Erap can run – Comelec

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Commission on Elections yesterday ruled that former President Joseph Estrada is not violating any law in running for president in May.

In an en banc resolution, the poll body allowed Estrada to join the other nine presidential candidates.

Estrada vowed to remain as the champion of the poor.

He said the favorable decision of the Comelec should now stop his detractors from spreading rumors that he is disqualified from running.

“Tuloy na tuloy na ang ating laban sa darating na eleksyon. Muli kong ibabalik ang palasyo ng Malakanyang sa masang Pilipino,” Estrada said.

Latest surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia showed Senators Noynoy Aquino and Manny Villar and Estrada are in a close race for the presidency.

Meanwhile, Estrada’s supporters believe that his ratings will further improve following the Comelec’s decision. They view Estrada as the only one who can improve their plight.

“Wala nang makakapigil sa pagbabalik ni Erap sa Malakanyang. Siya ang tunay na pag-asa naming mahihirap,” a jubilant supporter said.

The Liberal Party wing of former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza declared Estrada its standard-bearer.

Atienza said Estrada has strong chances of regaining his post in Malacañang because of the support of the masses.

“His rating will still improve because many among the Filipinos still believe and trust that he is their only hope for a better tomorrow,” Atienza said.