LAPU-LAPU City mayoralty candidate Ephraim Pelaez said that if the 54,000 voters who voted for him in the 2013 election will pick him again next month, he will win over incumbent Mayor Paz Radaza.

Speaking during the 888 News Forum, Pelaez said that although he lost by more than 8,000 votes to Radaza in 2013, he won in majority of the city’s big barangays.

Back then, Pelaez said, the city had 183,000 voters. This year, that number dropped to 180,000 despite the 30,000 newly registered youth voters, who are still idealistic and who are junking traditional politicians whose records are tainted with corruption.

Pelaez said the number of voters dropped after the names of flying voters and fictitious names, which the Radazas allegedly used to win every election, were purged.

Radaza, through spokesman Jonji Gonzales, said Pelaez is entitled to have unlimited dreams for free.

Gonzales, in jest, said this is Pelaez’s third time running for mayor and he can no longer run in the next election because three successive defeats mean three successive terms in his dream.

He said Pelaez’s 700 leaders from the Liberal Party are already in Radaza’s camp so even if he joins forces with the two other mayoralty candidates--Angel Rodriguez and Rolando Patalinhug--all their votes combined still can’t beat Radaza.

“We cannot anymore see Pelaez in our radar screen,” Gonzales said.

“I don’t think the intelligent voters will vote for a person who has created 6.051 fake loans amounting to P2.6 billion of which she has a total of 6,051 cases filed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) against her,” Pelaez said.

Pelaez was referring to the cases filed against Radaza in connection with the closure of the Rural Bank of Subangdaku in Mandaue City, which are pending for trial before the Sandiganbayan.

Pelaez said that had the BSP filed economic sabotage against Radaza, she would have been in jail by now because this offense is heinous and non-bailable.