Q&A: Estrada on Arroyo

Joseph Estrada tells Al Jazeera why he feels the Philippine president should go.

    Estrada was granted a pardon by Arroyo after six-and-a-half years in jail [GALLO/GETTY]

    Gloria Macapagal Arroyo replaced Joseph Estrada as the Philippine president seven years ago. The deposed leader tells Al Jazeera why he agrees she should resign.

     

    Al Jazeera: What do you think the people should do now?

     

    Estrada: It shows in all surveys, and I can feel it also, they no longer trust this president.

     

    So, if you don't trust your president, they must continue these rallies and air their grievances ... so this incumbent president realises that she should resign.

     

    I've heard people say, and I've read, that you cut some sort of deal with president Arroyo in order to gain your pardon?

     

    [Laughs] Never. Never. I'll never deal with her. Her emissary came to me and I gave in to the offer because I know that I will not get justice in her administration.

     

    I'd rather accept the pardon because I have been incarcerated for six years and-a-half.

     

    Do you trust this president?

     

    Well, first of all, the incumbent president – she was never elected.

     

    And up to now, I still believe she is an illegitimate president because she got power from me and after that, there was an election held in 2004 and she cheated in that election.

     

    It turned out during the years of her incumbency, people felt they were being insulted.

     

    Their intelligence was being insulted. They're fooling the people. There's that saying that you can fool us once, twice – but not all the time. There is always a limit.

     

    And now I think, the limit is there now. That is why so many different organisations are asking her to resign.

     

    Do you think, realistically, that her hand can be taken away from the reigns of power and she will go?

     

    Well, that's what we're trying to avoid. We don't like bloodshed to happen.

     

    I hope she will be enlightened that it is time for her to go … to avoid bloodshed and violence.

     

    You know, when people are already beyond the limit of their patience – you should respect them, as a leader.

     

    If you were her, what would you do?

     

    Of course, I would follow the clamour of the people. If that's the will of the people, in any democratic country – all the power and authority comes from the people.

     

    So, if the people don't like you anymore, it's time to go … right? [laughs]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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