On March 22, 2006, ousted president Joseph Estrada took the witness stand for the first time in his five-year long plunder trial. His testimony was not spanking or even remotely original, but for the first time since EDSA Dos–albeit terribly shameful to admit this–I felt pity for the guy. Don’t get this wrong. It has nothing to do with him or the Filipinos’ forbearance. My friends know how hard it is for me to forgive lest forget our history in EDSA.

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.

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5 Comments

  1. sobrang agree. erap and gloria are both made of the same shit, pero mas mabaho nga lang ang pandak kaysa sa lasenggong mataba.

  2. ewan ko lang pero pr sa akin hindi totoo ang ipinararatang nila ke erap. pacensya n pero un tlg feeling ko eh. ky lng sya pinatalsik kc hindi nila ky syang gawing puppet. ^^;

  3. oo nga, may point…. PAREHO naman din sila ERAP at GLORIA eh… ang sa case lang naman kasi ni erap e madali siyang napaalis sa kanyang pwesto dahil din sa mga kabataan!!! Para sa akin, hindi totoo na yung mga kabataan na lumahok nung EDSA DOS ay SINCERE talaga… Most of them ay gusto lang talaga maEXPERIENCE yung ganong rally… “ANG SAYA” kasi, “ENJOY”…. kaya yun… naaawa lang ako kay erap kasi unfair para sa kanya… At ngayon, di matanggal tanggal si gloria dahil din tamad na yung mga “KABATAAN”…

  4. Ka Paolo pogi,

    Call me O.A., pero ito lang masasabi ko: Rizal says “nasa kabataan ang pag asa ng bayan”. Ninoy says “we await you oh youth of the land” napaka suwerte ng mga kabataan dalawang bayaning martir at higanteng intelectual ang nagbigay diin sa kabataan na kanilang gagampanan. Di ako naniniwala na ang kabataan ay tamad na sa ganitong pag kilos alam ko na parang bulkang sasabong na lamang ang nag aalab na damdamin ng kabataan. Re-focus lang ang kailangan mag ugnayan muli maraming paraan tex, e-mail, senyas, pito, katok (lets go!), kindat lang maiipon uli yan. Mag-unat na kabataan iwas muna sa mall, tambayan at gigs marami pa tayong dapat gawin maghanda, ihanda ang sarili sa daluyong at unos ng diktadurya nasa padron nanaman tayo ng nakaraang rehimen nakakatakot bumabalot na naman ang kadiliman. (seryoso na ba ang dating).

    Salamat,

    ka Rust

  5. Mapanganib nga sa Politikang Pilipino ang kawalang-panunulukan ng nakararami. `Pag tinanggal ang isang diktador, yayariin naman tayo ng kabila. Masyado kasi tayong nadadale sa pagdadakila ng pa-isa-isang lider. Dapat baguhin ang palakad ng Politikang Pilipino, para hindi tayo naiipit sa pamimili ng kung iilang sinu-sino lamang. Hindi iisang presidente ang sasagot sa ating problema, kundi dapat atang panibaguhin ang saligang-batas para may sectoral at hindi pan-superstar na representasyon sa gobyerno. Sino’ng papalit kay Gloria?…. Hindi puwede basta isa, at magiging isa na namang buwitre. Kailangang ibagay ang pangasiwaan ng Republika hindi sa isang personalidad (maging Ninoy man), kundi sa mabuo-buong sektor ng mga manggagawa, magbubukid at tunay na (hindi coñong) mag-aaral. Hindi iisang Erap. Hindi iisang Gloria. Hindi iisang Ninoy. Hindi iisang biyudang Cory. Hindi iisang mag-asawang Marcos, kundi buo-buong sektor ng mga trabahador ang dapat magdedesisyon sa patakaran ng pamahalaang Pilipino.

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