Estrada shrugs off Pimentel’s show of support for LimBy Erika Sauler
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–Former President Joseph Estrada shrugged off the seeming show of support by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III for Estrada’s rival in the coming elections, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.
“Good luck to both of them. I’m not even bothered,” said Estrada, who will run for mayor of the “decaying city” in 2013 with an urban renewal platform.
Pimentel was a guest during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at Manila City Hall. In his speech, he extolled on the achievements of Manila under Lim’s administration, especially on education and healthcare.
Asked if he was supporting Lim, Pimentel said, “Well I’m a voter in Cagayan de Oro so I can’t vote for candidates in Manila. But I am a guest candidate at the Liberal Party, so as a good and well-behaved guest, I will follow the LP line.”
Said Estrada of Pimentel: “He’s got nothing to do with PDP-Laban anymore. And I don’t think UNA will also carry him.”
UNA, or United Nationalist Alliance, is a coalition between Estrada’s Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s PDP-Laban.
Pimentel had left UNA and handed over presidential duties concerning the coalition to Binay after Miguel Zubiri was included in the party’s senatorial lineup. He expressed dismay over running with Zubiri under the same ticket, saying it would be a “big problem” for him to run alongside “the person who deprived me of my four years in the Senate.” Zubiri resigned from the Senate in 2011 shortly before an electoral tribunal declared Pimentel the rightful winner in the 2007 senatorial election.
Estrada, who was ousted from the presidency in 2001, said there was no boundary in serving the people so he had no qualms to run as mayor of the capital city even if he had been the country’s President.
“Manila is a decaying city. It has been overtaken by neighboring cities like Makati and Taguig. It’s shameful because it’s the country’s capital,” Estrada said.
“That’s why my No. 1 focus will be on urban renewal,” he said.
Estrada said this would entail restoring the city’s historical landmarks and maintaining peace and order as “a lot of Manila police have been reported to be involved in robbery extortion and kidnappings.”