Edsa 3 group for Erap 2013

Jerald Uy
A group of Estrada supporters who joined Edsa 3 is vowing support for the former president's bid for a mayoral seat in Manila

'EDSA 3 FOR ERAP 2013.' A group of Estrada supporters who joined the so-called EDSA 3 is vowing support for the former president's bid for a mayoral seat in Manila.

MANILA, Philippines – Tomorrow, May 1, marks the 12th year of what was known as Edsa 3 to frenzied supporters of deposed President Joseph Estrada or “Siege of Malacañang” to those who see this as a poor copy of People Power 1 and 2.

The uprising was sparked by the arrest of Estrada for plunder charges in 2001. He would be convicted for plunder, sentenced for up to 40 years in prison, but quickly given an executive clemency by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2007.

One of the groups who took to the streets and came close to Malacañang, the Union of the Masses for Democracy and Justice (UMDJ), is commemorating Edsa 3 by declaring support for Estrada’s bid for the mayoral seat in Manila.

“The whole country and the international community witnessed the unfolding of Edsa 3 as the true people power revolt, being mainly composed and led by ordinary and poor people suffering for years from the inefficiency, indifference, and neglect of the government and society,” UMDJ national chairman Ver Eustaquio said.

“Today, we will not let conspirators deprive again the masses, specifically in Manila, of their voice, their hero and hope. Manila residents comprised a very big section of the EDSA 3 participants, and these Manileños want Erap as their mayor,” he added.

‘Big heart for the poor’

Eustaquio said his group could contribute at least 100,000 votes for Estrada in the local polls.

“It’s a very modest projection. In our Manila chapter alone, we now already have 50,000 active members composed of urban poor; drivers of jeepneys, tricycles and pedicabs; youths and many others. Nationwide, we have about 250,000 members. Our target votes for Erap will come from our Manila chapter and from Manila-based relatives and friends of our national membership,” he said.

The group added that they have known Estrada as “a leader with a big heart for the poor.”  

In his campaign sorties, Estrada has always praised the urban poor, his proven political power base.

“I owe a lot to the people of Manila for what I have become, for what I have achieved. I was born in Tondo; I rose to stardom in the movie industry doing films about this city and its people; Manileños supported me in my political career and public service programs. I cannot stand idly by as this city continues to suffer from decay,” Estrada said.

Political analysts have said that the image of Estrada being hauled off to the Camp Crame for mug shots triggered the so-called EDSA 3. Ironically, his former political ally and now rival, re-electionist Mayor Alfredo Lim is using his mug shot in his battle cry, “Estrada is a plunderer.” – Rappler.com

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