Deja Vu: Erap for President, Gloria for Vice President

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo might run as Vice President in 2010! Ten years ago, in 1998, Arroyo ran as vice president and got  a landslide victory!

Earlier, former President Joseph Ejercito “Erap” Estrada declared that he will run as president in 2010. Ten years ago, in 1998, Erap ran as vice president and got a landslide victory!

It was the third election where both president and vice president came from different parties. Erap was running under Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Gloria’s party was Lakas-NUCD-UMDP and Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).

Shall we have the fourth election where both president and vice president came from different parties? Shall we have Erap again in Malacanang? Shall we have both Erap and Gloria again?

Hold on, there is no serious talk about it yet in Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Representative Danilo Suarez, a senior deputy general of the party admitted as reported by Sun Star. But why he is talking about it to media. Is he trying to test the water?

Never again! This was the cry right after martial law. I don’t know if we say this after Erap and Gloria.

President Arroyo is rumored to run in congress. Many of her critics are believing that she will really run.

Yesterday, as the president once again visited her hometown in Pampanga, a breaking news that the President might run as Vice President circulated and got mixed reactions.

Let Erap run. Let Gloria run. If both of them got elected again, that’s another story.

Erap back to the Palace?

Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada eat his words. He told the nation that he will not seek elective position again. He assured that his participation in politics is meant to unite to opposition. However, he threaten to run if the opposition failed to unite.

Now, Erap is positioning himself for 2010. And he and his cohorts are determined that he will get back to Malacañang.

While other presidential aspirants spend millions for their radio and TV infomercial and spend a lot of time politicking to get media mileage, Erap follow a different trail. Erap goes to countryside through his ‘lakbay pasasalamat’.

Lakbay pasasalamat is not just an act of gratitude but an obvious early political campaign. Recently in Cebu, Erap even started to endorse candidates.

Indicators are clear. Erap will run in presidential battle in 2010. Earlier, I wrote that Erap can aspire but cannot run. I still stand on that. But the question if Erap can run or not will still be subject to long legal battle. No one can foretell what the opinion of Supreme Court on this.

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Cory apologizes to Erap: EDSA II a mistake

With due respect to former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, I’d like to tell her straight that she did MAJOR lapses of judgment when she asked forgiveness from ousted president and plunder-guilty, Joseph “Erap” Estrada and saying that EDSA 2 was a mistake.

Cory apologized to Erap for helping civil society oust him in January 2001, although Erap had been convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan.

I am disappointed and saddened with Cory’s apology. Many of us who supported with the movement to oust Erap feel sad with Cory’s remarks made in public. No, I was not in Edsa in 2001. I was in Cebu that time but by principle, I did support and made my voice counted in Cebu’s Fuente Osmena circle. I have no regrets that I did it.

After hearing Cory’s apology, the civil society groups expressed that they have no regrets.

Cory’s remark was a public relations disaster. She was actually putting her credibility at risk. Now, getting hints from people’s reaction, Cory’s camp now claim that Cory was just making jokes.  Was it really intended to illicit laughter from an audience composed of highly-respected personality? I doubt. Cory really mean it.

I totally disagree Cory’s opinion that Edsa 2 was a mistake. It was right to oust an incompetent president. I was right to oust a leader who corrupted. Remember, Erap was guilty of plunder. That was just one proof. If Estrada continue to led the Philippines, we could have suffered more.

I am not saying that Gloria being the successor of Erap. It was the ouster of Erap that save us. Now, who needs to say sorry?

Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s role in 2010

Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada and his men insisted that he can still run for president in 2010.

Estrada, who was convicted of plunder but granted clemency and not made to serve his 40-year sentence, insisted that he could still join the presidential derby since his “civil and political rights were fully restored” when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pardoned him last year, Inquirer.net report reads.

Is the ousted president still qualified to run as president? It might not safe for me to answer so let us listen to what the Supreme Court says if someone contest his candidacy.

As Erap Estrada observes, the opposition seems at crisis in endorsing one presidential and vice-presidential candidate in 2010. Several members of the opposition expressed their intention to run as president. Among them, no one likely concedes.

Taking this as hint, Erap told reporters that he might run as president in 2010 if the opposition leaders fail to unify and field a single standard-bearer.

In Inquirer.net report,  Erap said, if the opposition will not unite, that will be my last option — I might run. I will unify the people.

Erap may have strongly believe that he is a unifying element for the opposition. Erap confidently declare that he still has the people’s support thus has big chance to win.

The former president might have strong faith but some of his beliefs are nothing but a wild imagination.

What are the business of Erap in 2010?

One. I don’t see any hint that Estrada can unify the opposition. There is no such thing as united opposition. Everyone is opposing its other by virtue of presonal motives.

Two. Erap still has cinematic effect to people but getting a crowd –  cheering, shouting, admiring, do not always become votes.

Three. I the COMELEC allow former President Estrada to run, most likely, someone will surface and challenge it in Court.

Four. If the Court fails to decide on time, I see two scenarios. If Estrada won and the court invalidate his candidacy, I see another street-based action. If Estrada fail to get people’s support and the court invalidate his candidacy, Erap and his men will likely rant and ask people to act on streets.

I see that Erap’s role in 2010 will be more of antagonism and bring chaos rather than unifying the Filipino people.

No Pardon, Please

I can’t get over my disappointment with President Arroyo’s pardon to convicted former President Joseph Estrada. I insist, Estrada must serve his sentence in jail. I insist that the years spent by Estrada in Veterans Memorial Medical Center and in his rest house in Tanay were not sufficient penalty for the crime he committed.

Another disappointing move is running in Philippine political arena. Now, military officials and top government officials are calling for a pardon for nine convicted 2003 Oakwood coup plotters (Magdalo mutineers) who were sentenced to 12 to 40 years for their crime. The call for pardon surfaced even before the court decision. How sad.

I stand on my strong opposition to this pardon as I strongly oppose GMA’s pardon to Erap.

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Erap in 2010: Aspire but cannot run

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.”

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People Power, Call for Change

The call for truth can be translated into the desire for change. Some want to have an abrupt change. However, silent majority prefer a change through a peaceful process.

We all want change. Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life, says Alvin Toffler.

But change cannot be done overnight. It is a process – a long process. It seems there are those who just can’t wait. There are many who noisily chant for change yet failed to initiate change within themselves.

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