GUMACA, Quezon—Senator Loren Legarda said she was surprised to receive a call from ousted president Joseph Estrada last Friday night assuring her of his continued support for her reelection bid.
“President Estrada sounded very malambing (sweet), telling me that we continue to be friends,” Legarda told reporters in an impromptu interview here on Monday.
Observers noted that Estrada’s gesture could be an effort at damage control, especially after Sen. Francis Escudero, another reelectionist, revealed last week he had received information that Estrada is now campaigning against him.
Escudero and Legarda, along with third Team PNoy official senatorial candidate Grace Poe Llamanzares, are the guest candidates dropped from the Senate lineup of the United Nationalist Alliance for their failure to show up at UNA’s provincial sorties.
While their deletion from UNA’s rolls resulted in further tension between Escudero and Estrada, the former president made sure Legarda would not entertain the same suspicion of an alleged smear campaign spearheaded by him.
Legarda said it was the former president’s son, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, who called her and gave the line to his father.
“I greatly appreciate President Estrada calling me through Jinggoy to assure that we are very good friends,” she said.
Legarda added some local officials from Pangasinan and Cebu told her that Jinggoy put in a good word for her when he visited there.