Archive for the ‘Erap’ Category

Cory’s Apology And Our Inutility

December 24, 2008


When former President Cory Aquino apologized to former President Erap Estrada for her participation in the so-called EDSA II, which her spokesperson later said was made in jest, initially I cannot make heads or tails out of it. But mulling about it I think she was really serious about it and it seems the “clarification” of the spokesperson was just an attempt in damage control. Because mmediately after the apology, a firestorm of criticism emanating from former allies battered the former President who is not known for making jokes.

I cannot make sense of the criticism directed at Cory from the likes of Sen. Gordon, Archbishop Cruz and her own son Noynoy. First of all, if a person wants to issue a mea culpa it is his or her full right to do so. Anyway, nobody is yet suggesting that the former President’s mental faculties are already impaired. And to me a person battling for her life (she is stricken with cancer) and who has no political ambitions is even more credible.

But maybe those who reacted are a bit insecure now about their historical role in EDSA II or simply they are being self-righteous about it.

There was a wide consensus among the educated then that Erap was a bit inept, obviously undisciplined and he lets some friends make deals when he was President. But to depose Erap in such a way when there were legal avenues open and there were no insinuations that Erap was throttling the legal remedies (unlike the current occupier of Malacanang) subsequently became the bone of contention.

EDSA II never really gained widespread acceptance (Erap still had a positive trust rating when he was deposed and the poor never really accepted his fall as evidenced by the so-called EDSA III; moreover, it was just a Manila event). Even in the international plane, world leaders and personalities never praised EDSA II and it even drew criticisms. Probably EDSA II even demeaned EDSA I. As evidences seeped out, more and more it looks liked a simple power grab by an oppurtunistic clique who was able to con the educated class and a the same time a mutiny on the part of the military.

The power grab resulted not in a better government but in a more corrupt, shameless and abusive regime. And a Pandora’s box was opened–that extra-constitutional means of regime change is possible and can be legalized by a complicit Supreme Court. I think Cory is aware of this and I think this is the foundation of her change of heart regarding her EDSA II participation.

Most of the other political allies of Cory are still silent about her apology. Are they this deferent to Cory or is this silence a tacit admission that they themselves have already doubts about the rightness of their participation in EDSA II?

To widen the view, let us take note that notable ESDA II participants like former Senate President Villar and former Vice-President Guingona has already made peace with Erap. I think Cory’s move is along this line. The only difference is that Cory has probably the guts to make her apologies public and for this she drew flak.

The ignominy right now is not Cory’s apology. It is just like making a mountain out of a molehill. Our current ignominy resides in the situation where we have a regime geometrically worse than Erap’s and yet we cannot do anything about it. And that “stellar” gathering where Cory made her apology is just the final proof of our current inutility.

[Photo credit:alaykayresilmojares]

I Was Not Surprised When Erap Was Deposed In 2001

November 28, 2008


I was not surprised when Erap was deposed in 2001 by the supposed “EDSA II”. I got an inkling of it way back in 2000.

Filipinos invariably talk about elections. In a gathering in Ibalon in 2000 there was a talk of who will probably succeed Erap after the 2004 elections. Of course the majority said that Gloria is the frontrunner being the sitting Vice-President and a former topnotcher in Senate elections. The somebody shot back, “What made you think Erap will finish his term”.

The person was close to some powers as is some of the other members. “What is the lesson of EDSA?” The same person answered the question, “The military is pivotal“.

That set me thinking. And watching.

Soon the “I Accuse” speech of Sen. Guinnago came out. Next came the Villar “touchdown”. Afterwards, the impeachment melodramas in the Senate that was broadcast live nationwide. After that, “Itsa Dos”.

A friend asked me why I was not high on Gloria (like most of the educated then). Told him I lived in Iligan City and “isinusuka sila doon ng tao“. Gloria spent her early years there. It was the place where her mother practiced medicine and it is where their true ancestral house in located (not in Pampanga unlike what most people supposes).

I asked a relative why. “Masama ang ugali. Manggagamit“. And it is said that the place where one came from knows the person best.

The person added, “Gloria never forgot the humiliation of her father. She idolized him.” I didn’t know then if the words were a warning to me.

And that got me thinking of the Harry Stonehill case and the subsequent canning of then Secretary of Justice Jose Diokno.

“Think of it, mga padi. If Gloria succeeds Erap in 2001 and wins in 2004, that is 10 years. Lot of time to really do something”.

But I don’t think now that the person really knew then how black Gloria’s bones are.