Erap Estrada: Alleged Crime Boss As Comebacking President?
This may or may not be the intended result.
By starting his latest scathing striptease, Sen Panfilo Lacson has just given former President Joseph Estrada the decisive impetus to run in next year’s elections.
Of the points Mr. Lacson made yesterday the punch line was not so much Erap being the ‘Big Boss of Crime’ as it was the disclosure that taipan Al Yuchengco, patriarch of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation empire, was “harassed and intimidated to sell off his PLDT share to the group of current telecoms giant top honcho Manuel Pangalinan.
The lawyer of Pangilinan had denied Lacson’s bombshell last night.
But this morning Yuchenco had this to say:
I confirm the statements made by Senator Panfilo Lacson in his privilege speech relating to my 7.75% PTIC holdings, equivalent to 2,017,650 PLDT common shares. These shares were taken from me in 1998 through sheer intimidation and serious threat to my businesses, myself and my family.
President Erap claims Lacson is just villfying him.
But his reasoning seems quirky:
I told Lacson to prioritize peace and order, kidnapping, car theft and illegal drugs. I told him that if we eliminate jueteng, we should give jobs for those who will be jobless. A hungry stomach knows no law.
I wanted to legalize jueteng, even asking the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to study how to do it.
But failing at that Estrada has long admitted he put the jueteng monies he received into a foundation for Muslim youths
What the former president is saying a but variant of the cop-out “if you can’t beat them, join them.”
So if Mr. Estrada said in the past that e he was 99.9 percent sure of contesting the presidency again so he could regain his “good name”, the balance of justification .1 percent is now on his plate.
As for PLDT boss Manny Pangilinan, the Yuchengco corroboration of Lacson’s claim presents both an image and legal crink.
We haven’t heard the last of this tale.