‘Erap’ is of course former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. It is his moniker as an actor coming from a play on the Tagalog slang “pare”, meaning ‘buddy’. This name stuck with him and made him a movie idol for acting always as a friend of the downtrodden and even when he entered politics he took advantage of the name by maintaining the identity of being a friend of the masses – the poor Filipinos. That is why his mantra has always been, “Erap para sa mahirap” (Erap for the poor).
I don’t have to go back in time to describe Erap’s presidency when he got elected with the biggest margin of victory ever registered in Philippine electoral history during the national elections of May 11, 1998.
Suffice to say that his scandalous and disastrous presidency spanned only for 31 months from June 30, 1998 to January 20, 2001, when he was booted out from office by ‘People Power 2 / EDSA 2’ because of corrupt practices. Eventually he was sentenced a lifetime in prison for plunder but was later granted pardon by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who succeeded him … and the rest is history.
But despite his being a convicted plunderer Erap managed to stage a political comeback in 2010 when he ran for president but lost to Benigno Aquino, thank goodness! This is how close he was to leading this country again because of his ‘Erap’ image and the ignorant Filipino’s skewed culture and bias for movie idols.
Just because he is doing better compared to Alfredo Lim as Mayor of Manila, he thinks that he can redeem himself from his disgraceful past as president of this country.
The reason why I am asking to spare us from another Erap presidency in 2016 is because he had been showing interest and hinting to enter the race again if for some reason Pres. Benigno Aquino chooses Vice President Jejomar Binay to be his candidate.
Though Erap admits now that Binay is his candidate from the opposition, the fact that Binay had been a long time friend of the Aquinos and has never spoken adversely against PNoy all these years despite belonging to a different party, leaves no doubt in Erap’s mind that this could be possible.
I seem to agree at Erap’s viewpoint because right now the Liberal Party’s prospective candidate, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is a patsy and a sure loser.
I hope PNoy opts for another administration candidate and renege his promise to support Roxas in 2016 for the sake of the party and the assurance that his projects, programs and policies to move this country forward will continue beyond 2016. Roxas should be man enough to admit that many times he has bungled his job as DILG secretary and this is going to be a destructive issue against him.
Having another administration candidate other than Roxas will surely spare us from having Erap running for president again.
And if Binay wins still, so be it.
It is the country’s fate.