Members of a group called “Erap for 2010 President Movement” headed by certain Vince Avena reportedly pooled their money to print “ERAP 2010” stickers. The stickers are for nationwide distribution aimed to convince the Filipino people to support Erap’s presidential bid in the 2010 elections.
In Philippine Star report, Vince Avena said, “[t]o bring him (Estrada) back is to correct the wrong that we have suffered at the hands of anti-poor people. I am just an ordinary citizen who wants to help the Filipino people” The same report quoted Avena saying, “[a] true leader must have a true love for the masses, love for the people. We produced quite a number of ERAP 2010 stickers to campaign for his return to power. The ERAP for 2010 president movement is initiated by a group of friends who believe that Erap is the man we need to lift our country from poverty.”
Can aspire but cannot run
Mr. Estrada is not eligible for re-election.
[The] 1987 Constitution Article VII Section 4. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years xxx. The President shall not be eligible for any re-election xxx.
Mr. Estrada had been elected once as a president and thus not capable of being re-elected again as the president. More so that the none completion of his term is not caused by circumstances that is beyond his control. The Supreme Court in Estrada vs. Desierto on March 2, 2001 ruled that Mr. Estrada resigned. He voluntarily abandoned the presidency. It was his will and own volition to heed the call of the greater population for him to leave the office of the president. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service.
Following the idea of the proponents of Mr. Estrada’s re-election will put us in a situation wherein, just to extend terms or service a president will resign at the final year of his term in order for him to be eligible to run for presidency again for the next election. Aren’t we exposing ourselves to the danger from which the constitution has sought to protect us from?
“He can always aspire, but he cannot run,” Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez told the press as reported by The Manila Times. Gonzalez, cited the present constitution as “the main stumbling block” of Erap. This supports the opinion of Ethelbert.
I share the same opinion. Joseph Estrada, who has been proven guilty of plunder, cannot run and should not run as president in 2010.
I remember. Help me remember these.
- In his presidential campaign (1998 Presidential Election), Joseph Estrada capitalized on the campaign slogan, Erap para sa Mahirap (Erap for the poor). When he became the president, the poor became poorer.
- During his presidency, Estrada assailed the Philippine Daily Inquirer (in 1999) for being “bias” which prompted advertising boycott. It resulted to sharp criticism from international press freedom watchdogs. Erap suppressed press freedom through extreme pressure.
- Estrada’s Chief of Staff Aprodicio Laquian reported (2000) [please see Estrada’s chief of staff quits] that Estrada allegedly “spent long hours drinking with shady characters as well as midnight drinking sessions with some of his cabinet members during meetings”. This created national clamor and prompted many Filipinos to ask questions about what kind of president we have in Malacañang.
- Ilocos governor Luis “Chavit” Singson told (October 2000) that he had personally given Estrada the sum of 400 million pesos as payoff from illegal gambling profits, as well as 180 million pesos from the government price subsidy for the tobacco farmers’ marketing cooperative. Corrupt president?
- The House of Representatives passed the articles of impeachment against Joseph Estrada, November 13, 2000. Estrada was the first Philippine President to be impeached.
- Armed Forces of the Philippines withdrawn (January 19, 2001) its support from Estrada and transfered its allegiance to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The day after, the Supreme Court declared that the seat of presidency was vacant. Arroyo swore as new president. Estrada and his family evacuated from Malacañang.
- Sandiganbayan (on September 12, 2007) found Estrada guilty of plunder and not guilty on his perjury case. Justice prevails.
- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (on October 25, 2007) granted executive clemency to Joseph Estrada based on the recommendation by the Department of Justice. For national reconciliation or GMA’s political maneuver, I ask.
Now, we are reminded.
I believe I have, we have, enough reasons to say, never again for Joseph Estrada. I have no personal grudges against the former president but I think it is just for me to say “never again” for Estrada.
It is the right of Vince Avena and his “Erap for 2010 President Movement” to distribute the stickers. I will not call them to stop the signature campaign for Estrada’s presidential bid. It is not just and right to do so.
But I call everyone to think many times. I will not question what your opinion and decision might be.
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!