By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:14:00 11/30/2009
Filed Under: Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Manuel Villar got some lighthearted ribbing from former President Joseph Estrada for using “orange” as his campaign color.
Speaking to reporters in Liwasang Bonifacio, Estrada said that he was the one who first used orange as a campaign color and that he also beat Villar by a month in launching his candidacy in the working class district of Tondo, Manila.
“I’ve been using orange as my (campaign) color since 1986. When I ran for senator, it was orange. For Vice President, orange. When I ran for president in 2008, orange was still my color. So, who is imitating who?” Estrada said.
But he quickly added that he bore no grudge against Villar for adopting his campaign color, saying: “No, everybody is free.”
“It’s good that we’re being imitated. Maybe they’re impressed with us,” he added.
Estrada, who was convicted with plunder but pardoned by President Macapagal-Arroyo, is trailing Villar in the surveys. On the other hand, Villar is a far second to survey front-runner Sen. Benigno “Nonoy” Aquino III.
Estrada said that he did not feel bad about reports that comedy king Dolphy was reportedly endorsing Villar for the presidency.
“All of us artists are free to choose whom to go with in the elections,” Estrada said.
Asked if he was endorsing Environment Secretary Lito Atienza for mayor of Manila, Estrada said he was still not sure but added that his party, the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (Force of the Filipino Masses), might coalesce with Atienza’s group.
Asked about Quezon City politics, Estrada said he was endorsing Councilor and former showbiz personality Aiko Melendes for vice mayor.
He said he was unaware of reports that PMP was endorsing former Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor or Rep. Annie Susano for Quezon City mayor.
In Susano’s case, Estrada said: “I think something happened and so she did not join us.”
Estrada said his senatorial slate include Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (guest candidate), Senator Bong Revilla (guest candidate), Agusan del Sur Rep. Ompong Plaza, Negros Occidental Rep. Apolinario "Jun" Lozada, Sanlakas Rep. JV Bautista and businessman Jose “Joey” de Venecia III.