Erap stumped by new ballot design


Posted at May 10 2010 05:37 PM | Updated as of May 11 2010 05:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines -  Former president and Pwesa ng Masang Pilipino standard-bearer Joseph Estrada on Monday clarified that he voted for his runningmate, vice-presidential bet Jejomar Binay, amid reports that he did not vote for the latter.

Estrada said he was surprised with the design of the new ballots for the country's first ever automated election, which is why he left many of the positions blank. He said that aside from the new design, he also had difficulty reading the names because he forgot to bring his reading glasses.

He said that during his first pass on the ballot, he neglected to shade the oval for his son, Joseph Victor Ejercito, who is running for the congressional post of San Juan. He said he had to re-check his ballot twice and shade the ovals for all of his choices.

Estrada denied that he did not vote for Binay when he cast his vote at an elementary school in San Juan City.

"Hindi siya maniniwalang hindi ko siya iboboto. Malalim ang pinagsamahan namin. Hanggang actual elections ba naman iniintriga pa rin kami, " he told reporters.

JV Ejercito, who is incumbent mayor of San Juan, blamed the media for the erroneous reports about his father's vote. He said mediamen crowded the former president when he arrived at Pedro Cruz Elementary School before noon. 

Estrada earlier said he always votes at high noon because he believes he's luckier if he votes while the sun is at its brightest.

Before voting, the former president went to Antipolo City in Rizal province to hear Mass. He also visited his parents’ graves at the San Juan Cemetery.

Estrada is seeking a comeback to Malacañang after his 6-year term was cut short following a military-backed people's revolt in 2001 known as Edsa Dos.

He was jailed for several years and convicted of plunder. He was pardoned and released in October 2007.

Estrada has urged his loyal supporters to bring him back to Malacañang so he can finish his pro-poor programs that were cut short after President Arroyo succeeded him.