Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Where are you last January 19 and 20 of year 2001? I definitely know where I was!

I was at the EDSA Shrine with thousands of people who chanted "Erap Resign!" repeatedly with raised fist. I did not join the revolt because of "the party that was EDSA" unlike majority of the yuppies and students who were there for the bragging rights of having participated in the biggest street party of the decade. I went to the rally because I actually care for the well-being of the nation (back then, anyway). Before I became an apathetic-to-the-world workaholic slash frivolous blogger, I was actually someone who enjoyed current events and was involved in national issues. Erap was one topic I was truly passionate about.

Erap is probably the worst thing that happened to the Philippines (well, next to Marcoses, I suppose). He's the epitome of a chauvinistic Filipino male. He's lazy, a hard-drinking womanizer, a "bolero" who applied street-smart in legislations and, of course, an ultimate selfish thief who engaged in corruptions. I was appalled the moment he was elected President (Voters, what the heck are you thinking?!). How can someone like him represent the Philippines?

I was still in Honda during the EDSA Dos days. Our office was located at The Salustiana Towers in Paseo de Roxas which is just a stone throw away from Ayala Ave. Unknown to many; I often spend my lunch breaks in those days at the organized rallies by the Civil Society leaders held every Friday at the Ninoy Aquino Shrine that called on Erap’s Resignation. I even bought several black shirts calling for his dismissal in various designs. I was really into the whole hoopla.

The product and result of those rallies leading to the EDSA Dos ouster of Joseph Estrada will have its dramatic conclusion tomorrow as Sandiganbayan, a special Philippine court that has jurisdiction over cases of graft and corruption of public officials, sets its promulgation on the P4.097 billion ($89.06M) plunder case (gambling payoffs, tobacco tax kickbacks, and falsely declaring his assets) and minor charges of perjury on the former Philippine President. The Ombudsman filed the case to the court three months after Erap was overthrown from the Palace.

It took Sandiganbayan more than six years of very long legal battles before reaching tomorrow's historical verdict. I read a summary of timeline of the trial at today's issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer and I must say that the prosecution really did a good job in presenting their case. The defense, though headed by the great Rene Saguisag, had a very laughable defensive strategy by discrediting the witnesses of the prosecution instead of focusing at the issue on hand. They even had once a demonstration conducted at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas stating that P130 million in cash would not fit inside the four boxes that were described by Chavit Singson that Dante Ang gave Erap as payola. They said that that the boxes can only contain P80 million. Duh? P130 million and P80 million is friggin’ the same when we are talking about corruption! What are they thinking?

The verdict must be and should be guilty! Is there any doubt that he did NOT do it? Yeah, lawyers and judges may argue all day with their motions and pleas, but at the end of the day we all know that he did it! That's the friggin' bottom line. They said that a call for acquittal is getting stronger by the day because of Anti-Gloria factions. BUT we must remember to put issues in separate baskets. Gloria will have her day if she is not careful. But tomorrow is all about Erap and the sins he committed to the Filipino people. Gloria is just a collateral damage/benefit (depends on which side you are) to Erap. A lot of politicians are expecting "grey area" verdicts like non-conviction of plunder but convinction due to corrupt practices (which is a lesser offense) or guilty verdict but lesser jail time. Well, in the please-everyone-and-all-you-want culture of the Philippines, any "grey" is possible.

But, as for me, Erap is GUILTY! Think about it. Think about the rotten years we endured under his leadership. Think about the taxes he robbed from us. Think about the high lifestyle that The Ejercitos are continuously living despite the growing number of the marginalized. Think about all the half-meant Erap jokes you have forwarded all these years. Think about Clarissa Ocampo and her bravery.

Think about yourself and the fight and the principle you stood for at EDSA Dos!

Know the judgement LIVE! Guilty or not guilty? Text ABSLIVE to 2366 to watch the special live coverage of the Estrada Verdict. P20.00/day and P15.00/30 minutes video streaming fee. Only from SMART, the leader in wireless innovations. :)

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