CHAVIT WANTS TO RECONCILE WITH ERAP BUT...

VIGAN CITY,  JUNE 23, 2004
(STAR) 
By Teddy Molina  —  Come-backing Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson has offered the hand of reconciliation to jailed former President Joseph Estrada.

During his 63rd birthday celebration here the other day which was graced by President Arroyo, Singson told reporters that reconciliation with Estrada is one of his birthday wishes.

"But the first move should come from his side," said Singson, largely credited for Estrada’s downfall after he exposed his alleged corrupt activities that led to his impeachment.

Estrada’s impeachment trial was aborted when majority of the senators voted against the opening of a second envelope that supposedly contained damaging evidence against Estrada. This ignited Edsa Dos that resulted in Estrada’s ouster.

"Mahirap naman kung ako ang lalapit baka mapahiya lang ako (It’s hard for me to make the first move, I might be rejected)," he said.

While Singson may appear tough, especially when he is wronged, he is widely known here to be forgiving.

"His capacity to forgive and forget is amazing," said Fidel Villanueva Jr. "Maybe that is the secret of his durability and popularity."

Singson has been in power since 1971 when he wrested the Ilocos Sur leadership from the politically entrenched Crisologos.

He defeated Carmeling Crisologo, his aunt and widow of Rep. Floro Crisologo, and became governor in 1971, a position he vacated when he became congressman in 1987.

He re-assumed the governorship in 1992 and held it until 2001. The three-term rule for elective officials forced him to take a respite from politics. He again ran for governor in the May 10 polls and won resoundingly.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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