Friday, December 18, 2009

Erap gets strong support in Bicolandia


Original Story:

Opposition standard bearer former President Joseph Estrada’s candidacy has received strong support from political leaders in Bicolandia after Rep. Joseph Santiago (NPC) endorsed the former leader’s 2010 bid for the country’s top post.

At a meeting held last Thursday in Virac, Catan-duanes, Santiago reminded the enthusiastic group that came to welcome Estrada and his party that it was under the Estrada administration that funds were released for the construction of their sports complex, the Virac Municipal

Virac Municipal Hall, and even road improvements.

Santiago added that the people of Virac were also grateful for Estrada’s immediate assistance following the lashing their town received from typhoon “Loleng” (international code name: Babs) in 1998.

Estrada released two sacks of rice to each of the howler’s victims, considered one of the most destructive to ever visit the Philippines.

Estimated damage wrought by the typhoon was placed at P6.787-billion.

Santiago’s endorsement was echoed by former National Electrification Administration (NEA) assistant administrator Noli Sanchez who will be seeking a congressional seat, and Virac mayor Zafe Santos.

Also expressing their solid backing for Estrada’s candidacy were deputy Speaker Noli Fuentebella, and Rep. Jose Solis and his wife Flor, of Sorsogon.

On a scheduled stop in Daet, Camarines Norte, Estrada proclaimed Vice-Gov. Roy Padilla (NPC) as his candidate for provincial governor. Prior to Padilla’s proclamation and those of other local candidates, Estrada embarked on a motorcade around central Daet and Mercedes town where the ‘Erap magic’ appeared stronger than ever with thousands coming out to welcome him.

Meanwhile, busloads of supporters from the towns of Labo, Jose Panganiban, Paracale and Sta. Elena joined the crowds for the proclamation rally in Vinzons town.

Estrada’s party included former Sen. Kit Tatad, and congressional bets former congressmen Apolinario Lozada, JV Bautista and Joey de Venecia. All four are running for the Senate seat and are endorsed by Estrada.

Under Estrada’s leadership, the opposition’s list of candidates for both local elective posts has been growing steadily, with 70 candidates for congressional posts already officially endorsed by the former president.

The opposition’s list of gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial bets is also filling up rapidly.

Meanwhile, the former Presidnt yesterday renewed his commitment to be a voice of support and encouragement for millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on the heels of the commemoration of International Migrants Day.

Through his spokesman Margaux Salcedo, Estrada lauded “our millions of brave and selfless citizens who sacrifice for their families and our nation by working in some of the harshest conditions abroad.”

Estrada acknowledged it was the hard work of OFWs and the remittances they have faithfully sent home over the past decades that gave helped keep the country afloat on many occasions when the economy was at risk of a meltdown.

For this year alone, Estrada pointed out that the global economic meltdown which brought even powerhouse economies such as the United States close to near ruin would have had a far more damaging effect on the Philippine economy had it not been for the OFWs’ remittances.

According to Salcedo, Estrada’s deep concern for OFWs around the world was most evident last Sept. 23, when, together with his lawmaker son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, he escorted 31 distressed migrant workers back to the country.

The workers had been subject to various forms of maltreatment by their employers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi before they were rescued and brought home.

Before this Estrada also paid a special visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June earlier this year as the special guest of the Filipino community for the Kalayaan ‘09 Philippine Independence Day celebrations in the Middle East. He was accompanied by his wife, former Sen. Luisa “Loi” Estrada and Sen. Jinggoy.

Original Story:

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