Following hospital trip,Estrada says he is not sick


MANILA, AFP

Jailed former Philippine President Joseph Estrada said Sunday he was in good health, contrary to a statement by the presidential palace he was suffering from various ailments.

“We are not sick, we are sick only in the newspapers,” Estrada said from a heavily guarded northern Manila hospital where he and his son Jose Ejercito were airlifted to Saturday.

“I really do not know why we are pictured as if we were really sick,” he said in a statement.

President Gloria Arroyo’s spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao said Saturday that Estrada was transferred to the hospital from a bungalow jail in a police camp outside Manila after he complained of fever, colds and leg pains.

His son had also complained of chest pains, Tiglao said.

Earlier Sunday, an anti-graft court said Estrada would cast his vote from inside the hospital in Monday’s congressional and local elections, reversing an earlier decision allowing him to leave jail for his Manila stronghold.

The polls are seen here as a proxy battle between Estrada and his successor President Gloria Arroyo, who needs a fresh mandate from the public to further strengthen the legitimacy of her fledgling government.

Arroyo replaced Estrada following a popular uprising that toppled the ex-movie action star in January.