Estrada supporters stage protest at Arroyo's building

A GROUP of supporters of former president Joseph Estrada staged a rally at the LTA Building, a property of the family of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo in the Makati business district, just as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo arrived from after a five-day working visit to New York, the Vatican and Paris.

Some 50 members of the People's Movement Against Poverty (PMAP), the Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) and the Kilusan para sa Makatarungang Lipunan at Gobyerno (KMLG) tried to enter Perea Street on their way to the LTA Building where the First Gentleman holds office.

Anti-riot policemen stopped them, and a six-by-six truck also blocked the street.

The protesters instead held a noise barrage at the corner of Perea and De la Rosa Streets, calling for an end to what they called "Conjugal Corruption" and for the Arroyo family to "fully disclose all their wealth before the public."

"We are here to welcome back Mr. and Mrs. Jose Pidal," said Millete Morante, secretary general of the KPD, referring to allegations made by Senator Panfilo Lacson that the First Gentleman laundered money in bank accounts under the name "Jose Pidal."

Morante also questioned how the President "could even offer herself as a candidate for 2004 given her track record of unfulfilled promises in particular ridding government of corruption and alleviating poverty."

The lawyer of the First Gentleman meanwhile denounced what he called Lacson's "squid tactics" to delay a court hearing on the libel cases Arroyo filed against Lacson.

Lawyer Jesus Santos said in a statement Lacson submitted to the Manila City Prosecutor's Office his counter-affidavit but did not swear to its contents before a prosecutor.


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