MANILA, Philippines -- Former President Joseph Estrada, running for mayor of Manila, found it distasteful that his rival, re-electionist Alfredo Lim, is trying to boost his campaign by riding on the name of Estrada's best friend, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., popularly known as FPJ.
"So distasteful. Would you believe they're also using Dolphy's voice, from an endorsement way back 2007?" Estrada told Rappler.
"Dolphy is dead. Noong 2007, kakampi pa rin niya ako (In 2007, even I was still Lim's ally)," he added. Estrada even endorsed Lim in 2007 in the latter's bid to return as Manila mayor.
Estrada said the members of Filipinos for Peace, Justice and Progress Movement (FPJPM) who endorsed Lim are "negligible." He said that while they were some members who went their own way, as it is natural in any political group, there is still a huge number of those who support FPJ's allies.
Erap: FPJ would support me
The former President also brought up that senatorial candidate Grace Poe, though running under the Liberal Party, did not attend the proclamation of rally of Lim on April 1.
Photo by Dennese Victoria
Asked if the Poes were distancing themselves from Lim to avoid conflict, Estrada said, "Hindi 'yan. Ewan ko (They're not distancing themselves. I don't know)," Estrada chuckled. "Bakit 'di pumunta si Grace Poe sa proclamation niya? (How come Grace Poe did not attend his proclamation rally?)"
Estrada's spokesperson Margaux Salcedo added that FPJ would support Erap if he was still alive. "Any true FPJ fan would know that he supported every Erap campaign and was there for him through thick and thin," she said.
She said that "the attempt to use FPJ's name to discredit Erap may be part of the game but it is a dirty trick that is disrespectful to his name."
"Shame on these people for the cheap shot," Salcedo said.
Estrada's running mate, Isko Moreno, also criticized Lim. “Ang mahirap kay Lolong, lahat ng patay na tao na hindi na makakapagsalita, ginagamit niya (The sad thing about 'Lolong,' he is using names of deceased people who could no longer speak)," Moreno said.
Lim earlier also quoted the late President Corazon Aquino as having confided in him that her public apology to Estrada for having supported moves to oust him in 2001 -- something that Estrada always cites in forums -- was for practical purposes. Lim said Aquino supposedly told him, "because the successor turned out to be worse," clearly referring to President Gloria Arroyo.
"Kung buhay lamang ang ninong ko, siya ba ang susuportahan (If my godfather was still alive, would he support Lim) ?” Moreno said. FPJ was Moreno's sponsor at his wedding.
FPJPM: We support Lim
Image from Lim's Facebook page
In a statement sent to Rappler, Rolando Tumawis, FPJMP Manila Chapter Chairman said, “Karapatan ng bawat Manilenyo kung sino ang gusto nilang iboto, kaya kahit kaibigan ng kalaban si FPJ kami pa rin ang pipili kung sino ang gusto naming iboto (Every Manilans has a right to choose who to vote, even if FPJ is a friend of a political rival, it is still up to us to choose who to vote)."
The group said the endorsement is based on a mock poll conducted among its 100,000 members where Lim emerged as winner. - Rappler.com