MANILA, Philippines – Loud cheers greeted former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada as he visited fire victims at Isla Puting Bato in Manila on Wednesday.
But Estrada maintains he is not yet campaigning for his mayoral run in 2013.
“Ako naman ay hindi namumulitika. Tuwing Pasko hindi ko kayo nakakalimutan, umiikot ako dito. Kahit na ako’y nakakulong, hindi ko pa rin kayo nakakalimutan,” he said.
Estrada believes he is a true Manileño.
Besides playing the famous Tondo gangster Asiong Salonga, he said the city is also his birthplace.
“Noong ako po ay sumikat, alam ko puro mga taga-Tondo ang tumangkilik sa aking mga pelikula. Kaya kailanman, lagi kong sinasabi, mamamatay si Erap ng hindi makakabawi ng utang na loob sa mga mahihirap,” he said.
Joining Estrada was Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, who recently became a member of the former President's party.
“Ang puso't damdamin ng inyong vice mayor at magiging mayor ay iisa lamang: para sa mahirap,” he said.
Estrada handed out relief goods and P200 each to evacuees.
Last Monday, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim also led a relief drive and handed out P100 to fire victims.
Lim has already said he's running again for Manila mayor next year.
ABS-CBN also came to the fire victims' aid with the Kapamilya Shower Van.
Evacuees have been enduring the heat and stink while cooped up inside the Delpan Sports Complex.
“Hindi na talaga sila naliligo. Amoy anghit po eh, tapos mabaho, amoy maasim,” said one of the evacuees.
At least a thousand evacuees had a chance to take free showers, most of whom were women and children. -- ANC