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Mar 28th
Home Columns JGL Eye Erap's Unfinished Business
Erap's Unfinished Business PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - JGL Eye
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Thursday, 10 December 2009 11:24



(© 2009 Journal Group Link International)



C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – There is no doubt, Joseph Estrada’s second bid to return to Malacañang will be sweeter if he can make a successful comeback.


But it looks like Mr. Estrada will be playing the legendary role of a Greek king named Sisyphus, who offended the God Zeus. Zeus punished him to roll a huge boulder to the top of a steep hill; each time the boulder neared the top, it rolled back down and Sisyphus was forced to start again.


If only Mr. Estrada was picky with his Cabinet and his choice of his military and police officers during his first crack at the presidency, he would not have been struggling to run for president in the 2010 elections.


After Mr. Estrada announced that he was running for president, a lawyer filed prematurely to disqualify him. Naturally, the Supreme Court dismissed it.


And after Mr. Estrada filed his certificate of candidacy for president, another lawyer filed a case to disqualify him before the Commission on Election, citing constitutional bar and being a “bad precedent.”

I believe Mr. Estrada is going to win the round before the Comelec, which will gladly pass the buck to the Supreme Court to resolve the issue once and for all.


But based on the arguments raised by Justice Magdangal B. Elma that the presidential reelection ban applies only to a sitting or incumbent president to prevent said president from using his vast powers to ensure his reelection, I believe, Mr. Estrada is going to get the support of the Supreme Court.




A nd besides, since President Estrada served only two years and eight months of his six-year presidential term of office, the “absolute ban” on reelection is not applicable to him because the ban only applies if the president held office for four years.


With that pesky matter outside the window, let’s go back to what went wrong with the aborted Estrada presidency.


When he was vice president, I got the impression from Mr. Estrada that he would be very successful in office because he impressed upon me that he would only appoint members of his official family with people with known probity and without checkered past.


But some of those that he got were bootlickers, who never told him the truth. Or maybe, some of them told Mr. Estrada the truth but Mr. Estrada ignored them.


For instance, Estrada’s men supported the lie that when Mr. Estrada was in the second grade at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, he had a quarrel with an American, who bullied a classmate.

Based on my investigation, it turned out that that the “American” was really a Filipino, who was an adopted son of a black American military serviceman.


The sister of Erap’s “American” classmate was so mad at Erap and his handlers for making a “bad guy” out of her brother that she cursed the Erap presidency even as Erap was basking in popularity.


By failing to go after the killers of Dacer and Corbito, which happened under Mr. Estrada’s watch, Joseph Estrada cannot escape the blame. In the same way that Ferdinand Marcos was being blamed for the assassination of Sen. Benigno Aquino because it happened under Mr. Marcos’ watch. – Joseph G. Lariosa



If I were Erap, he should have reached out and listened to his old friends to get to the truth, and not to rely too much on his Chinese cronies and other drinking buddies that made up his cordon sanitaire.





I now realize why President Barack Obama would not let go off his Blackberry. Despite the objections of his Secret Service protectors that his Blackberry is vulnerable to being hacked that could compromise his security, Mr. Obama still wanted to keep his old toy.


With the Salahis couple crashing a White House state dinner even without invitation, I don’t know if Mr. Obama will change his mind.


I believe Mr. Obama still would like to keep his Blackberry in order to keep his ear to the ground. He does not want to lose contacts with his old friends, whom he could talk to, to validate the information given to him by his White House advisers.


If Erap wins on May 10 and he would like to complete his unfinished term of office, he should not make the mistake of losing contacts with some of his old friends, who supported him in his campaign.


Even if he fails to offer them jobs in his administration, he can still count on some of his old friends for advice and to validate if he is being fed the truth by his cordon sanitaire.


If he has an informed decision based on the truth, he won’t go wrong.

And he should be brave enough to handle the truth.


He should always learn from the mistakes. But if he repeats the same mistake, he should be man enough to accept full responsibility for his actions and the actions of his functionaries.


This is the very essence of “command responsibility,” which means that superiors that ordered, or "should have known," of such violations yet failed to intervene are also criminally liable.”




In other words, at the first opportunity that he heard of the murders of his family friend Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and Dacer’s driver, Emmanuel Corbito, Mr. Estrada should have ordered an investigation so the responsible parties would have been prosecuted.


By failing to go after the killers of Dacer and Corbito, which happened under Mr. Estrada’s watch, Mr. Estrada cannot escape the blame. In the same way that Ferdinand Marcos was being blamed for the assassination of Sen. Benigno Aquino because it happened under Mr. Marcos’ watch.


As U.S. President Harry S. Truman would say, “The buck stops with me.” Truman didn't 'pass the buck' to anyone else but accepted personal responsibility for the way the country was governed. (


© opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided in the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.


(Editor’s Note: Watch out for the upcoming outlet-oriented, subscription-based website of Journal Group Link International that guarantees originally sourced stories, features, photos, audios and videos and multi-media contents.)



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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 December 2009 11:30
Comments (2)
1 Thursday, 10 December 2009 14:13

Nicely-written story. Easy to read and very informative. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you so much. As I've said so many times, Erap was my hero during my kanto boy days. I think he's a good man. But he ain't gonna win, my friend. Tapos na siya.

I would like Mar Roxas to win, but NOT Noynoy. I think Noynoy is a retard. He looks like a retard. He was useless -- a BACKBENCHER -- when he was a Senator. He didn't do anything. He was in a comatose state all those times and just sat on his lazy butt.

True, he now leads in presidential polls and surveys, and that's only because of name association ... his parents, as we call know. And sadly because of that, HE WILL WIN! He'll be the next president.

Kawawa naman ang Motherland natin. We gonna have a retarded president. For me, Mar and Gibo would have been a perfect combination. Parehong magaling....

Mabuti na lang nandito tayo sa Amerika and well-taken care by Obama. Kung nasa Pinas pa tayo, baka nakasama tayo doon sa mga na-masaker sa Maguindanao.

Well, take care there, my friend and my regards to the DOMs.

(Jesse Jose of Seattle, WA)
2 Friday, 11 December 2009 05:44
Hi, JJ:

Thanks to your complimentary comments on my story. They are comments from someone sober and definitely not “crazy”! LOL.

I am glad to know you were able to read between the lines.

You seem to be on target that Erap had seen better days.

The sympathy votes for his house arrest that Erap is banking on may slip from his grasps this time.

I've heard the unflattering health condition of Noynoy and I can only hope it isn’t so.

Unlike in America, the Philippines allows cross voting for the president and vice president.

If Filipino voters would use their brains and not their stomachs and lots of common sense, anything can happen.

Otherwise, we will be having a "weak" president and a "strong" vice president, a reverse of the outgoing administration.

But as a consolation, we will end up with a team that will be less corrupt and more honest administration.

Hopefully, our motherland will be, to borrow from your expression, less "Wawa We."

Take care.


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