VIPs join Erap’s 80th birthday bash
President Duterte partied with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada during the former President’s 80th birthday bash at The Manila Hotel on Wednesday night.
Mr. Duterte joined other politicians, including former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo—who now holds the seat of the second district of Pampanga province in the House of Representatives—former first lady Imelda Marcos and her son, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., in wishing the politically enduring Estrada well.
Photos released by Malacañang showed Mr. Duterte and Estrada seated beside each other. They shared light moments, according to the Palace.
The mayor’s son, former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, on furlough from detention, also welcomed Mr. Duterte and shook his hand.
Jinggoy is detained on graft and plunder charges that stemmed from alleged misuse of his allocation from the Priority Development Assistance Fund, a pork barrel that the Supreme Court had struck down as unconstitutional.
Also spotted at the party was former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who, like Jinggoy, is facing graft and plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam, allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Enrile is out on bail.
Napoles, who is also facing plunder charges, is serving a life sentence for illegal detention involving her nephew, pork barrel whistle-blower Benhur Luy.
Estrada’s other guests included former Vice President Jejomar Binay—who is accused of graft and corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged overpriced contracts during his long term as mayor of Makati City—former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Fight against corruption
A Palace statement said Mr. Duterte, aside from greeting Estrada, talked about his plans for the country, including eliminating graft and corruption, and the scourge of illegal drugs.
Mr. Duterte said he would let his economic managers improve the country’s economy, adding that his Cabinet included brilliant, clean and honest men.
He spoke as well about this administration’s peace talks with communist rebels, and warned of the threat posed by Islamic extremists.
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