MANILA: Deposed Philippines leader Joseph Estrada has warned of “civil war” if the government disqualifies his friend and fellow movie star Fernando Poe from standing in the May 10 presidential election, a Manila daily said Wednesday.
The former leader, deposed in a military-backed popular revolt three years ago and detained while on trial for corruption, told the Philippine Inquirer that “there's no stopping FPJ (Poe's initials) from becoming president.”
Movie icon Poe, the front-runner according to the most recent opinion polls, last week won a ruling from the Philippines election body Commission on Elections allowing him to stand despite a challenge on his citizenship.
The Manila lawyer who had alleged that Poe is not a Filipino plans to appeal the Comelec ruling.
Estrada told the Inquirer he suspected the challenge would go all the way to the Supreme Court, and feared that the final ruling would deal a death blow to Poe's campaign.
“We suspect they are really going to disqualify him before the Supreme Court,” Estrada reportedly said.
“I'm warning them not to do that, lest there will be a civil war, revolution or massive civil disobedience,” he added.
Estrada is no friend of the highest court of the land, which has upheld the legality of his January 2001 ouster.
His ouster paved the way for the elected vice president, Gloria Arroyo, to assume the presidency. – AFP
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