The camp of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) leading vice-presidential bet Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay on Thursday denied deserting the party’s standard bearer, former President Joseph Estrada. Lawyer Manuel Sanchez, Binay’s legal counsel, dismissed the reported rift between his client and Estrada as “political intrigues,” saying that the tandem’s loyalties remain with each other. “He [Binay] has been very, very friendly and close to President Estrada. In fact, he has always maintained na napakalaki ng utang na loob niya kay President Erap,” Sanchez said in a report aired over GMA’s 24 Oras. One of Estrada’s lawyers, George Garcia, likewise said that Erap and Binay even met each other on Tuesday — proof that they remained loyal to each other. On Wednesday, PMP spokesperson Rafael Calinisan said a number of the party’s supporters believe that Binay has already deserted Estrada, who continues to trail Liberal Party standard-bearer Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino in the presidential race. [See: Noynoy, Binay still dominate Congress canvassing] Binay, on the other hand, continues to lead the vice-presidential race by a slim margin over Aquino’s running mate, Senator Manuel Roxas II.
This page requires a higher version browser Estrada’s spokesperson, Margaux Salcedo, however said their camp has not seen any hard evidence showing that Binay indeed deserted Estrada. [See: No proof of Binay desertion — Erap camp] Garcia said the former president himself does not believe that Binay has already deserted him. “Si President Estrada mismo ang nagsabi na wala pong ganoong klaseng paniniwala siya tungkol sa mga laglagan issue,” Garcia said in a separate interview. Estrada is currently in the United Kingdom for a vacation, his spokesperson said.
(Reported by Andreo Calonzo; Read more on ABS-CBN and Yahoo! Philippines News)