When the first few issues of this 16-page black-and-white newsmagazine in tabloid format came out, trying to buy a copy of it in the newsstands in the afternoon would leave one wishing he or she had gone there earlier.

As Pinoy Times Special Edition continue to gain fame for its fearless reporting on the Jueteng-gate controversy, the readers came to know better — they have a better chance at getting a copy if they came in the morning.

The newsmagazine has reached a circulation higher than that of the Inquirer. Its third issue — which featured the houses of President Estrada’s wife and mistresses — sold about 300,000 copies.

Pinoy Times President Eugenia Apostol in her letter to readers in the first issue of the Special Edition, said: “Ngayong sumabog na ang Juetenggate, tingin naming ay kailangan ang isang special edition para masiguradong kumpleto ang coverage naming tungkol sa iskandalong ito, para na rin sa kapakanan ng mga mambababasa. [Now that the Juetenggate controversy has exploded, we think it is necessary to come out with this special edition to ensure complete coverage of this scandal, for the sake of our readers”.]

Published weekly, the Special Edition comes out every Saturday. It features articles on the events and personalities involved in Jueteng-gate, the impeachment process and the resign-impeach-oust Estrada movement, as well as information about Estrada’s mansions. It also runs a series of feature articles on the Estrada mistresses and publishes pictures of personalities given imaginary humorous lines in text balloons and captions, along with spoofs of songs on Estrada.

As of this writing, six issues of the Special Edition have already been published. On its first issue, on the cover was Jueteng-gate whistle-blower Gov. Luis Singson. That issue also featured, among others, interviews with Singson and his wife; features about Former President Corazon Aquino and Jaime Cardinal Sin, major figures in the resign-impeach-oust Estrada; a PCIJ story and the start of the series of pictures and articles on Estrada’s many houses.

Issue number 3, with the cover story “Libreng Pabahay ni Erap (Erap’s Free Housing Project”) so far the most popular, has pictures of First Lady Loi Ejercito and presidential mistress Guia Gomez and their houses, with price tags attached to them. The fourth and sixth issues introduced to the public presidential mistresses Rowena Lopez and Joy Melendres.

Sold for P6 each, the Special Edition has become favorite reading matter during protest rallies. Its growing readership base also extends to the Internet with some of its articles featured in Resign-Estrada sites and circulated in email discussion groups.

And yes, its followers need not wake up early on Saturdays. The paper is now available on weekdays as well.


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