MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Former president and now reelectionist Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Monday, March 28, formally endorsed Senator Grace Poe as his presidential bet and Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr as his vice president for the May 2016 elections.
The two were invited to Estrada’s proclamation rally in Liwasang Bonifacion, although their paths did not cross.
After months of speculation, Estrada on Monday night made it clear that his choice is Poe, the daughter of his late best friend Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ), over another friend and political ally Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Estrada earlier hinted that he would support Poe if the disqualification cases against her would be dismissed – which the Supreme Court did in early March.
A day before Estrada’s proclamation rally, on Sunday, his local allies were in full force at an event for Poe. His running mate Honey Lacuna admitted she is indeed supporting the neophyte senator but only in her personal capacity.
“Ang aking at marahil magiging kandidato ‘nyo rin bilang pangulo ay isang mabuti at mapapagkatiwalaang tao…. Tulad ng kanyang ama, siya’y mahal ko rin at bahagi ng aking buhay,” Estrada said, introducing Poe to the crowd on Monday.
(My candidatate, and perhaps also your candidate, for president is a good and trustworthy person…. I love her like I love her father, she is part of my life.)
Estrada said FPJ stood by him not just when he (Estrada) was “unconstitutionally removed” as president in 2001, but way before that, in all his electoral campaigns for mayor, senator, and vice president. He would stand by FPJ’s daughter too.
“Hindi ako iniwanan niyan (FPJ). Paano ko iiwanan ‘to, anak ng hari at reyna ng pelikulang Pilipino?” he said. “Mga kasama, mga kaibigan, palakpakan natin ang aking inaanak at susunod na pangulo ng Pilipinas, walang ibang kundi si Grace Poe,” he said.
(FPJ never deserted me. How then could I desert the child of the king and queen of Philippine movies? Allies and friends, let’s give a round of applause to my goddaughter and the next president of the Philippines, none other than Grace Poe.)
Poe, in response, thanked her “ninong” (godfather) for the endorsement, saying she knew that aside from the Estrada’s love for her late father, he was also making this endorsement for the country’s good.
She also joked: “Ninong, kaya mo ba ako inendorso dahil natatakot kang multuhin ng Papa ko? Kasi ‘yan ang lagi mong sinasabi sa akin.”
(Godfather, are you endorsing me because you’re afraid my Papa’s ghost would haunt you? Because that’s what you always tell me.)
Earlier on Monday afternoon, Estrada introduced Marcos to the crowd as “ang ating susunod na pangalawang pangulo” (our next vice president).
Estrada is known to have had a falling out with Poe’s running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, in 2010.
When Marcos launched his vice presidential bid last October, Estrada was among the supporters who showed up, saying the decision to back the young Marcos was not a difficult decision to make.
As with his presidential and vice presidential bets, who come from different parties, Estrada at Monday’s event also announced the senatorial candidates he is suporting, a mixture of administration, opposition, and independent candidates:
- Tesda chief Joel Villanueva, Liberal Party
- Former Senator Panfilo Lacson, Independent but a guest of LP
- Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao, United Nationalist Alliance
- Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, UNA
- Former Akbayan partylist Representative Risa Hontiveros, LP
- Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, Partido Galing at Puso
- Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares, PGP
- Valenzuela Representative Sherwin Gatchalian, PGP
- Richard Gordon, guest candidate of both PGP and UNA
- Juan Miguel Zubiri, guest candidate of both PGP and UNA
- Reelectionist Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III
- Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, Independent
Estrada is running under the banner of his own party, the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, against LP’s Alfredo Lim and 5th District Representative Amado Bagatsing. – Rappler.com