressman Ramon Bagatsing Jr.
One columnist noted how quick Vice Mayor Domagoso answered when asked about the possibility of running against Senator Estrada.
The columnist wrote: “Ang nakagugulat ay ang kasimbilis na ‘yes’ na isinagot niya nu’ng tanungin kung pati si Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, na anak ng kanyang tinatawag na ‘Pangulong Mayor Erap’ ay handa niyang sagupain. Walang kagatul-gatol ang sagot niya na tipong walang pakialam kahit pa anak mismo ni Erap ang pinag-uusapan at kapatid pa ng unica hija niya kay Dra. Loi na si Jackie.”
Mayor Estrada is facing a disqualification case before the Supreme Court due to the fact that he has been convicted with plunder. Under the law, anybody convicted with a crime is barred from running for public office.
Estrada, however, insisted that then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pardoned him and restored his political rights, which means he can vote and run for public office as he has done twice already.
Domagoso said: “Basta po ang sina-bi ni Pangulong Mayor Erap and I’ll share it to you — Alam mo Isko, 77 anyos na ko. Minsan na nila ’kong niloko sa Supreme Court, ’di ko sila papayagang dumalawa. Merong sinabi ang lupang hinirang. ’Yung huling salita du’n, “nang mama-tay nang dahil sa ’yo’. Ready to go na ’ko.”
Asked what Estrada meant, Domagoso said: “You read between the lines… Kaguluhan. Well, kasi ipagla-laban niya ang sarili niya e.”