Erap: I have forgiven Ping Lacson

By Sheryll Mundo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2011 05:29 PM | Updated as of Apr 20 2011 07:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines - On Holy Tuesday and his 74th birthday, former President Joseph Estrada said he has forgiven Sen. Panfilo Lacson for a scathing September 2009 privilege speech that the latter delivered in the Senate.

Lacson made the speech, "Ang Dalawang Mukha ng Sining,” when it became clear Estrada had plans to run for President in May 2010.

"God save the Philippines from Joseph Ejercito alias Joseph Estrada," Lacson had said.

In the speech, Lacson hinted Estrada knew something about the murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito. 

He also alleged that Estrada allowed jueteng and the smuggling of chicken and rice to flourish in the country.

A year and a half later, Estrada said it's all water under the bridge. "Wala na sa akin yun, lahat naman napatawad ko na," he said.

He added that he has not had the chance to speak to Lacson since the senator emerged from hiding.

Estrada celebrated his birthday with relocated residents of San Juan at the Erap City in Taytay, Rizal.

Estrada had a "boodle fight" lunch with them and gave them gifts.

Estrada's birthday wish is for government to get rid of corruption, and appealed to the public to give President Benigno Aquino III more time to get rid of corruption.

However, he refused to comment if one of the solutions is to impeach Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

"Maraming problemang iniwan yun dating administrasyon, kaya bigyan natin ng panahon si PNoy para maayos ito." Estrada said.