The Vote 2010: Joseph Estrada/Jose Marcelo Ejercito

The Vote 2010: Joseph Estrada/Jose Marcelo Ejercito
The Philippine Star

JOSEPH ESTRADA/JOSE MARCELO EJERCITO

Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino-United Opposition

Campaign slogan: Kung May Erap, May Ginhawa

Born April 19, 1937 in Tondo, Manila

Married to Luisa Pimentel Ejercito

Children: (with Luisa Ejercito) Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Jude Estrada, Jacqueline Ejercito-Lopez; 3 other first-born children

Elementary: Ateneo de Manila University

High School: Ateneo de Manila University

College: Mapua Institute of Technology, mechanical engineering

Father: Engr. Emilio Ejercito

Mother: Maria Marcelo

State of health: In perfect health

Blood pressure: 130/80

Major surgeries.

None, except circumcision when I was nine and my knee replacement four years ago.

Smoking habit.

Almost one pack a day.

Plans to cut down?

I don’t bother anyone. I buy my own cigarettes.

Medication/vitamins.

No medicine, no vitamins. Sauna once a day, 15 minutes a day for the last 50 years.

Skin care.

Walang botox yan, no plastic surgery.

Ever consulted a psychiatrist?

I’m married to one.

Advisers.

Economy: Ben Diokno, Philip Medalla

Foreign affairs: Domingo Siazon, my classmate

Security: Myself, being a former mayor.

Politics and legal matters: Sen. Ernesto Maceda

Media: No permanent adviser

Health: Former health secretary Alfredo Romualdez

Campaign Budget

P 1.5 billion.

Repay campaign donors.

I accept donations without any consideration.

Role of the VP.

My VP Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay is a very good local executive. Maybe DILG.

Cabinet.

My former Cabinet is intact. No one was involved in a scam.

Relatives to serve as confidential staff.

No.

Fashion stylist/Barber.

Myself, or my wife. My old barber of 30 years died.

First lady Loi’s role.

Same as before.

Do you watch pirated DVDs?

I don’t have time.

ECONOMY/TRADE/FINANCE

Increase FDI and local investments.

Peace and order. Level the playing field. Eliminate graft and corruption.

Model for economic development.

China.

Lower power costs, improve energy security.

Continue with geothermal, look for alternative energy sources. Alternative energy policy a priority.

Infrastructure priorities and how to fund them.

Farm to market roads. Irrigation. So our food security is ensured. A hungry stomach knows no law.

New taxes? Other priority tax policies.

No. I choose debt restructuring.

Economic sectors for priority development.

Food security. Agriculture.

Free trade.

Yes, but we have to protect agriculture.

Sectors to be protected/subsidized.

Agriculture.

Sectors to be liberalized.

Media. Para magkaroon ng competition. More jobs. Pati suweldo ng reporters tataas.

Foreigners owning land.

Yes, except agricultural land.

OFW deployment.

No choice. We can’t give them jobs here. But their remittances are helping the economy.

Brain drain.

We have to ask our schools to train more people.

Benefits of growth to the grassroots.

We can’t eradicate graft and corruption but we can minimize it.

Mining and exploitation of natural resources.

Still studying. Maraming marurunong, pati pari nakikialam.

Manufacturing and exports.

Uncompetitive. We can only compete in canning of fish.

Can we be self-sufficient in rice?

Yes, by prioritizing irrigation, water impounding. I gave incentives to governors who produced more palay.

Agricultural production, agribusiness, tourism.

Did that already. On tourism, we can’t move forward without peace and security.

Agrarian reform.

A total failure. It’s global competition. Establish cooperatives, give titles to farmers.

Improve corporate regulation.

I haven’t studied that yet.

How to stop smuggling.

Easy. Impose punishment.

Support for R&D in key industries.

Yes.

Bank secrecy laws and money laundering.

Relax bank secrecy, especially for public officials.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Peace in Mindanao.

Yes to negotiation, but no to dismemberment of the republic. Won’t allow MOA-AD-type deal, it’s treason.

Policy on communist rebels.

Negotiate from a position of strength.

Fixed term for AFP chief.

Yes, to professionalize military.

Private armies and CVOs.

No, because they are inherently illegal.

Adopted member of a PMA class.

Almost.

Which one?

The most notorious – 1971.

Importance of US military aid.

Absolutely important.

Other countries we should have closer military alliance.

China, because it’s an emerging economy and has no record of invading other countries.

Corruption in the PNP/AFP?

Stiffer punishment for offenders and strict enforcement of command responsibility.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

RP’s most important ally is…

As of now, the US. In a few years, we have to enhance our relationship with China.

China – threat, challenge, friend?

Friend. China has no history of invading other countries. It’s purely for business. They are industrious people.

First foreign trip as president.

I don’t like to go on state visits. I’ll travel only for very important meetings to cut down on our expenditures.

Should RP strengthen ties with any particular region?

Middle East countries where our OFWs are concentrated.

Sabah claim.

Hopefully.

Spratlys claim.

We should pursue it in the international courts.

EDUCATION/CULTURE/ARTS

Improving education.

It’s my top priority. Among all our presidents I was the one who put the biggest per capita budget for education.

Additional years in grade school and high school.

Definitely, but government can’t afford it. There’s a growing disparity between rich and poor kids, where the rich have three years pre-school and the poor go straight to grade one.

Free universal kindergarten.

Of course.

Importance of English proficiency in national competitiveness.

We have to improve (English proficiency) like China and Singapore. That’s the advantage we have over our Asian neighbors and pretty soon we may lose that.

How to improve national competitiveness.

Funding. Schools should also be encouraged to offer non-degree courses.

Role of arts and culture.

We should not lose our identity as Filipinos.

HEALTH CARE

Priorities in improving public health care.

I will increase the budget for health care, whatever you want for enhancement/improvement for public health care will boil down to the budget.

Family planning/reproductive health.

In favor. It is very important to give women a choice of a family they can afford. I am 100 per cent against abortion.

Keeping doctors, nurses and other health professionals home.

We can’t stop them until we give them jobs here, and it boils down to peace and order. We could have the best hospitals and health professionals but if we have poor security, then nothing will happen.

Cost of medicine.

In India medicine is cheap because they are generic. Here, the pharmaceuticals lobby even to the President.

JUDICIARY

Should SC powers be limited?

Yes. The SC should not delve into business and economic issues.

Should GMA appoint the next chief justice?

No.

Independence of judiciary.

Avoid influence peddling in appointment of members of the judiciary. So nobody is beholden to anybody.

Will you invoke executive privilege, and under what circumstances?

No. The President should be made accountable for all his actions.

CORRUPTION

Transparency in government.

People in the government should be made aware of severe punishment awaiting them. No holds barred investigation whoever they may be.

How will you deal with corruption?

Certainty of punishment, full implementation of the law like in the US.

Prosecution of GMA for corruption.

People should file charges against GMA. Personally, I would not since I have forgiven those people who have wrongly accused me.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Murder of journalists and militants.

We have to investigate.

AFP/PNP respect for human rights.

During my term, may nagreklamo ba against human rights sa AFP at PNP?

Too much freedom/democracy.

We have democracy now, right? But look at where we are now….

Is the Philippine press irresponsible?

Some are.

Have you been treated fairly by the mass media?

Sometimes not, as during my impeachment trial.

Economic rights over civil liberties.

There’s no substitute for civil liberties.

ENVIRONMENT

How to deal with extreme flooding.

Continue flood control programs similar to what we did in Camanava.

Climate change.

Have a climate change commission funded by First World countries, but just continue policies we started even before climate change became fashionable issue.

Logging/agroforestry.

We have to protect our forests, be strict. Permit selective logging.

Water management.

Develop Laguna Lake because that is the biggest source of water. We have a lot of sources of water but they’re not being developed.

SPORTS

Sports development.

Of course.

Which sports.

All. They have so much politics and so much corruption in PSC.

First-ever Olympic gold under your watch? How?

We cannot promise but we will do our best.

STAND ON THE FOLLOWING:

Cha-cha.

Yes, some economic provisions need to be changed.

VFA.

It was approved during my administration.

Freedom of Information Act?

I’m all for that.

Right of reply bill.

Yes.

Divorce.

What divorce? (Laughs)

Marriage expiration?

What God has put together, let no man put asunder.

Gay rights.

Yes.

Gay marriage.

No.

Death penalty.

We have to bring back the death penalty.

Current energy crisis.

We have to consult the experts.

Issue on you having several families.

My wife does not complain, this is personal and it has nothing to do with my handling the government. It happens to young men, even to bishops. We all make mistakes.

The ProPinoy Project