MANILA – Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino on Monday said he wishes to run as mayor of Manila City eventually even as he stays focused on his electoral protest for a Senate seat.
Tolentino, who President Rodrigo Duterte called a "senator" during a situation briefing on typhoon Ompong last week, said his dream is to be the mayor of the country's capital but will not push it in the upcoming elections.
"Di naman ako nag-transfer ng residence pero pangarap ko rin na balang araw—hindi ngayon, Erap is doing good—siguro to continue the progress of Manila and to continue the history of Manila," he told ANC's Headstart.
Tolentino, a former mayor of Tagaytay City in Cavite and chief of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, cited former Manila mayors Antonio "Yeba" Villegas and Arsenio Lacson as his idols.
However, he does not wish to compete against former President Joseph Estrada, who is the incumbent mayor.
Tolentino said he is also friends with Isko Moreno and Alfredo Lim, who were former local executives in Manila.
"Yung Manila, ito 'yung pangarap ng mga taga-probinsya. Lahat gustong makapunta ng Manila to seek a better life…And I have seen Manila. Manila is Manila, kahit anong gawin natin," he said.
But Tolentino said he remains focused on his electoral protest against Sen. Leila de Lima, who ranked 12th in the 2016 elections. Tolentino claimed cheating caused him to drop out of the winning list.
"Pag-uusapan namin ng mga abogado and my leaders. Pero you asked me anong long-term plan ko, yun siguro," he said.