MANILA, Philippines—Somebody must be playing birthday spoiler in Manila.
On the day he turned 76, the camp of former president and now Manila mayoral candidate Joseph Estrada cried foul over the circulation of a “primer” which featured his police mug shot that was taken when he was arrested on graft charges in April 2001.
Ike Gutierrez, a longtime media liaison of Estrada, said several men had been seen going house-to-house in the six districts of Manila to hand out the primer, which is written in Filipino and basically recounts the cases filed against Estrada, who was convicted of plunder and later pardoned in 2007.
“This one is below the belt and full of viciousness,” Gutierrez told the Inquirer on Friday.
Estrada seeks to unseat the reelectonist Alfredo Lim, 83, in what the former president calls his “last hurrah” in politics.
Gutierrez gave the Inquirer a sample of the primer, which ran for about 20 pages and also includes a copy of the pardon document issued by Estrada’s successor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Erap (Estrada’s nickname) was demonized during the 1998 presidential campaign. This was repeated during his impeachment trial in 2001. But the demonizing he’s being subjected to this time is something too diabolical for words,” he said.