Erap: I'm willing to forgive Gloria

Posted at 04/25/2012 11:48 AM | Updated as of 04/25/2012 4:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Former President Joseph Estrada on Wednesday said he is willing to forgive former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo despite all the suffering he endured under her presidency.

Asked if he will forgive Arroyo, he said: “Oh yes, ang laki nang kasalanan nun. They grabbed power, the presidency… They conspired to remove me unconstitutionally.”

Estrada won the presidency in 1998 but was ousted in 2001 during the bloodless EDSA Dos revolt. He was placed under house arrest for 6 years and found guilty of plunder by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court in 2007. He was pardoned a month later by President Arroyo.

In the interview with ANC’s Headstart, Estrada said the offense done by Mrs. Arroyo was doubly hurtful because it also affected his best friend, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr.

He said Poe supported his political plans from the time he ran for mayor of San Juan all the way to his campaign for the presidency in 1998.

“FPJ is more than a brother to me. Since the time I entered politics and ran for mayor, he was with me. We went house to house. And then when I ran for the Senate, he was with me. When I ran for vice-president, he was there with me. When I ran for presidency, he did not make any movie anymore. He was with me day-in and day-out,” he said.

“So when his turn came, when he ran for president [in 2004], I cannot be with him because I was incarcerated. That was the irony of it. The fact is he really won but he was cheated. Everybody knows that....’

“In my birthday, I said, ‘Kawawa naman kaming dalawa ni FPJ. Sa pelikula, kami ang pinaka-macho. Tapos hindi namin alam ang tatalo sa amin isang...ako inagawan ng pwesto, siya dinaya sa pwesto.’”

Estrada said he holds no rancor towards those who have done him wrong. “To live happy is to give and forgive,” he said.

The former president said forgiveness is there in the Lord’s Prayer.

“You have to mean it. When you pray the Lord's Prayer, it’s always there. ‘Lord, forgive us as we forgive those who sinned against us.’ It is a prayer that you need to put into practice,’ he said.