Monday, July 9, 2007

Erap Estrada

Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada has been in jail since he was deposed 6 years ago. He stands accused of plunder, a capital offense and the verdict is expected any day now. Estrada remains very popular and continues to be seen by many as the true friend of the poor. Even if Estrada clearly enriched himself while in office he will most likely be acquitted or immediately pardoned in the remote chance of a conviction due to the upheaval that will follow if he is punished. That’s how justice is in the Philippines.

Erap should be accused of squander. He had that rarest, historic opportunity to do great things for the country and he royally blew it. He would gamble with friends until dawn and he irresponsibly left the affairs of state to all sorts of characters and political operatives. One quality a developing country can’t afford in a leader is sloth. Whatever their deficiencies, Cory, FVR and GMA were all hard workers. Estrada on the other hand wasted his enormous political capital because he simply didn’t care. How else do you explain behavior that ignores healthcare and education while continuing to lead a reckless life of debauchery? He continued to see his many mistresses on a round-robin system while children all over the country were becoming stunted from chronic malnutrition. He continued gambling and drinking while the educational system deteriorated. He is said to have sired another child while under detention.

Many will attest to the extraordinary charisma of Erap Estrada. Many will swear that you will never meet a more amiable person than Estrada and I believe them all. It only makes Erap Estrada even guiltier of letting his country down.

Our country invested a sacred trust in Erap Estrada and he clearly did not deliver. I don’t think neither remorse nor regret is punishment enough.

6 comments:

L. Gonzales said...

Oh no, oh no. To think that ERAP would be pardoned, if adjudged guilty, would undermine justice as we know it and would make President Arroyo a poltroon and a laughing caricature. That would lead, I think, to more lawlessness.

The fact ERAP is popular and still commands loyalty from his followers
is no reason to drop the balll here. He should be sentenced commensurate with his crimes, period. The idea of even pardoning him is so execrable.

If, as Martin predicts that would happen, then I think Filipinos should rise in rebellion and demand that President Arroyo be impeached. Her obligation to citizens is to see that justice is meted out, not to gloss it over with a pardon.

We will be waiting.

Jaywalker said...

Martin,

I have given Ang Kapatiran together with you, Adrian and Jess the power of schmooze award for daring to be different and offering hope to Philippine society in the field of politics.

rey said...

If they cannot convict the Marcoses whose plunder is incomparable, I doubt they would do anything with Erap.

Tito Cesar said...

The crime of plunder was legislated into law before Marcos' time; besides you cannot run after Marcos, the principal offender,who was long dead.

Erap and his fanatics have the illusion that the success of the GO senatorial candidates was a display of support for Erap. The reality it was more a reflection of displeasure towards GMA’s unwise political decisions than anything else. Most of those who voted for the GOs are the same people who have valid reasons to oppose GMA but have greater reasons and common sense not to support Erap or the widely known Erap-financed coup attempts to topple GMA or even answer their call for “people power” against her. If found guilty, the Erap rabble rousers can do their worst. Except for the handful leftist communist supporters who will be there to give support as usual, they cannot get the people out in the streets.

Anonymous said...

One reason why the oust GMA move is not progressing is because many of the prime movers are known Erap stalwarts. Many from the middle class don't like GMA, but tend to dislike a return to "Erap times".

Erap is guilty in more ways than one, and must be convicted and made to pay for his crime if this country is ever going to move forward.

Anonymous said...

Erap is past, gloria is the present but they did not deliver. Bayani is the future and our hope. Yes Mr. Fernando, you are my man. Implement the laws to the fullest as they are the solution to our problems. Anarchy reigns because laws are wantonly disregarded and nobody cares to implement it. Jail all lawbreakers, even your family members and kamaganaks and we are all behind you for the sake of our nation. Built first detention centers to accommodate all those hard headed law breakers as I am sure they will be filled to the rafters. I am wondering why a Pinoy in Singapore, in Japan, in USA and around the world follows the laws of the land, it is because they are definite to be in jailed if they break the law. Let every Pinoy feel the same when thay are in their native country. Good luck to you Mr. Fernando, you are in the right track compare to those maka masa kuno, as if the masa is the only citizen in this country.