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Will Erap Withdraw His Comeback Bid?

January 13, 2010

This is what news editors call a buried lead: supposed negotiations for former Pres. Joseph Estrada to withdraw his comeback run for the presidency.

What’s more there’s even word that the camp of Nacionalista Party president and standard beared Manny Villar “to reimburse the money Mr. Estrada has so far spent in embarking on his second un at the Philippines’ highest elective office.

These details are actually in the middle paragraphs of a story in the Philippine Star today by-lined by veteran congressional reporter Jess Diaz entitled : SWS: Noynoy to beat Villar if polls were held today:

In the wake of the SWS findings, the Villar camp has reportedly started negotiations with Estrada for the former president to withdraw from the presidential race in favor of the Nacionalista candidate.
Sources in the House of Representatives said it is clear from the survey that an Estrada withdrawal would favor Villar.
“An endorsement from the ousted president could enable Villar to further narrow down the gap between him and Noynoy,” a congressman, who did not want to be named, said.
He said Villar’s camp is offering reimbursements of expenses to Estrada.

I seriously doubt this report.

For one, former President Estrada was unequivocal yesterday after attending the National Security Council that it was his “destiny” to regain the presidency.

Mr. Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino Party is also fielding a full senatorial ticket in the May 10 elections.

The ticket includes Presideny Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada,  NBN-ZTE whistleblower and IT industry pioneer Joey de Venecia III, lawyer J.V. Bautista, Apolinario Lozada and guest candidates Santiago, Bong Revilla, Rodolfo Plaza and comebacking Senator Francisco ‘Kit’Francisco Tatad;  Lakas-Kampi—Ramon Revilla Jr., Lito Lapid, Rey Langit, Silvestre Bello III,  Ramon Guico; and Nationalist People’s Coalition—Vicente Sotto III  and Rodolfo Plaza.

The mixed bag that the PMP Senate slate it, it cannot be sneered at.
Enrile and Estrada are shoo-ins along with Revilla.

The young De Venecia’s ratings in the public opinion surveys are particularly impressive given his clear advocacies: the fight against corruption, the sustained attraction of solid foreign investments in such areas as information technology and other growth industries, the rationalization of local telecommunications practices, and reforms in government policies that stifle efficiency and transparency.

The young De Venecia has been leading the call for cell phone subscribers to be given free mobile phone units by the telecoms companies, in the same manner that landline subscribers are not required to separately purchase their units.

Tatad, for his part, has a solid record in the Senate as one of its key fiscalizers and his commitment to “ending the political stalemate in society and the rebuilding of damaged institutions.”

Former President Estrada’s poll numbers are not as high as he’d want them to be.

But this battle he’s embarked on is ‘a matter of personal honor’.

I seriously doubt that he’ll withdraw just as the campaign period is heating up, nor will he leave his senatorial candidates shaking in the wind.

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