Thursday, October 22, 2009

Erap came back because no one deserves the presidency


Former president Joseph Estrada, jailed by this administration once, is now formally, a presidential candidate. He just announced his candidacy yesterday in Tondo Manila. More than 10,000 people attended the event.

Erap claims to be a resident of Tondo because he was born at the Mary Johnston hospital. Yet, what his supporters, especially those living in Tondo's slums, don't know is Erap never spent his childhood years in Tondo. Unlike Manny Villar who really experienced the "Tondo life" (until he found a way to sell houses with cramped spaces to unsuspecting Filipinos), Estrada was never a slum dweller. He came from the Ejercito clan, one of the richest in this country.

Last night's affair saw Erap's gang in full attendance. Estrada was feted like what the French did to Napoleon. UNO campaign manager Ernie Maceda said that this is Erap's "last performance", a fitting comeback for a man wrongfully charged of crimes he reportedly did not commit (or so they claim).

Estrada's "second coming" was really planned from the very beginning since there was really no possibility of unity among so-called "oppositionist" parties. If Estrada wins the second time around, that nullifies the gains of the progressives at EDSA.

And the reason is quite obvious---this is practically the fault of political leaders who failed to provide the direction and the vision for a New Philippines. For the past nine years, no Filipino leader was able to position himself as the best alternative to Gloria. No one was able to convince the Filipino People that he is the best to lead this Nation from ignominy and economic stagnation.

Some progressive groups tried to position Noynoy as the "one" but from their very lips they say that he's just a "fever", a flash in the pan, the "flavor of the month". It's very doubtful if he can sustain that 60% trust rating which many say is just a mirage, a figment of the imagination, a botched hope by his supporters.

Chiz is just "too young" to be president, says Lucio Tan. Youthfulness, however, for me, is not just the issue--it is Chiz's association with big business groups who have spotty political records in the past and who are embroiled in the billion peso monumental scam called "Coconut Levy fund" mess.

Manny Villar's spending is a cause of concern by many because all of those monies he spent funding OFW airplane tickets and his constant TV, radio and print ads are now in the multi-million peso range. Surely, Villar will, in time, want his billions back. Maybe other billion peso right of way contracts would do? Or, some thousands of hectares more of ricefields converted to subdivisions?

Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro is one candidate that every official wants because of the perception that if he can tolerate those billions of pesos stolen by Mrs. Arroyo's gang of misfits during all these years, he can very well tolerate those stolen by local government executives.

So, there, that's the sorry state we are now facing. We don't have new leaders competent enough to provide leadership. Those with pure hearts however, do not have the strong political muscle to defeat these traditional politicians masquerading as oppositionists.

Estrada's comeback just negated the call for true change. It is a setback to the revolutionary impetus created by the second EDSA revolution.

All of these wannabes symbolize at least one or some of the diseases of this country.

Erap symbolizes institutional gangsterism and some say, narcopolitics. Teodoro is the symbol of out-of-reality technocratism. Manny Villar is the emerging persona behind the consumerism of politics. Noynoy, meanwhile, is the image representing necropolitics. While Chiz, well, he surely represents the interests of Big Business, those who benefitted from the use of coco levy funds.

Who will emerge from the rut and stand as the New Leader of Philippine politics?  Will the New Bonifacio stand up and be counted?