Erap drunk during Isko's inquest, says police commander

Posted at 02/21/2013 5:16 PM | Updated as of 02/22/2013 11:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Manila Police District Station 3 commander Supt. Ricardo Layug on Wednesday said he believes former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada was drunk when he went to the inquest of Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and 5 other councilors for illegal gambling last Saturday.

During the "People’s Day" forum held at the Manila City Hall, Layug said Estrada first went to the MPD station at around 6 p.m. simply to ask why the six were arrested, noting that they are all government officials.

Layug said, however, that when Estrada came back past midnight, he was already acting differently.

He said when one of his policemen gave Estrada a salute, Estrada just told the cop, "pasalu-saludo ka pa.”

Layug said that in his "personal appreciation," the former president was drunk.

“Hindi ako doktor kaya 'di ko masabi kung may alcoholic breath, lasing o nakainom pero depende na sa appreciation ng mga nakakita sa kanyang mga ikinilos kung lasing siya o hindi,” he said.

Moreno and the five councilors were arrested for holding bingo games along Tambunting Street in Sta. Cruz, Manila, which police and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim claimed was illegal.

Moreno is the runningmate of Estrada in the upcoming mid-term elections. Estrada is running against Lim.

'Erap punched Morata'

Layug on Wednesday also insisted that Blumentritt precinct commander Insp. Ed Morata was repeatedly punched by Estrada during the inquest proceedings at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office.

Layug, who was present in the same room with Estrada, said Morata was hit on his arm bone near the wrist several times by the former president using his knuckles.

He also claimed hearing Morata say: "Huwag niyo po akong saktan. Nasasaktan na po ako eh... Malaki po ang paggalang ko sa inyo, huwag niyo po akong ganyanin, naka-uniporme po ako.”

Lim: Bingo games during wakes allowed

During the forum, Lim clarified that bingo games being held during wakes are allowed, given that the funds raised during the bingo event will be used for the burial expenses of the dead.

“Pero dapat hindi 'yung nakakasagabal sa kalsada at siguruhin niyo lang na may patay at hindi naman 'yung aabutin ng ilang linggo o isang buwan,” the mayor said.

Lim also assured the policemen of his full support should they face harassment charges for merely performing their duty of not allowing illegal gambling activities in their area.

He said Layug, Morata and some 30 policemen involved in the incident will be provided with legal assistance.