Estrada ribs the rich: Don’t oust me again
Manila mayoral bet hits ‘kidnap-fun, holdup-fun’ under LimBy Erika Sauler
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Deposed President and now Manila mayoral candidate Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Thursday used his trademark “Eraption” humor to send a message to one of the power blocs he had blamed for his ouster from Malacañang in 2001, lest they “do it again” and spoil his political comeback.
The former actor who had cultivated a propoor image and who almost won the presidency again in 2010 yesterday addressed an audience of businessmen, professionals and society’s movers and shakers at upscale Forbes Park village in Makati City, as an invited speaker at a Rotary Club meeting at Manila Polo Club.
“Si Erap hindi lang para sa mahirap, para din sa taga-Forbes Park (Erap is not just for the poor, but also for Forbes Park folk),” he said, drawing chuckles from the crowd.
“(This is) a significant and groundbreaking milestone in the history of the Rotary Club of Forbes Park. This will be the first time you will have an ex-convict as your guest speaker,” said the 75-year-old Estrada who six years after his disgraceful exit from the Palace was convicted of plunder and granted presidential pardon by his successor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“And if any of you were part of the conspiracy to remove me as the duly elected President of the Republic of the Philippines in the so-called Edsa Dos, I forgive you. But please don’t do it again, said Estrada”, who had blamed a supposed plot involving the Church, the Left and the elite for his fate.
Estrada, still a political kingpin with the machinery to battle the coalition led by the Liberal Party in next year’s mid-term polls, is himself challenging the 82-year-old reelectionist Alfredo Lim for the mayoralty in Manila.
He used the Rotary Club gathering to take a swipe at Lim’s administration, at one point brimming with sarcasm when he said the city had given a new meaning to the country’s tourism campaign slogan: “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”
That’s because of the rampant “kidnap-fun, holdup-fun and carnap-fun” in Manila, he said.
The city has become “a deplorable basket case of criminality, of constant flooding, of drug dens, of kotong cops, of decaying facilities and infrastructure, of slums and congestion,” he added.
He said he planned to review the value of real properties in Manila and go after delinquent taxpayers to raise city revenues, among others. “The people of the City of Manila will know where their taxes will go,” he said.