Out-on-bail former Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s bid to travel abroad was denied by the court when it learned he had lied about being invited as guest speaker by a Filipino group in New York. The court trying his case rejected Estrada’s petition because he’s considered a flight risk.
Jinggoy, in his plea to travel, claimed he was invited by the New York-based Pinoy for Good Governance. The PGG is headed by New York-based Fil-Am businesswoman Loida Nicolas Lewis.
In a statement, Lewis expressed surprise that her group would invite a political figure who is under indictment for plunder and graft in connection with the illegal pork barrel funds.
Lewis is the widow of American tycoon Reginald Lewis whose fortune was built on his food conglomerate. Loida took over the management of her husband’s business empire and still found time to get involved in doing charitable and social work in her home country. She is a member of the American Bar Association.
In another attempt to put his political career back on track, Estrada made an outrageous claim he was going to run again as senator under the ruling PDP-Laban Party of President Rodrigo Duterte. On hearing Jinngoy’s claim he was being invited by the PDP-Laban. Party president and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel immediately debunked the story.
“No, PDP never asked Jinggoy to join the party,” said Pimentel emphatically, debunking Jinggoy’s claim.
Estrada has been disowned and denied on two counts of fabricating stories.
What is really Jinggoy’s end game? There are reports circulating that Jinngoy is actually being groomed as candidate for mayor of Manila by his father, former president and incumbent Manila mayor Joseph Estrada. The word is that Erap who marked his 81st birthday yesterday wished for a third and last term as Manila mayor. But city hall sources see him getting weaker and really wants his son to succeed him as Manila mayor.
Manilans who voted Erap mayor in 2013 now regret they did. The city is all messed up with uncollected garbage, high crime rate and heavy traffic. Many streets are being used as parking spots by public utility vehicles and pedicabs. Manila under Erap’s watch has lost its stature as s great city compared to Makati, Mandaluyong and Quezon City.
Manilas are hoping for another mayor outside of the Estrada dynasty. This early the names emerging for the Manila mayoral race year include former senator Manny Villar and former-mayor and now Buhay Party List Rep. Lito Atienza. Villar, however, is eying another run at the presidency. If he loses in Manila, Villar’s chances at the presidency will be dimmed. He already lost a presidential run in 2010 to Benigno Aquino III.
Former Mayor Alfredo Lim and Congressman Amado Bagatsing, both of whom Erap already beat in the Manila mayoral race, are out of the political picture. It is Atienza whose three terms as Manila mayor who appears to be the best probable challenger to either Erap or Jinggoy.
Atienza, former National Housing Authority manager and Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary during Arroyo’s time, is the best administrator to restore Manila to its former glory.
Former President Erap Estrada’s six-year term was cut short when he was forced out of Malacañang in connection with jueteng and gambling allegations. A people power protest on Edsa plus the withdrawal of support by key Cabinet officials and the military completed Erap’s exit. He was consequently tried and convicted of plunder but only served detention at his Tanay, Rizal rest house. For a reason that is still to be explained, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pardoned her predecessor a week after the court found him guilty of plunder.
City Hall sources also reported seeing Erap often with former business and financial advisor Jaime Dichaves. It will be recall that Dichaves was linked to the allegedly anomalous BW Resources stocks scam. Dichaves, investigators found out, was also the real owner of the Jose Velarde bank account Erap opened fraudulently.