MANILA, Philippines – Frontrunning presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday said special treatment for detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada was not part of the endorsement given to her by former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito ‘Erap’ Estrada.
In a campaign sortie in Batangay, Poe told the media she would not allow herself to be used in exchange for favors that she has been getting from big names of supporters.
”He did not do anything in exchange (of endorsement). I think my ninong will do that and for our countrymen, I will not allow that,” Poe said.
Estrada on Monday night endorsed Poe for president but not her running mate Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero. Instead, the former leader endorsed Sen. Ferdinand Marcos for vice president.
Poe said Estrada told her last Sunday about the endorsement which the mayor said was in deference to his best friend and Poe’s adoptive father Fernando Poe Jr.
Poe said that even detained Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. was not part of the support given to her by the Revillas in Cavite province.
Estrada and Revilla are facing plunder charges in connection with the alleged Php10 billion pork barrel scam or priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
Estrada’s endorsement, she admitted, is a big boost to her candidacy, considering that the former president remains popular to the masses.
Meanwhile, Poe’s spokesman Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian denied that Estrada’s endorsement of Poe and Marcos was part of tactical alliance, saying it was “pure speculation.”
“There is no truth to this. The relationship of Sen. Poe and Sen. Chiz remains strong and steadfast. They will finish this election shoulder to shoulder, side by side. Those behind this intrigue is out to create a rift between the two Senators, but they will not succeed,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian was expected to gain more political leaders to support the candidacy of Poe. PNA/ northboundasia.com