Erap offers services to Noynoy

By Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau Chief

Posted at Jun 04 2010 12:35 PM | Updated as of Jun 05 2010 01:50 AM

But not ready to concede yet

LONDON - Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada is willing to offer his services in whatever capacity should President-apparent Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino request for it.

Estrada arrived Thursday night in London to attend the graduation of his 20-year-old daughter Jerika.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau, Estrada called on Filipinos to forget politics and rally behind Aquino after his scheduled proclamation by Congress next week.

Only 5 Certificates of Canvass (COCs) are still to be canvassed starting Monday by the joint congressional committee, including those from Davao City, Bacolod City, and Mountain Province estimated at 860,000 votes.

Another COC pending is the result of the special election in Lanao del Sur.

It’s statistically impossible for Estrada to catch up with Aquino, who is leading by almost 5 million votes as of latest count.

Estrada accepted the results of the election and even offered his services to the incoming Aquino administration.

"Kung kakailanganin ang tulong natin lalo na sa pagbangon sa kahirapan ng ating mga kababayan, I'm more than willing to help in whatever capacity," Estrada said.

While he is open to helping Aquino, Estrada maintained this does not mean he is already conceding.

"Basta sinabi ko pag natapos na ang canvassing at proclamation, Ok walang problema. Bakit ako magko-concede ng hindi pa tapos?" he said.

With his votes at nearly 10 million, Estrada exuded confidence saying it’s a manifestation that he never committed any crime, and that he should not have been imprisoned.

He said the result was a clear vindication by the people.

"Ako'y nagpapasalamat sa patuloy na suporta at pagtitiwala sa atin ng karamihan ng ating mga kababayan. Sa halip na lahat ng klaseng paratang ibinintang sa akin, ikinulong tayo, ako'y nagpapasalamat una sa Panginoon, pangalawa sa ating sambayanang Pilipino, hindi sila naniwala sa paratang sa akin," Estrada thankfully said.

Estrada refused to comment anymore on the result of the canvassing in San Juan, his home city, where he lost by just 883 votes to Aquino.

He also branded as pure intrigue persistent rumors that the camp of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay junked him in key areas during the election.