Estrada ‘exposes’ self, provides comic relief
By Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
KANANGA, LEYTE—Who needs Willie Revillame and Dolphy when you can provide the entertainment yourself?
Former President Joseph Estrada Tuesday brought the house down at Kananga Central Elementary School here when he turned an otherwise embarrassing situation around and got the audience guffawing.
Estrada, a former movie star, climbed up the stage curiously wearing his orange jacket wrapped around his waist.
At the start of his speech he turned his back on the audience and lifted the jacket.
“Maayong buntag sa inyong tanan. Pobre na si Erap. Butas ang pantalon ko. Nakita mo? Ano nakita mo?(Good morning to you all. Erap is now poor. My pants have a hole. Did you see it? What did you see?)” he asked the crowd, which replied: “Puti! (It’s white!)”
Estrada told reporters he ripped his pants while getting on his helicopter.
“I was told that these things happen. It’s OK. At least they got to see my butt,” he said. “I will still wear the pants. I will just have them stitched up.”
Late for lunch
Estrada arrived in Leyte at 9 a.m. Tuesday. He and the entire Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) ticket hope to win the more than 200,000 votes available in the province.
The incident made him miss lunch with former Gov. Gerry Espina, a member of the Nacionalista Party headed by Estrada’s rival, Sen. Manuel Villar. Estrada flew back to his hotel in Tacloban City to get a new pair of pants.
To the PMP, it’s better to have embarrassing incidents like this one than being the subject of relentless media scrutiny.
Estrada’s son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who is seeking reelection, said his father stood to “benefit” from the current exchange of black propaganda between survey front-runners Villar and Sen. Benigno Aquino III of the Liberal Party.
The younger Estrada said the situation now was a “welcome relief” from the 1998 presidential campaign when every tiny detail of his father’s personal life was reported in the media.
Estrada’s gambling and drinking habits and his extramarital affairs were daily news fare. The younger Estrada said the coverage got worse shortly before and after his father was ousted in Edsa II in 2001.