Drunk heckles Estrada, is subdued by Jinggoy guard
By Florence Baesa, Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
DUMAGUETE CITY—Take it from Joseph “Erap” Estrada: You can’t let liquor go to your head.
A drunken man in his 40s lost control on Tuesday and shouted at Estrada, the standard-bearer of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, during a late-night campaign sortie attended by some 1,000 people at the city plaza.
Herman Quirit also had a run-in with Estrada’s eldest son, reelectionist Sen. Jinggoy Estrada. In the end, he took a head butt from a member of the security detail.
Estrada was midway into his speech when Quirit, dressed in shorts and a basketball jersey, shouted at him in Filipino: “Erap, you’re all talk!”
(Another version of the incident had Quirit yelling President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s first name: “Gloria! Gloria!”)
At which Estrada paused and, addressing the man, wandered aloud if he had been sent by the administration camp.
‘Bong, Bong, Bong’
Two of Estrada’s security escorts went over to Quirit and told him to pull himself together. Jinggoy Estrada later walked up to them.
Addressing the latter, Quirit said: “Bong, Bong, Bong.” (It was not known if he meant Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of the Nacionalista Party or Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. of the administration’s Lakas-Kampi-CMD, who are both seeking reelection.)
“I am Jinggoy,” the senator replied.
Quirit settled down only after a head butt was administered by a security man, resulting in a nasty gash on his right eyebrow.
Members of the Barangay Intel Network, who were securing the rally site, then took custody of Quirit and turned him over to the city police station.
Quirit, a resident of Tinago in Dumaguete, was released Wednesday noon.
Supt. Leopoldo Cabanag, the police chief of Dumaguete, said Quirit was released after the regulation 12-hour period because no complainant filed formal charges against him.
Estrada, himself a drinking man, told reporters later on Tuesday that he was fine although a bit insulted by Quirit.
“Para tayong nabastos pero OK lang,” he said.
According to a witness who refused to give his name, Estrada lost his cool: “Napikon si Erap.”
Talk of Estrada’s drinking binges in Malacañang with members of his so-called “midnight Cabinet” was rife during his abbreviated stint from 1998 to 2001.
The late-night partying reportedly made Estrada miss or show up late for official engagements the morning after.
But the ousted President has consistently denied such reports, saying these were all part of the black propaganda against him.
Serenade in Cebu
Estrada Wednesday took his campaign to the province of Cebu, which has more than 2.4 million registered voters.
Accompanied by members of his senatorial ticket, he motored to the towns of Santander, Samboan, Boljoon, Dalaguete and Lahug.
Estrada’s message was consistent: He deserves a second chance at Malacañang and his reelection will be to the benefit of the predominantly poor Filipinos.
“I have to return so I can help the poor,” he told a lean crowd at the scenic Boljoon barangay hall overlooking the Cebu Strait.
Unlike the Dumaguete sortie, the small rally in Boljoon served as an impromptu variety show.
Estrada and his son, Jinggoy, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former Sen. Francisco Tatad serenaded the crowd of mostly old women.