Jinggoy: I might be 'mayor' in prison, not of Manila
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Jinggoy Estrada used his sense of humor to respond to persistent rumors that he will run for Manila mayor in 2016.
“Hindi totoo na ako ay tatakbong mayor. Kapag 'pinakulong ako, baka mayor na nga. Joke lang. Mayor. Baka maging mayor ako sa kulungan,” Estrada said, referring to a ward leader in prison, then laughed.
(It’s not true that I will run for mayor. If I am jailed, I might be "mayor." Just kidding. Mayor. I might be a mayor in prison.)
Speculation is rife that after the pork barrel scam dashed his dreams of running for vice president in 2016, Estrada may opt to take the post of his father, former President Joseph Estrada, who is now Manila mayor.
Initially reported to be the running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Estrada now faces a plunder complaint for allegedly funneling his pork barrel funds to bogus non-governmental organizations in exchange for millions of pesos in kickbacks. It is his second plunder case.
Binay’s announcement that he is forming a new party for his 2016 presidential bid renewed talk about political realignments for the polls.
Senator Estrada is the president of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), which was allied with Binay’s former party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in 2013 to form the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
“I don’t know if VP Binay will include us in his new party. Why not? But the PMP will always be friendly to Vice President Binay. It’s a certainty the PMP will merge with the new political party of Vice. As for me, my offer still stands. He can take the presidency of the PMP anytime, if he so decides,” Estrada said.
Estrada also joked about Binay’s statement that he prefers an economist as his running mate.
“Eh graduate ako ng economics. Hindi, joke lang. Hindi ko naman sinasabing ako iyon.” (I am an economics graduate. Just kidding. I’m not saying that’s me.)
Estrada insisted that reports that he will run for Manila mayor are “all rumors and speculations.” His father promised to step down after one term as Manila mayor and turn over the position to his ally, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.
“He has been making pronouncements left and right that he is going to retire after his term as mayor,” the younger Estrada said.
‘Posturing during survey season’
Senator Nancy Binay, the vice president’s eldest daughter, echoed her father in saying that attacks against their family are linked to 2016.
On Monday, the Vice President took a swipe at Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano for saying that his statements on the pork barrel scam indicate that the case will be abandoned under a Binay presidency.
The Binays are close allies of Estrada and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, another respondent in the case.
Senator Binay said, “Balita kasi namin survey period na this week. Oo nga kasi parang unang-una, wala namang koneksyon ang ama ko doon sa PDAF hearing pero parang napasok ‘yung pangalan niya sa PDAF.”
(We heard it’s already survey period this week. First, my father has nothing to do with the PDAF hearing but his name was mentioned.)
Rappler reported that Cayetano is eyeing the presidency in 2016 but he refused to declare his political plans.
Senator Binay repeated the statement her father made about Cayetano.
“Hindi namin ugali iyon, ano, iyong manggamit ng ibang tao just to further advance our political career. If you trace ang [pronouncements] namin, it’s always about our competence and our capability to serve our people,” she said. (It’s not our style to use others to advance our political careers.)
Senator Binay also responded to Cayetano’s statement that the Binays’ new political party will have to confront the issue of corruption and make a clear statement about their allies implicated in the scandal.
“Isn’t that what he (Vice President) keeps saying, that as a lawyer, the proper forum is the courts so let us just wait for them to file cases. That’s where we will see what happens,” she said. – Rappler.com