MANILA — Malacañang on Tuesday wished deposed president Joseph "Erap" Estrada speedy recovery from COVID-19.
Estrada, 83, was taken to the hospital because he was growing weak and later tested positive for the novel coronavirus. He remains hospitalized as of Monday, said his son former senator Jinggoy Estrada.
"We wish former President Erap Estrada to please get well soon. Alamat po kayo sa Pilipinas (You are a legend in the Philippines)," Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
"We want to see you healthy and we want you to take life in the public life of the country for a very long time," added Roque, who only recently recovered from his own bout with COVID-19.
Another son of Estrada, former senator JV Ejercito, said he was not aware of how his father contracted the virus, but said that once in a while, he would receive guests.
Estrada, who is turning 84 next month, served as President from 1998 until 2001. He did not finish his six-year term after he was slapped with allegations of corruption.
He was convicted of plunder in 2007 and sentenced to life imprisonment. But his successor, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, pardoned him a month later.
He was Mayor of Manila from 2013 until 2019, when he lost his reelection bid to the now incumbent Isko Moreno.
The Philippines is battling a surge in coronavirus infections. On Tuesday, it tallied 9,296 additional COVID-19 cases, raising the country's total to 741,181, among the highest in Asia.