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Erap will be back on the saddle by command performance

November 1, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Erap will be back on the saddle by command performance
Ronald Roy  -November 1, 2007

       Dr. Jon Ibañez, Deputy Secretary General of the Professional Academicians for a Righteous Government, sent me a text query if “PJEE is cooperating with the corrupt regime…it is causing confusion to people.” Well, Dr. Ibañez, if I sit ten people around an urn standing on the floor, and ask them what I think of it, they will most likely give ten different interpretations of the object. However, because the situation covered by your question, being political, is necessarily addressed to Filipinos who are naturally diverse in political persuasions and biases, expect that even the most rabid followers of former President Joseph E. Estrada, may disagree with one another. Some will be disenchanted, feeling their hero has abandoned them. Others will stay by his side, for better or worse. Frankly, I think there is no cause for worry either way.

       But because you asked me, I’ll give you my answer based on personal knowledge of a friend I have known for 45 years. Joseph has always spoken the language of the masses whom he enjoys mingling with, calling all strangers and friends “pare” and older folk “po” or “ho”. When reversing vernacular syllables came into vogue, such that for instance “hindi” became “dehins” and “kotse” became “tsekots”, Joseph coined “erap”, and used it to address his friends and even strangers. He loves to cook, sing and crack jokes at his own expense just to make people laugh.

       I once saw Mayor Estrada on an N. Domingo sidewalk castigating a known neighborhood bully for having tripped a kid. Erap ordered a cop to arrest the hefty bully; he then reentered his vehicle after he gave the bootblack-child a coin or two. So, in reel as in real life, ERAP’s reputation as a defender of the oppressed grew, not to mention other endearing traits that kept open his doors for people, especially the poor, to enter in need of help. Erap almost always interacted with others with his heart, rather with his intellect, and I guess this is one outstanding virtue that sets him apart from other Palace occupants. Another one of Erap’s traits is his wide-eyed simplicity that people find alluring and disarming. He does have a knack for making others feel “at home” with him. He is, indeed, a natural politicker so unlike the dime-a-dozen tradpoles, whom Erap calls plastic, who pick up and kiss dirty-faced babies in the streets while doing the campaign trail, Erap has always seen government corruption as the main reason poor families will continue to see less food on the table and buy less medicine for the household.

       When he declares he may be a lot of things but never a plunderer, I believe him. Let me just put it this way: it is in Erap’s unsophisticated nature to thank his tormentor for her grant of executive clemency, what with a critically ailing mother and an extended detention of another 10 years staring him in the face with a virtually zero chance of the guilty verdict being reversed. I don’t blame him for signing the pardon document. The poor fellow had no choice. The fact that he was once again outfoxed and outmaneuvered makes him now an even bigger underdog than ever in the eyes of the innumerable masses. Time will prove— and that’s going to be real soon— Erap’s heart that beats for the common tao will nail the national leadership hands down, juxtaposed with Gloria’s ingenuity that corrupts for her own survival.

       Reader #8117 seems discouraged that, in a post-GMA scenario, “we will have to contend with a new set of vultures.” What is quite clear from the tenor of the text message is an allusion to the conundrum of endemic corruption in our society. Truth to tell, there are neither quick answers nor solutions that can be seen coming from any specific sector or combination of sectors in our society.

       Even Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr., ever the solutional pundit, must admit that his vision of a corruption-free Philippines by 2010 (that year again) is pure poppycock. Immorality can be extirpated from our lives only by jugular means— given the time frame of about three years. Come on, Mr. Speaker, you must be dreaming. But if you’re willing to sit through the coming generations (maybe 80 years?) you could yet see your fantasy coming true.

       Like what I’ve repeatedly written the past few years, the small woman will never, never resign!! It is not my purpose to douse cold water on ongoing plans to press for the resignation of Gloria and Noli, or the calling for a snap presidential election. I know a manifesto is doing the rounds for that purpose, but rather than waste our time affixing our signatures thereto, I suggest we all sit back and reflect that, without suspending the Constitution to demolish the monstrous monolith (all the corrupt institutions of government), our entire race will perish just like the decadent, ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

       And the only way to suspend the Constitution is to allow a revolutionary regime to be led by a junta or a civilian council. Now, the question being asked is whether these new revolutionary leaders will be “a new set of vultures”. Personally, I’m willing to take a chance, particularly if Erap is installed as the Chairman of either the junta or the council, as the case may be. This thesis is a personal one, but it seems to jell with Erap’s declaration that “it’s the people, the poor sector which is the largest part of our society, who should choose and decide who they want to run or replace the government, not the few elitists and the churchmen.”

       Can you imagine the awesome magnitude of the poor sector taking control of our country’s fate? Can’t you hear their words: “This is our country, and this is all we’ve got?!” What force would dare defy the ringing threat of the highest authority except, of course, divine intervention?! But certainly I don’t see the Lord keeping the diabolic despot in an office that never was hers in the first place. President Erap remains as the opposition’s rallying point, a political figure larger than he even probably never imagined.

       So, my unsolicited advice to Mayor Jojo Binay and other doubters in the opposition is not to rush him, and just to trust him, because he is a just and reasonable man. At the same time many quarters suggest a shift of support to Sen. Trillanes for the top post. I disagree. Not yet. The senator is still too inexperienced to run the affairs of government, although he could easily qualify for a part of Erap’s governing team.

       I am not saying that political leadership is Erap’s for the asking, because he need not even seek it. It is our poor people comprising the bulk of the sovereign masses who have chosen him to return to power and, whether he likes it or not, Erap will be back on the saddle by command performance.

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