MANILA — Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito and his half-brother Senator Jinggoy Estrada have expressed jubilation over the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to junk a petition to disqualify their father, former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, as Manila mayor.
”I’m very happy with the decision of the SC decision. Perhaps, the SC has considered the mandate given by city of Manila to my father,” Ejercito, son of mayor Estrada to former actress Gia Gomez, said in a media interview.
Ejercito said the junking of the disqualification case filed by the camp of former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim is a welcome development considering his father is planning to retire after his term ends in 2016.
”When he ran for mayor of Manila, he already told us that this his last performance in politics. I’m happy that he will be given a chance to complete his term as Manila mayor,” Ejercito said.
Estrada was ousted as President in 2001 during a popular uprising after an aborted impeachment trial in which he was charged with plunder and perjury.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada, son of Estrada to wife former senator Loi Estrada, said the SC ruling is a triumph of the will of the Manila residents who voted for Estrada in 2013 mid-term elections.
”We know that this petition filed by a losing opponent was merely a ploy to derail his plans of transforming Manila into a dynamic and progressive metropolis, which my father is now doing,” Sen. Estrada said.
”I hope that the recent decision of the highest court of the land puts to final rest all questions and uncertainties over the pardon given to my father President Mayor Joseph Estrada and his eligibility to run for public office,” Sen. Estrada added.
Meanwhile, Ejercito denied speculations that the SC decided in favor of his father in exchange of a promise that he will not run again and that he will support a big party in the 2016 elections.
”I think there is no such side agreement that the disqualification case will be junked in exchange for an endorsement of a particular candidate,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito said the SC justices should be given ‘respect’ for their 11-3 decision to junk the disqualification petition.
Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe said whatever the decision of the SC, Estrada will always be relevant in Philippine politics.
”It’s seems he always has that unwavering percentage of the population that support him. I’m happy that in short time that he’s been in Manila, he’s implemented quite a bit of changes and projects,” Poe said.
Estrada supported Poe’s father, the late former movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., in the 2004 presidential election where he lost to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.