Palace denies plan to oust Manila mayor

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

THE Aquino administration has no systematic plan to oust former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and his other elected family members, a Palace official said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that any investigation or case against Estrada did not emanate from the executive branch.

"We would like to assure Mayor Estrada and with all due respect to whatever was mentioned to him or confided to him by his allies, we have no plan to eliminate Mayor Estrada," he said in a regular press briefing.

Estrada reportedly warned that he would part ways with President Benigno Aquino III and he would fight back amid alleged efforts to oust him from office. From the information he reportedly received from his two sons, the Palace was allegedly behind efforts to oust him through his disqualification case before the Supreme Court.

"We certainly do not know the basis of those allegations. We have always maintained a distance from the Supreme Court. So I don't know why they are now alluding to our involvement when we don't even know the proceedings that are happening before the Supreme Court in respect of the disqualification case against Mayor Estrada," Lacierda said.

Estrada's son, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who is facing plunder and graft cases before the Sandiganbayan, is now detained in police Camp Crame detention center.

His nephew, Laguna Governor ER Ejercito, stepped down from office recently after the Commission on Elections disqualified him due to overspending.

There were reports that Senator JV Ejercito, also Estrada's son, could also be disqualified due to election overspending.

"In all those three instances, these are instances that have been initiated or have been decided or are being decided by other bodies and another branch of government, separate and independent from the Executive branch," Lacierda said.

He also stressed that there have been no instances of acrimony between the Aquino and Estrada families nor between the President and the Manila mayor.

"And we have worked together, remember we have worked also with the City Government of Manila in coming out with a solution on the truck ban and also the assistance provided by Mayor Estrada during the resolution of the Luneta hostage-taking incident," he added. (SDR/Sunnex)

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