A popular blog avatar (below) used by former President Estrada’s supporters on blogs and websites, :Erap" is the former Philippine Presidents screen nickname, The slogan says Estrada, still and adds the word Pagbabalik or Pilipino for "The Return".
A return to power of deposed President Joesph Estrada, is not something the current occupants of the Presidential Palace in the Philippines are ‘losing sleep over’.
This according to Philippine President Gloria Arroyo’s Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the Palace “is not scared of presidential aspirant Joseph Ejercito Estrada.”
Earlier in the week,, Ermita had advised Estrada “to brace for the deluge of cases against him.” Sec. Ermita said in a press conference Thursday in Manila.
Ermita later clarified Saturday on a Government radio station, that the Administration feels the attempt would be unlikely to succed because of legal provision versus a second term for any President unless one who was serving out the term of another.
With three candidates declared and another four seen as ‘probable or possible’ a seven way fight in the 2010 Philippine elections looms.
Political analysts say that wide a field would go to the candidate with the largest political organization and widest base of support.
Clearly if the legal impediments could be removed Estrada is a leading figure with proven political machinery. Estrada has remained even with his conviction of the crime of plunder and his subsequent pardon remains largely popular in several key areas of the Philippines.
"It is not will he run, but, will he be allowed to win, his supporters should look at this time around." a political commentator said after Estrada’s announcement that he was seeking the Presidency anew said.
Estrada has selected a popular Vice Presidential running mate, the current Mayor of Makati City, Mayor Jojomar Binay who is popular and the leader of the opposition UMO party (United Opposition), Binay, has the support of the corporate sector and the influential financial district base that can match most of the other political parties deep pockets.
Estrada has pointed to Binay’s successful health care programs and popular social housing and small business programs that have become a model to emulate for many other local governments in the Philippines.
As well as much of the business community that see’s Makati’s better run local Government as a reason they continue to support the Mayor, who while a supporter of the late President Aquino’s family in years past – has – clearly stepped out of the shadows to have a strong national following.
Erap" "Will not have to worry about the Administration but his own flock in the opposition" – Ermita talking to Palace reportersPalace – Ermita
The Arroyo Administration,will not be leading any legal fight to prevent the former President in his attempt to return to power even as many in the Palace today had a hand in removing from the Presidency almost a decade ago now,
Ermita added further, "This also that it shows the current political state of the political opposition in the country as divided," adding that it will not be any group in ruling coalition that takes steps to block Estrada’s election attempt in light of a No-re-election clause in the Philippine constitution.
“I just said there will be a judicial remedy to this. It will definitely be decided at the judicial level,” Ermita said in an interview with Radyong Bayan the Government owned national radio network..
In a Press release by the office of the Press secretary which released the transcript of his interview described that "Another politician said in an earlier radio interview the Palace is running scared (against Erap) when it said the former president must prepare himself for this judicial deluge."
Sec. Ermita said further that, “When we said that, we knew there are people who will bring this to court. But we are not afraid of anything,” Ermita said. “But that (to run or not) is the decision of former President Estrada.
"This is a free country,” Ermita said in closing.