MANILA, Philippines — Manila mayoral candidate and former president Joseph Estrada has announced that he is endorsing three candidates for senator not in the line up of the United Nationalist Alliance — Grace Poe, Jesus Is Lord leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Puerto Princesa Mayor Ed Hagedorn.
“To complete the line up of senatorial candidates, the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) is including Grace Poe, Bro. Eddie and Mayor Hagedorn in our list of senatoriables,” Estrada said in a statement. PMP is the political party of Estrada that is part of the UNA coalition.
He said he chose the three candidates because of their pro-poor advocacy.
“These three are candidates whose hearts are truly for the Filipino masses, especially the poor, embodying what PMP stands for and I support them fully,” Estrada explained.
Estrada explained his support for Poe, a candidate of the rival Team PNoy coalition, was based on his deep friendship with her late father, action star Fernando Poe Jr. and what he knew of her character.
“I personally know that she was raised well to live with integrity and has a heart for the poor, like her father,” Estrada said of Poe.
“I know she will be a great senator and I am campaigning hard for her victory.”
In the same statement, Estrada had expressed his gratitude to Poe for her support in his bid for the top post of Manila.
Estrada’s camp claimed that in a press conference last April 20, Poe clarified that the family of the late FPJ has given its support to Estrada in the Manila mayoral race.
“Our family is still loyal to Erap (Estrada’s moniker),” Poe supposedly said.
Poe said that groups claiming to support the other camp could not be considered as expressing support on behalf of FPJ. “There’s no denying that Erap was the best friend of my dad,” Poe said
The statement also quoted Poe to have said the she wished that Estrada’s dreams would come true.
“Well my wish is to become the mayor of Manila,” Estrada said.
Estrada also said he gave his support to Villanueva because of his dedication to the poor’s welfare and Hagedorn, because of his advocacy for the environment and sustainable development.
Estrada is running for mayor of Manila on the platform JEEP: Jobs (trabaho para sa bawat Manileño), Economy (urban renewal), Environment (waste management) and Peace (peace and order to eliminate criminality and drugs).