But I guess there is something Gloria never had. When Erap talked, he had that sincere aura about him. During the hearing, he was asked whether his testimony will be delivered in English or Filipino. He answered he’d do it in Filipino but quickly explained he could speak in English too. Everyone laughed. I guess his reply made everybody’s day in court.
Awhile back, my friend and I were chatting about Erap and Gloria and how they match up to each other. Well, for one thing Erap never made any serious moves to curtail press freedom. There was of course the case of the former Manila Times and the ad pullout in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, but there was nothing like what Proclamation 1017 did today and the chilling effect it still has on our work in the media.
Karapatan has recorded more than 300 militant leaders and activists killed in just seven months this year. The latest youth casualty is Rei Mon “Ambo” Guran of the League of Filipino Students, who was shot dead in Bulan, Sorsogon last July 31. Political leaders were arrested left and right and the palace insists that PP1017 is not tantamount to martial law. I do not remember striking political arrests during the time of Erap, but this year we had the Batasan 5 locked up at the House of Representatives.
In an earlier Pulse Asia Survey, Erap received a whopping 48 percent trust rating while Gloria lags behind with 22 percent, a tell-all tale of our sentiments about the Arroyo government.
While watching Erap take the stand, my editor said “Naaawa ako kay Erap.” I asked why and she replied, “Eh magnanakaw din naman si Gloria.” Enough said.