Duterte’s endorsement of Jinggoy just for ‘courtesy’ — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to endorse the Senate bid of Jinggoy Estrada is just for “courtesy” to avoid embarrassing the former senator, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this after Duterte, during the initial campaign sortie of his PDP-Laban party in Bulacan, announced his preferred 11-man senatorial lineup without Estrada’s name, whom he endorsed last week during an event in Legazpi City, Albay.
The President explained that he just felt obliged to raise Estrada’s hand in the event because the former senator was already there.
“From what I know on the President’s character, he does not embarrass people, especially women. As he explained, courtesy lang sa kanya (its just courtesy to him),” Panelo said in a Place briefing.
Estrada is included Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Senate slate, along with former senator Bong Revilla, who also did not land in the President’s lineup for the May elections.
Estrada and Revilla were both implicated in the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam in 2014.
The former senators were accused of pocketing millions in kickbacks from fake projects allegedly with the help of the scam’s purported mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Asked about Estrada and Revilla’s non-inclusion in Duterte’s final Senate slate, Panelo said: “He said that too late na kasi silang lumapit sa kanya (They approached him too late).”
“Moreover, baka feeling niya rin hindi niyo na kailangan ng endorsement. Baka manalo kayo e mga dati na kayong senador, may pangalan kayo, kilala kayo ng tao oh baka di na kailangan,” he added.
(Moreover, he may have felt that they don’t need the endorsement. As former sentators, you already have a name recall with the people. So the endorsement may not be needed.) /ee
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