Buzz: Estrada’s ‘jokes’ to detainee GMA

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Monday, December 23, 2013


MANILA MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA’S VISIT to former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on hospital arrest at Veterans Memorial Medical Center: Was it in the spirit of Christmas or for a modus vivendi? one news website asked.

Mostly a PR move, a Manila-based journalist from Cebu e-mailed, done in Christmas time. It was aimed to get media notice and it did.

Erap was charged and convicted during GMA’s watch and after she had bumped him off the rest of his presidential term during Edsa II. She did all that, although she later pardoned Erap.

It was the way she crafted the terms of the pardon that enabled him to run for, and almost won, the presidency in 2010 and for Manila mayor in 2013.

What did Erap tell GMA when they talked during his visit last Sunday?

He told a lot of jokes, the news report said.

Bzzzzz’s source didn’t know if it included these:

>> “O ano, Madam President, amoy priso ka ngayon. I also smelled the same when I was under hospital arrest here. One good thing, the hospital smell covers up the smell of prison.”

>> “Talo ka sa akin, Madam President. I almost became president and I’m now the mayor, aside from having been convicted of plunder. Try to top that, after they convict you.”

THE TWEET that made a website company communications officer lose her job: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get Aids. Just kidding. I’m white!”

While she had only 200 followers, one of them relayed the tweet to a very large audience, which drew a massive negative reaction.

Justine Sacco was sacked. A PR executive, Sacco must have forgotten her PR skills and her knowledge about the perils of the internet.

THE ASSASSINS who killed Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Ukol Talumpa (along with his wife, his nephew, and a child) at the NAIA terminal 3 last Friday.

They don’t share the precept of the victim mayor’s political boss, which is not to use physical violence but to sue his enemies, especially journalists.

The number of cases the boss has filed shows he must be one of the top libel complainants in the country. He believes in the rule of law, not in mayhem.

Besides the four death casualties, five were injured.

HOW CEBU CITY HALL slipped past COA rule that the 45% cap on services should be observed in spending public funds.

Instead of calling the money Christmas bonuses, the mayor’s fiscal experts called it calamity aid.

But did the officials and employees who got the windfall suffer from the earthquake and super-typhoon that made the President declare a national calamity? They did not but, a City Hall watcher says, they suffered a similar calamity: devastation of their finances because of Christmas. “Pareha ra, calamity gihapon.”

We’ll see if COA, which noted a similar violation last year, would let it pass this time.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 24, 2013.

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