Joseph Estrada a.ka. Erap is again running for president. Unbelievable. It makes one’s stomach turn over how he is being so selfish and so deluded as to think that it is he who is the nation’s hope for change and that he can, ‘again’, make a difference.
He has done enough damage during his term, and he was ousted and imprisoned for it. It’s clear that he didn’t learn anything from the experience, and nothing of humility.
Estrada’s involvement in the 2010 presidential race will make things even more difficult for sanity and order to make their way back to the Philippine political system. What he represents are backward values of patronage politics, and he harps on being a leader of the poor when he himself has never been poor and his idea of helping them is giving them dole-outs. He makes people believe in dreams that can never realized because they are based on fiction and not on objective conditions which can be altered and reworked and restructured. He delivers speeches meant for actors, and he is an actor still.
It is a very, very sorry development, his declaration of candidacy. I feel sad and angry and disgusted.
It would have been better if he remained in the sidelines and instead threw his support behind the candidacy of , say, Noynoy Aquino. He should have let go of his delusions and of the past — he was president once, and once should have been enough. The fact that the poor supposedly love him doesn’t mean that he knows what is best for them and that he has done or that he will do what is best for them.
People sometimes continue love even those who hurt them; Filipinos are a sentimental lot, and often this is a bad thing. The slightest kindness given them make them slaves to those who showed the said kindness. It’s easy to get Filipino’s affection and loyalty — a smile, a handshake, a few handouts to those who have long been dismissed and neglected by the elitist system and government. This is what Etsrada has been long relying on.
In the meantime, his running mate is Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay.
Now my views about Binay are slightly more positive– the man has worked for Makati, and he has been able to do some measure of good for his constituents. I really cannot make definite conclusions, only impressions; and my impressions, based on the little I see and know of Makati and the local government there, are positive.
I guess Estrada is banking on Binay to save him and his chances of leading the country well. Binay is the one who’s actually running for president, with Erap as the figurehead.
Estrada also named Juan Ponce Enrile, his son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Jose De Venecia III, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III as among his senatorial candidates.
My head hurts just thinking about these developments. I could weep if I didn’t feel angry and frustrated.