The Butcher | Jinggoy Estrada vs. Francis Zamora

An actor first before he became a politician, Jinggoy had long been known among showbiz people to be “pikon.” He even figured in a basketball brawl with Richard Gomez in one Star Olympics edition, in fact. He is well-loved, however, by his peers because he is basically a good chap, very friendly and, most important of all, very forgiving. Francis, on the other hand, first achieved success in basketball – what with his 6’5” height. His closest stint to showbiz was when he became an image model of a clothing apparel.

Photos: Instagram

An actor first before he became a politician, Jinggoy had long been known among showbiz people to be “pikon.” He even figured in a basketball brawl with Richard Gomez in one Star Olympics edition, in fact. He is well-loved, however, by his peers because he is basically a good chap, very friendly and, most important of all, very forgiving. Francis, on the other hand, first achieved success in basketball – what with his 6’5” height. His closest stint to showbiz was when he became an image model of a clothing apparel.

Until Quezon City was created and carved out from the province of Rizal, the boundary line of then San Juan town covered all of Cubao on the east side and stretched all the way up to San Francisco del Monte.

San Juan actually teems with history – from the Battle of Pinaglabanan to the oath-taking of the late President Cory Aquino at Greenhills’ Club Filipino.

And now that we are passing through a tumultuous chapter in world history, San Juan has become historic again – with Greenhills Commercial Center as the first to be shutdown in this coronavirus era.

Before the development of Greenhills in the late 1960s, nobody really bothered to go to San Juan – unless you had relatives there.    

Although two Presidents established residences in the P. Guevara mansion row – Macapagal and Marcos – and there was Little Baguio, San Juan was host to a lot of slum areas. Its troubled youth was referred to as “Batang San Juan.”

Much of San Juan was cleaned up when Joseph Estrada became mayor. Being in showbiz with its irregular schedule allowed him to stay awake even in ungodly hours. At past midnight, he would patrol the streets to check on cops literally sleeping on the job. Yes, he put a lot of order in that town that eventually became a city.

San Juan could even be more progressive, except that it’s caught in the middle of warring political parties: the Estradas and the Zamoras. The feud supposedly started after now mayor Francis Zamora got miffed when Guia Gomez didn’t give way and went on into her third term. They eventually ran opposite each other, but Francis lost in that race.   

Since Barangay Greenhills had always been pro-Zamora, its leaders operated like a separate kingdom from San Juan. They refused to support Mayor Guia (who was actually a good leader) and did just about everything to annoy her.

When Francis eventually became mayor after defeating Jinggoy Estrada’s daughter Janella, one of his prioritized projects was to remove all parked vehicles along the streets, particularly in Greenhills. Bravo to him!

A lot of Greenhills residents, of course, had long suspected that St. John’s Parking, which collected fees from parked vehicles in the area, actually belonged to the Estradas. No one was able to prove that though.

The Greenhills people though couldn’t help but wonder if that was a personal vendetta from Zamora’s end because he implemented the cleanup with so much glee. But still, that was a wonderful job he did and should be commended for it. As to talks of political vengeance, he can always point to Malacanang since the order to remove obstructions from the streets came from the Palace in the first place. 

Early last week, San Juan and the rest of the nation was provided with minor entertainment after former Senator Jinggoy (a former San Juan mayor himself) was hauled off to jail for distributing milkfish among San Juan residents without proper coordination from the city hall.

That would-have-been spectacle, however, immediately lost steam after Jinggoy was released immediately without even being made to do push-ups. What interesting face-off that could have been with Jinggoy on one side and Zamora on the other.

An actor first before he became a politician, Jinggoy had long been known among showbiz people to be “pikon.” He even figured in a basketball brawl with Richard Gomez in one Star Olympics edition, in fact. He is well-loved, however, by his peers because he is basically a good chap, very friendly and, most important of all, very forgiving. 

Francis, on the other hand, first achieved success in basketball – what with his 6’5” height. His closest stint to showbiz was when he became an image model of a clothing apparel. 

There is no need anymore to get into details as to who was at fault in that San Juan debacle. Some quarters say Jinggoy should have asked permission before he began his relief distribution, but apparently he got irked by accusations from the Zamora camp about making money off some rolling store project he had initiated earlier in the city.

It is so sad to see politics – petty, petty politics – rule in this once quaint and historic place called San Juan.

 

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