Saturday, April 10, 2010

Erap for President. Take Two.

If experience is the sole consideration in choosing the next president of the Philippines, then Joseph "Erap" Estrada or Joseph Marcelo Ejercito would definitely fit the bill. No other candidate can claim that they have the experience to run the country than Erap. After all, he was the 13th elected president of the republic serving from 1998 until his ouster in the 2001 EDSA Revolution popularly known as “EDSA DOS.”

Even before he was elected by the majority in the 1998 National Elections, Erap also served as a mayor of San Juan for 17 years, one term as a senator and he served as a Vice President under the administration of Fidel V. Ramos.

Popularity and charisma are qualities that are going to the ex-president. There’s no doubt about it as he was a popular film actor before he dabbled into politics. He starred in over 100 films in a career spanning 33 years.

Erap’s presidency was inundated with allegations of corruption which spawned the impeachment trial in the Senate and reports of the existence of the ex-presidents’ “midnight cabinet” and his questionable lifestyle. “Midnight Cabinet” was the term used to describe his group of friends and other influence peddlers who get together in the late hours. He was sentenced for a plunder case filed against him but was pardoned by the sitting president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Despite the many criticisms heaped on the short-lived Erap Presidency, it is not without accomplishments. For one, Erap declared an “all-out-war” against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and successfully seized its headquarters and camps. There were also considerable efforts to improve the education system during his presidency one of which is the start of the Non-formal Education Accreditation and Equivalency program for dropouts and out-of-school youth and adults.

But now Erap is gunning for a second shot of the Presidency and he may just be the dark horse in this nine-cornered fight seeing as he is ranking third in most Presidential surveys coming out and the two leading candidates are out to destroy each other.

Did you ever stop to think why Erap is still enjoying strong support from some Filipinos even after he was ousted from the presidency and sentenced for plunder?
Aside from his charisma and his pro-poor stance, there may be other reasons why some people would still go all out for Erap. It may be true that Erap has been constantly helping poor people; giving dole out even without media frenzy and even during his incarceration.

My questions are “Do we have a shortage of leaders in the Philippines that we keep on prodding the same person or a member of a political clan to run for elective posts?” “What is so special about Erap that he deserves a second shot at the presidency?”

Why can’t he give others a chance to run the country? Let him go back to his home and sit on his laurels, if there’s any. He had his chance to lead the nation and I believe that he blew it. I don’t care if the cases filed against him were fabricated or if his plunder case was tried unfairly, the fact that there were serious allegations of corruption against him and that he was forced to vacate his mandate only means that he had failed the test. He sure received a lot of opposition but he was unsuccessful in containing these. He failed to unite the country and in fact in his watch I witnessed the most divisive administration in my lifetime. I can still remember myself spending hours in TV watching the impeachment trial, inundated by various propagandas from opposing camps. Now the questions are “Can we stand another six years of his presidency?” “How can we be so sure that he will do better this time?”

Honestly, I don’t want to think about it. I am still hoping and praying that the Filipinos will do better in this election. Please, I don’t want this country to be the laughing stock of the rest of the world. Wala ba talaga tayong kadala dala?

It is time for us to learn from our mistakes and stop allowing people to take advantage of us repeatedly. There is a fitting American Idiom that I would like you to ponder about: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Think about it.


Rochelle@mom-says said...

Ay sinabi mo. Wala tayong kadala-dala. I don't know if it's just lack of adequate information to be able to come up with a sound decision or talagang may amnesia tayo kaya we tend to forget history.Sana madala na tayo this time.

Recel said...

great post Leomar! :)

lira said...

I would definitely vote for Erap, unfortunately, I am coming home 3 days after the election. My dad and siblings are Erap voters but my mother is Noy's.

I opt Erap because he is the only President I know who gave much attention to the Mindanaoans (since my birth).

By the way, I like you blog. Been trying to post comments before but I had trouble with my browser.

Leomar said...

Thanks for the visit, Rochelle. Sana nga madala na tayo.

Leomar said...

Thanks, Recel.

Leomar said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Lira. I appreciate it.


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