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Ronald Roy

At the Greenhills residence of my dear former President Joseph E. Estrada 3 weeks ago, the President’s reputation as a gracious and punctilious host, a natural wit, a doting grandfather, and a generous boss of household helpers did not surprise me why Filipino voters succumbed to his palpable patriarch-image in their search for a new president in 1998.

After four hours of excellent lunch, a breather and merienda cum churros con chocolate and native delicacies, he excused himself from his visitors and led me to his study room where I would get the answers I needed for an article. He said, “Before anything else, pare,I want you to take home this digital video disc, view it tonight, and give me your reaction tomorrow.” He gave four extra discs for me to hand out to friends.

The audio-visual material was labeled Destiny, a documentary film in full color on the political life of a duly elected president who was unconstitutionally evicted from office in 2001 by a treacherous member of his cabinet, then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and a horde of self-seeking political renegades. Hereunder are salient features of the President’s paraphrased exposition on why he may run for president in 2010 and, if so, what his program of government would be. In so many words, he said —

“I will run if the opposition fails to unite behind one candidate. My covenant with the people was unconstitutionally violated in 2001, and restoring it with an electoral win in 2010 will enable me to help return the sovereign power to the masses. Over the past nine years, the masses, comprising close to 80% of the population inclusive of the shrinking middle class, have increasingly lost attitude under the wings of a crippled democracy. Only this morning, I learned the Palace had issued to a majority of congressmen their marching orders to castrate the constitution with an unbridled one-chamber scheme to amend it as a constituent assembly. This would be a despicable betrayal of the public trust.

“They are not at all bothered by this open defiance of the sovereign will. What matters to them is that Mrs. Arroyo can avoid prosecution by clinging to power and that the greedy solons are recompensed with taxpayers’ money and possible term extensions. The culprit, the pork barrel system, has only managed to spawn a corrupt partnership between the chief executive and most legislators, thereby rendering almost lifeless an already maimed democracy. Should the electorate give me their mandate next year, I will give the Countryside Development Fund to the local governments for proper utilization.

“Food sufficiency and peace and order shall of course be among my top priorities. Kidnappings for ransom and carnappings, along with robberies with homicide and other violent felonies, were on the rise when I assumed the presidency in 1998. I challenged Panfilo Lacson to curb that crime wave, and he succeeded. That’s why I rewarded him with the position of Chief of the Philippine National Police. Then, when Gloria Arroyo usurped the presidency, the situation escalated to the level of abductions and summary executions of militants and media people.

“This virtually anarchic situation has hardly abated, so I will deal with it with the same decisiveness that slowed down the over 50 year old communist insurgency in Luzon and the Visayas, and crushed the over 30 year old secessionist Muslim insurrection in Mindanao. If you’ll remember, not even U.S. President Bill Clinton and Jaime Cardinal Sin could persuade me to recall my order for the bombardment of 46 MILF war camps. That’s how determined I was. After overthrowing me, Mrs. Arroyo called me a war freak and removed the camps from the military’s control. Look where it’s brought us now.

“No, I will never allow the Muslim secessionists’ dismemberment of the Republic under any circumstances. Hopefully, however, extreme measures can be avoided through peaceful development endeavors among Christians and Muslims. By the way, bringing the soldiers close to the people not only in Mindanao but elsewhere can be done by tapping their 60,000-strong manpower for community development projects. This way, we also cut costs.

“There are other things that need to be done within the framework of a comprehensive and unpretentious program of government. My program is so basic it will not need a genius for its implementation. Common sense will do, but a reliable set of advisers and executives in the cabinet is imperative. The new president must be guided by a vision of restoring the sovereign power in the hands of the masses. He must lead by example and demonstrate an inspiring blend of courage, integrity, hard work, selflessness and love of country. And, of course, a profound sense of destiny.”

Godspeed, Mr. President!

(Email: arnydolor@yahoo.com, cell # 09186449517, landline # (02)7106701)

Ms. Ninez Cacho-Olivarez

Publisher and editor-in-chief

Dear Ninez,

For your consideration, please, my interview with President Estrada. Thanks


Ronnie (Roy)

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