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Tessie Oreta: Sorry for 'dancing queen' episode


Administration senatorial candidate Teresa Aquino Oreta formally apologized to the nation for dancing during the aborted impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada on Januray 17, 2001 in her new campaign ad that popped up Friday on primetime TV, GMA’s Saksi reported early Saturday. The impeachment trial bogged down when prosecutors walked out after the pro-Estrada majority in the Senate voted to block the opening of the second envelope allegedly containing evidence against the actor-turned politician. Oreta, then an ally of the Estrada administration, danced in rejoice at the Senate session hall, earning the derisive moniker "dancing queen." Oreta’s new ad opened with a female voice-over asking: “Tessie, tapatan tayo. Bakit ka nag-dancing queen? (Tessie, let’s be frank. Why did you dance like a dancing queen?)" "Malaking pagkakamali yung ginawa kong iyon (That was a big mistake)," Oreta confesses in reply to the question. “Gusto kong humingi ng patawad (I beg for forgiveness.)" Oreta shed tears later in the commercial as she admitted that she acted improperly and hurt many people during the infamous event. The walkout sparked the People Power 2 and led to the downfall of Estrada. Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was installed president on January 20, 2001. "Ngunit siguro sa mga pagkakamali, doon tayo bumabangon (But perhaps when we committed mistakes, that’s when we become better)," she said as her commercial went on. According to the comebacking senator, she herself conceptualized the new campaign ad, saying that it was time to give closure on the matter. "I was so [ab]used and maligned over national TV [then], so I want also to say my piece [this time] on nationwide scale. I [believe] this was the best occasion because [candiates are free to] put up [TV] ads," Oreta said. She said her friends did not approve of the commercial, but she said she ignored them and followed her conscience, fully aware that it might fuel criticisms. "It’s a load off my chest and I am not afraid," said Oreta who ranked 22nd in the latest Social Weather Stations poll survey. She denied the ad was meant to boost her ranking. “Whether this will have a result for [the] May 14 [polls]…good or not good, but one thing is clear to me—I wanted it (dancing queen controversy) out," Oreta said. Estrada’s son San Juan Mayor Joseph Victor Ejercito criticized Oreta’s ad as mere publicity stunt. He said he is doubtful that the ad would touch the hearts of voters. - GMANews.TV