Former San Juan mayor and ex-senator Jinggoy Estrada said his arrest on Sunday for alleged violation of ECQ is all about politics.
Estrada was arrested yesterday while he was distributing milkfish and other goods to around 100 residents of Barangay Salapan.
“In my own opinion, I never violated any law, especially to ECQ [enhanced community quarantine]. I don’t blame the police. They’re just doing their job. I do not have anything against them. This is local politics. The current administration of San Juan does not want us to help,” he said in an interview at the San Juan Police Station, referring to San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora.
“People are hungry, have no work, He should understand that. What he’s asking me again is for a permit,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino. “There are a lot of civic organizations, nongovernment organizations, private citizens, civilians like me who are distributing or donating relief goods here in the city of San Juan without any permit. Why are they singling me out? Just because I’m an Estrada?”
Jinggoy Estrada on his arrest: ‘This is local politics’
Jinggoy Estrada accused Zamora of singling him out to secure his electoral bid for 2022. Estrada served as the city’s mayor from 1992 to 2001.
The Estradas is a political clan in San Juan. Former Philippine senator Joseph “Erap” Estrada served as its mayor from 1969 to 1986 while his son JV Ejercito became the city’s mayor from 2001 to 2010. Ejercito’s mother was also elected as mayor in 2010.
However, Estrada’s daughter, Janella, lost to Zamora in last year’s elections and ended the Estradas’ 50-year reign in San Juan.
“I made it a point that every time [I distributed food] for the people to observe social distancing,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for the past two weeks. All of a sudden, when I was distributing bangus [milkfish] earlier in Barangay Salapan, policemen came and invited me over here for some interrogation.”
“They told me I violated certain provisions of the enhanced community quarantine. They said they have photos that the people were not observing social distancing so. But I was pretty confident that my staff instructed the people to observe social distancing,” he added.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora meanwhile denied Estrada’s allegations.
“The arrest of Mr. Jinggoy Estrada has nothing to do with politics in San Juan but has everything to do with law and order, especially so now that we are collectively fighting this global pandemic,” Zamora said in a statement.