- Manila Mayor denied role in hugely controversial publicity stunt
- He said he did not order trash to be thrown into Manila Bay
- He also he’s being sabotaged
MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has denied any role in the hugely controversial publicity stunt which saw organizers deliberately throwing trash into Manila Bay as part of a photoshoot for their clean-up drive.
According to Estrada who claimed he was being sabotaged, he only went there after being invited to kickstart the campaign.
“I have nothing to do with that. It’s sabotage. I was invited there to lead the cleanup drive of Manila Bay,” he told the Philippine Star.
A news team from ABS-CBN caught organizers red-handed throwing assorted debris into the bay; with one of them explaining they were just props to be picked up by Estrada.
“Pupulutin lang po ulit para may photo [It will be picked up for a photo],” she told one lady reporter who was audibly irked.
Two male divers could also be seen leading the trash towards the boat carrying Estrada and some government officials.
Estrada —who vowed in his opening speech to “bring back the glory of Manila Bay”— earlier said the act could have been for publicity but stressed they were nevertheless serious in cleaning up the bay.
“For publicity, pero [but] we are serious in cleaning Manila Bay,” he said.
It also later emerged that it was a local hotel —not the City Hall— which spearheaded the campaign.
“This is spearheaded not by the city but by Rizal Park Hotel in cooperation with some government agencies such as the City of Manila,” Atty. Sol Arboladura, director, Manila Tourism and Cultural Affairs Bureau said. ”It will be done monthly.”
The stunt has enraged the public, with Estrada and the organizers drawing flak for their ironic and senseless littering.
Watch the video shared by TV Patrol: