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MANILA, Philippines - Former President Joseph Estrada called re-electionist Mayor Alfredo Lim an ingrate and a traitor for showing an old video of him endorsing Lim in the 2007 local polls.
"Ano 'yun talaga (He's really), ingrate, ingrateful man and a traitor, the most ingrateful man I've ever seen, I've ever known," Estrada told Rappler.
In the video recorded during Estrada's incarceration in Tanay, Rizal, for plunder charges in March 2007, Estrada said: "Si Mayor Fred Lim po ay subok na dito sa Maynila, mahaba ang karanasan, tapat sa panunungkulan, hindi po siya nabibili, hindi kayang suhulan, may prinsipyo, may paninindigan at walang takot (Mayor Fred Lim has been tried and tested in Manila, has a vast experience, faithful on his duty; he can't be bought; he has principles; he is steadfast and fears nothing)."
The video was played in a press conference organized by Lim's campaign manager, Ric de Guzman. Some employees of the city hall made a jest that Estrada was withdrawing from the race.
"Sumuko na (He has surrendered)!" one of the employees cheered.
Estrada made that endorsement when Lim, in 2007, decided to cut short his term in the Senate to return to Manila city hall. At the time, Lim's successor, Lito Atienza, had not reached his term limit yet and would not give way to Lim.
Why play the video?
Everyone knew that Estrada made the endorsement when he and Lim were still allies under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino. Lim, after he won, was removed as an official of the party.
De Guzman said this is in response to Estrada's camp using now an old video of Lim delivering a privilege speech as senator on Jan. 23, 2006, defending Estrada and questioning the legality of designating then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as "Acting President."
"The privilege speech by Mayor Lim is now being used by the Erap camp to portray him one without 'utang na loob (debt of gratitude)' and is meant to discredit him," De Guzman said. "Major newspapers gave room to this desparate attempt of Erap camp to support their smear campaign against the mayor."
In the speech entitled "An Injustice to President Estrada and His Lawyer," Lim said: "Notwithstanding his incarceration during all these years, President Estrada had never exhibited even a tendency to flee from the charges against him. He had never been a dangerous man who could not be trusted to freely roam the streets. In fact, even His Eminence Cardinal Vidal had vouched for his recognizance and offered to take him under his custody."
Manila city legal officer Renato de la Cruz saw nothing wrong with Lim defending Estrada.
"Tama lang iyon at marapat dahil nakita ni Mayor Lim ang injustice. Pero 'nung siya ay na-convicted, gusto pa ba niya na ang sasabihin ni Mayor Lim ay innocent siya? Eh base sa kanyang mga actuations eh, tinanggap na niya ang hatol at tinanggap na niya na isa siyang plunderer (He only did what was right because Mayor Lim saw injustice. But when Estrada was convicted, does he still want Mayor Lim to say that he is still innocent? Based on his actuations, Estrada has accepted the verdict and his being a plunderer)," De la Cruz said.
"Assuming that's true, he begged me to endorse him first as a senator, he was crying; he asked an apology for his part in Edsa 2," Estrada said, stressing that he was forgiving of Lim's shifting allegiances.
His running mate, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, felt disgusted with the dirty politics Lim's camp was playing, he said.
"I did the same -- shifting parties. But I never talked about bad things about the person. I always raise issues because every party has its own principles. But once you don't agree anymore with the party's stands, you can resign. You can change party," Moreno said. "But not to speak bad things about the person who helped him when he needed it."
Meanwhile, Estrada thanked transport group Pasang Masda who came out with a paid advertisement slamming Lim.
"The fact that it voluntarily came from a respected transport group clearly manifested the genuine desire of the people especially Manileños for a change of leadership in the city," Estrada said.
"One of the reasons why they came out is to show their disgust over the long-sufferings that they have to endure as drivers from the abusive kotong (extortionist) cops of Manila."
In a paid advertisement, Pasang Masda asks Lim: "Saan patungo ang iyong prinsipyo? Iba ba kapag magkaibigan at biglang magbabago kapag magkatunggali? Dahil ba sa pulitika, iba na ang sinasabi mo kay Pangulong Erap? (Where are your principles heading? Do they change when an ally has become a rival? Is it because of politics that you have changed the things you say about President Erap?) - Rappler.com
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