Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Estrada cooling his heels in HK

by Fel V. Maragay

Original Story: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNation.htm?f=2009/december/29/nation1.isx&d=/2009/december/29

Former President Joseph Estrada has left for Hong Kong for a three-day vacation with members of his immediate family even as the Commission on Elections is expected to rule on his disqualification case in the next 10 days.

Estrada is grumbling over the loss of a huge number of his supporters and allies owing to the “black propaganda” being peddled by his adversaries that they should not waste their votes on him because he will be disqualified from the presidential race.

“That has a big impact on my presidential candidacy. They are saying that I will end up being disqualified or I will withdraw. That is what they are spreading all over the country, which I will never do,” Estrada told Standard Today over the phone from Hong Kong.

Taking a respite from his provincial visits, the former president said he flew to Hong Kong yesterday for a three-day vacation. He was accompanied by his wife Loi, his son Senate President Protempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and other members of their family, including their grandchildren.

Estrada, who is running for president under the Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino, expressed the hope that the disqualification case against him will be resolved by the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court as expeditiously as possible.

“That will be to my advantage,” he said as he expressed confidence that the case will be dismissed by the Comelec.

The disqualification case is up for resolution by the Comelec after just one hearing last week.

Comelec commissioner Armando Velasco said the final list of national candidates will be firmed up within the next 10 days before the ballots are printed starting Jan. 25.

The poll body has already purged the list of candidates but some names on the list may be scrapped if they do not meet the criteria, according to commissioner Lucenito Tagle.

Estrada’s disqualification was being sought by several complainants on the ground that the Constitution barred him from seeking reelection as president.

“We have a valid case. It is clear in the Constitution that the ban on reelection applies only to the incumbent president. The framers of the Constitution saw to it that the incumbent president will not have an undue advantage over his or her opponent because he or she has all the government resources under his or her disposal that can be used against his or her opponent,” Estrada said.

Meanwhile, his son, the senator, has vowed to campaign harder to pull up his father’s rating.

The young Estrada said he would bank on his popularity to convince the voters to bring back his father to the seat of power. He ranked third among presidential aspirants with a 17-percent popularity rating.

Estrada, the senator, garnered 60 percent in the latest survey. He was closely followed by partymates Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago at 59 percent; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who ranked eighth, at 43 percent, and guest candidate and comebacking Senator Sergio OsmeƱa, who ranked ninth, at 39 percent.

“I attribute my 60-percent rating to the people’s trust in me. That will rub on to my father. It is not because I am more popular than my father but it is because for the longest time, his detractors have demonized him, even up to now,” Estrada told Standard Today over the phone. with Christine Herrera and Joel Zurbano

Original Story: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNation.htm?f=2009/december/29/nation1.isx&d=/2009/december/29

No comments:

Post a Comment