Erap recalls ‘bitter’ ouster from office on Bonifacio Day
Manila Mayor Erap Estrada leads the city in commemorating the 152nd birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio

REMINISCING. In his speech, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada recalls his 'bitter' removal from office in 2001.

MANILA, Philippines – On the birth anniversary of Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada likened himself to the revolutionary, noting their public duty was both cut short.

In a speech commemorating Bonifacio’s 152nd birth anniversary on Monday, November 30, Estrada said he shared similar life experiences with the “Great Plebian.” (READ: Andres Bonifacio: Myths, trivia, execution)

“Si Gat Andres ay naging artista rin, at madalas ay ginagampanan ang papel ni Bernardo Carpio, tagapag-tanggol ng mga inaapi, sa mga zarzuela ng panahong iyon,” he told city officials and employees gathered at the Bonifacio Shrine located beside the Manila City Hall. (Gat Andres used to be an actor, playing Bernardo Carpio in lyrical dramas.)

“Ako naman ay nakilala sa pelikulang Asiong Salonga, ang Robin Hood ng Tondo,” he added pointing the coincidence. (Meanwhile, I rose to popularity for playing Asiong Salonga, Tondo’s version of Robin Hood.)

WREATH LAYING. Estrada offers flowers at the Bonifacio Shrine together with the kin of Andres Bonifacio and Antonio Luna. Photo by Rappler

But the incumbent mayor turned serious as he recalled his impeachment and eventual ouster from office in 2001, relating it to Bonifacio’s removal as the founding father of the Katipunan.

Ang mapait na pagkaka-tanggal sa akin sa puwesto bilang Pangulo, nangyari din kay Gat Andres nang siya’y patalsikin bilang Supremo ng Katipunan,” the incumbent mayor said. (My cruel removal from office as president also happened with hero Andres when he was forcedly removed as the head of the Katipunan [movement.) 

Referring to the hero – known for championing the masses – as his role model, Estrada thought aloud on how Bonifacio could have turned out to be a great leader if “he had lived longer and had not been put to death in Maragondon, Cavite.” (READ: His Excellency, President Andres Bonifacio?)

On Duterte: ‘Okay lang’

The Manila mayor was also asked about today’s hottest election topic, the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: #AnimatED: The candidacy of Rodrigo Duterte)

Okay naman. Mabuti maraming choice ang mga botante,” Estrada said. (It’s just alright. At least the voters have a lot of options.)

But pressed on who among the candidates will get his support, Estrada remained evasive. Wala pa, ‘di ko pa nakikita yung mga platform,” he told reporters. (None yet. I haven’t seen their platform.)

He’s having a hard time choosing since all the presidential bets are his friends, he said. (READ: Erap to run for president if Poe, Binay disqualified

“Mayor Duterte is my friend. He used to live in San Juan City when I was mayor. Mar Roxas, on the other hand, was part of my cabinet. Everyone’s my friend,” he said in Filipino. –