MANILA - Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Tuesday attributed his high senatorial survey ranking to his incarceration in 2014 over his alleged involvement in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
Estrada, who is out on bail, has placed in the top 12 of possible senatorial winners in pre-election surveys, half a year before the actual elections.
"Siguro nagkaroon din ng simpatya yung taong-bayan sa pagkakulong namin," Estrada told reporters, referring to his colleagues - former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. - who were also expected to vie for a comeback in the legislative chamber.
Estrada, Enrile and Revilla allegedly diverted billions of public funds into their accounts by using bogus non-government organizations to implement projects funded by lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
"Ako'y napagkaisahan lang. Kami ni Senator Bong at ni Senator Enrile ay napagkaisahan lang noong nakaraang administrasyon," he said.
"Tingnan mo, unti-unti nang nalalaman ng mga tao na talagang pinagkaisahan kami, modesty aside, based on my showing in the surveys," he said.
Estrada said his track record as a lawmaker also helped in winning people's confidence. "Majority of the bills I filed are pro-poor bills. Marami tayong pinanukala na naging batas tulad ng Kasambahay Bill," he said.
The former senator filed his certificate of candidacy for senator with his wife Precy, and his parents former President and now Manila Mayor "Erap" Joseph Estrada and former Senator Loi Ejercito-Estrada.