MANILA, Philippines – Former President Joseph Estrada yesterday told other presidential candidates not to lie or make empty promises to the public just to get ahead because it is unfair to the people and is a sign of desperation.
Estrada, who is running for the presidency again, was in Quezon campaigning in the towns of San Antonio, Tiaong, Sariaya and Pagbilao and is on his third sortie since the start of the campaign season.
“I won in 1998 and I am confident that I will win again because the people know that it is Erap who is sincere and that I tell the truth,” Estrada told reporters in Quezon.
Estrada’s spokesperson Margaux Salcedo said the former president is someone who does not make empty promises.
“Estrada does not believe in just telling people what they want to hear, like what candidates who are losing momentum or miserably low in the surveys are doing. Just telling people what they want to hear is a sign of desperation and of wanting to win at all costs.”
“We do not make promises of quitting smoking or of ending corruption then hiding when confronted with corruption issues or of consistently attaining impossible 8 percent growth rates in the economy. Our agenda is based on what has already been achieved or what we know is achievable as seen during President Estrada’s 1998 administration,” Salcedo said.
She said the Estrada agenda includes achieving food security for the Philippines by tripling farm output in provinces like Nueva Ecija while at least doubling output for less productive areas like Quezon province.
“The Estrada administration in 1998 was able to achieve record-breaking farm output within only a year’s time, turning around agricultural growth from minus 6 percent at the end of 1999,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) yesterday said that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are looking for candidates who would be able to address their plight.
The CBCP-ECMI told CBCPNews that OFWs have their share of expectations from the next national leaders and they regard the upcoming election as a critical time to assess the stance of political candidates on the issue of migration.
Both the Church and the migrants’ sector believe that strong political will is a prerequisite for good governance.
Meanwhile, a group of Christian churches called the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) asked presidential candidates to include in their platform “concrete programs that will bring about fundamental reforms necessary for sustainable peace.” They called on bets to adopt reforms that will address the stalled peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF). – With Evelyn Macairan, Lino dela Cruz