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What the survey and ERAP told me

What the survey and ERAP told me
Ronald Roy  -January 3, 2008

       To start off the new year, let’s do a “survey” in the form of a little game called YES or NO. I’ll be asking 20 questions, to each of which you’ll be answering yes or no. the queries refer to such matters of public knowledge that you’ll find them a cakewalk that won’t be needing a sheet of paper for your score. I expect most of you to tally a perfect 20 out of 20. Warning: some questions are trickily worded the way some surveys are. We begin.

       1. Is Gloria an extravagant elbow-rubbing jetsetter?
       2. Is Gloria the most pathetic paranoiac in government?
       3. Do you agree the Palace squatter is not a megalomaniac?
       4. Is Gloria a brazen-faced liar?
       5. Is Gloria reputed to be the most corrupt president on record?
       6. Do you agree Gloria is not the brassiest cover-up president our country’s ever had?
       7. Is Gloria the most devious manipulator of press freedom?
       8. Do you agree Gloria is not a sassy commander in chief?
       9. Is Gloria the most generous briber on record?
       10.  Is Gloria kind to her political enemies?
       11.  Does Gloria brush her dentures everyday?
       12.  Is Gloria’s mole the most beautiful in town?
       13.  Is it true that Gloria has prohibited the flatulent Serge Apostol from sitting beside her at all their meetings?
       14.  They say Gloria does not steal. Do you agree?
       15.  Some people say the FG is an unfaithful husband. True?
       16.  Does Gloria’s voice raise questions about her gender?
       17.  Do you believe all the Pidal accounts can still be retrieved?
       18.  Do most people think Gloria waddles like a duck?
       19.  Does Gloria have short fat legs?
       20.  Is it true Gloria has agreed to pose in a bikini?

       The answers: 1. Yes 2. Yes. 3. No 4. Yes 5. Yes 6. No 7. Yes 8. No   9. Yes 10. No 11. Yes 12. No 13. No 14. No 15. Yes 16. Yes 17. No 18. No 19. Yes 20. No  Ratings: 18-20 correct answers, EXCELLENT; 15-17, VERY GOOD; 8-14, GOOD; 3-7. FAIR; 2, respondents must be citizens of the Republic of Maguindanao or Cebu. Well, readers, is there a higher note on which to commence the new year, that a smashing proof of Gloria’s umpopularity?! Incidentally, my reaction to query #20 is HAHAHAPPY NEW YEAR!

       I confirm the blaring headlines of Dec. 30 that former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada (ERAP) might “feel forced” to run for President in 2010 if scattered opposition forces fail to unite to choose a common opposition candidate. I was practically already home in Quezon City, having come from Makati, when my cell phone rang at 11 in the evening of Dec. 25. It was Erap asking me to turn back and join him for a “reunion” in a bistro along Reposo St. My son Judd was with him when I arrived ahead of Ricky Recto. Believe it or not, I had not seen him in close to 9 years until that night. His phone rang at an average of twice every 15 minutes, and each time he didn’t reveal his whereabouts but promised he would be with the caller some other time. Erap and I, as ever, spoke in the vernacular.

       Explaining that he had mellowed a great deal, he now drank only red wine and was now comfortable with smaller groups. The only exception was when he and his doctor-wife, Loi, would schedule a medical sortie in a town or city where being mobbed by the masa was never at all a discomfort, or when he would host a lunch or dinner at his Polk St. residence in San Juan for his friends who always came in droves. I stopped seeing him when he was elected Vice President, as it had never been in my nature to hover around public officials in the first place. I didn’t realize Erap felt bad over my having “snubbed” him for so many years. “Even in my years of detention at Tanay, you never came to visit. Sit down beside me and partake of excellent cakes and red wine.”

       He continued, “Now I know how it feels to be abandoned by some friends and political allies when you’re out of power. Save for your Tribune writings every Friday, I would have thought you were just one of them. In fact I know you write pro-bono, which makes you a proven special friend. XXX There is nothing in the pardon document that prevents me from running again. That is my opinion. I’m not nursing any plans, and yet they’re already beginning to panic. XXX Gloria says she’ll leave the presidency in 2010, and that’s fine with me. But if she goes for the parliamentary system (where she will surely get herself elected Prime Minister), I will personally lead the street marches to prevent this act of treachery and deception.”

       Erap didn’t mince his words when he said he would personally lead street marches, because he said them with a deep scowl. Ever the gracious host, he saw me off to the door, an arm slung over my shoulders and our hands held in a tight clasp. I saw the same scowl when he bade me, “Take care and see you around. Whether our country will have a happy and prosperous new year is all up to her.” I turned around, waved at Judd and Ricky, and hobbled out into the parking lot. As I drove home, the words “happy and prosperous new year is all up to her” remained ringing in my ears, the scowl etched as well in my mind.

       I’m positive Erap would agree to lead those street marches only if people had the political will to spill out into the streets, or demonstrated the resolve to scream out the thoughts of Calvin Coolidge that “After order and liberty, economy is one of the highest essentials of a free government…(and that) economy is always a guarantee of peace.” And we shouldn’t at all be surprised that hunger and other social inequities over the land are the common gripe of such ideologues as Josef Stalin, Jose Ma. Sison, and others. What I’m saying is: because the economy is essentially mass-based, just as its solutions should therefore be, socio-economic reforms are largely up to us, not singly to Gloria. It is therefore hoped that it is in this spirit that, now roused from the intoxicating revelry four nights ago, we take stock of ourselves and let Erap, or whomever the Lord has chosen, to put an end to Gloria’s incompetent and corrupt management of the economy.

       For the past seven miserable years, this woman has closed out the previous year to welcome the coming year with the same boring panegyrics of self-praise, followed by promises of “bigger things to come” now calculated in the mind-blowing neighborhood of hundreds of billions of pesos. The swifter we have moved toward 2010, indeed, the faster she has relinquished control to local and foreign crony organizations over our country’s patrimonial resources. Scuttlebutt has it right now that they’re cooking up something at the Department of Education. Hmmm, will Sec. Jesli Lapus blow the whistle, or be at the vortex of yet another scandal?

       We now move forward with just two more items. Former Sen. President Frank Drilon, highest ranking personality of a fractured Liberal Party, must still be reeling from political limbo that he now imagines an Erap ploy to ensure a Manny Villar-Jinggoy Estrada tandem for president and vice-president. That’s what happens when one speaks from limbo. Also, equally curious is another statement coming from Mr. Romulo Makalintal, principal adviser on electoral matters for principal electoral cheat GMA, chiding all senatorial wannabes for advancing their ambitions instead of pushing for electoral reforms. Mr. Makalintal, the only electoral reform that we need is Gloria’s ouster from office and prosecution for all her electoral and other high crimes.

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