Monday, January 30, 2012

Erap: Victim of circumstance?

Former President Joseph Estrada admitted during an interview with Cheche Lazaro on ABS-CBN last week, that his chief legal counsel, Estilito Mendoza, was partly responsible for his 2001 ouster for being too “legalistic” during the impeachment trial. 

Mendoza fought against the opening of the second envelope because it was not included in the charges against the former president.  “I wanted the second envelope opened because I didn’t want the people to think that we were covering up something. But Mendoza, who is very legalistic, said that it was against the rule of law. Being the chief legal counsel, he prevailed,” Estrada said.

Former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., who was also interviewed by Lazaro, said he was able to talk to Estrada two weeks after the walkout of prosecutors and after the Senate had decided to open the second envelope.  During their talk, Erap asked the former senator what was in the second envelope.  “I told him there was nothing there and he asked me, you mean I lost the presidency because of that and I said yes,” Pimentel said.

Now whether that may be all true or not, as far as Erap's final dethronement is concerned, it is worth taking another look at EDSA Dos, the impetus that provided Gloria Arroyo the justification to grab the presidential seat.  Thus, I'd like to share the following excerpt from Margarita Ventenilla Hamada’s letter to Dr. R. Bernardo – entitled: Envious, Not Righteous Anger – page 81, Transcending Rizal:

            Anyway, regarding your-sum-up of EDSA Dos being the Filipinos’ most mature shining act as a national community” – as it was propelled by “the right to know the truth,” are you sure it was purely this intellectual ideal that really created EDSA Dos? I have my suspicions that 95% of those people at EDSA were merely anti-Erap, not anti-evil, and that envy, more than quest for truth, was the propelling force behind that display that so awed you. 

            I still think Pinoys can’t change their spots overnight.  Rizal’s brilliant observations about their apathy and timidity towards evil when confronted with it still holds true now.  So what galvanized the people to gather at EDSA is the same force that had galvanized EDSA Uno.  It is the same force that killed Romania’s Ceaucescus by firing squad.  It is the same force that sent France’s Queen Marie Antoinette to the guillotine: ENVY.

            The long-starving French were driven to homicidal fury at Marie Antoinette’s diamond necklace which costs millions of francs, and it wasn’t even true that she bought it.  The report that Mrs. Ceaucescu wore shoes the heels of which were of pure gold was the straw that broke the backs of the impoverished Romanians. Imelda’s beauty which her fabulous jewelry and gowns emphasized with vengeance, their noveau riche lifestyle, the international celebrities whose company they kept, fueled EDSA Uno. 

           And how could Erap escape the envious indignation of the Pinoys after they learned of Laarni’s Boracay-like mansion, the P20,000 tips she gave her beautician, her P11 M ring?  His eight other beautiful mistresses, their mansions and businesses?  His billion-peso bank accounts under false names? 

          Marie Antoinette, the Ceaucescus, the Marcoses, and now Erap have one thing in common: their having too much where everybody has to struggle for so little or for nothing.

            During EDSA Uno, the anti-Marcos frontliners were not anti-evil, because they were later accused to be just as evil and corrupt as the man they ousted.  Enrile, Ramos, Honasan, Sin, Butz and Tessie A. Oreta, Miriam D. Santiago – they were merely anti-Marcos.  All they ever wanted was lynch one enviable man.  If the zeal they used in ousting Marcos and his kith and kin was directed against evil and corruption instead, EDSA Dos need not have happened.  Now who are the frontliners at EDSA Dos?  Chavit Singson, Gloria Arroyo, Joey Lina, Nora Aunor, Angelo Reyes, Kiko Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Raul Roco, Serge Osmena, Franklin Drillon under the leadership of bribe-taking Cardinal Sin.  Do you see these people as heroes/patriots or just politicians?  Remember, men do not conspire against the stuff they are made of.

            EDSA Dos was not really a rally against evil or truth.  It was more for a chance at experiencing that flush of power that comes from lynching someone who has so much more than you can ever hope to get in life yourself.  To politicians, it was an opportunity to grab that same power Erap enjoyed and taste the goodies he enjoyed, too – not for truth and justice, which they merely used as slogans behind which they could hide their real motives.


TRANSCENDING RIZAL by Margarita Ventinilla Hamada

Collected articles, letters and speeches on the controversial Jose Rizal and on the even more controversial cure she offers for the social ills she saw

Giraffe Books – 2005

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Related link:

Margarita Ventinilla Hamada on Jose Rizal



Envy (also called invidiousness) is best defined as a resentful emotion that "occurs when a person lacks another's (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it."

Envy can also derive from a sense of low self-esteem that results from an upward social comparison threatening a person's self image: another person has something that the envier considers to be important to have. If the other person is perceived to be similar to the envier, the aroused envy will be particularly intense, because it signals to the envier that it just as well could have been he or she who had the desired object.

Bertrand Russell said envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. It is a universal aspect of human nature because not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but also wishes to inflict misfortune on others. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind the movement towards democracy and must be endured to achieve a more just social system.   However, psychologists have recently suggested that there may be two types of envy: malicious envy and benign envy - benign envy being proposed as a type of positive motivational force.

Source: Wikipedia

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  1. Joseph Estrada's leaving the presidency will be a virtue that future Filipinos will be proud of. In his "valedictory message," he wrote:

    "At twelve o'clock noon today, Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath as President of the Republic of the Philippines. While along with many other legal minds of our country, I have strong and serious doubts about the legality and constitutionality of her proclamation as President, I do not wish to be a factor that will prevent the restoration of unity and order in our civil society.

    "It is for this reason that I now leave Malacañang Palace, the seat of the presidency of this country, for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. I leave the palace of our people with gratitude for the opportunities given to me for service to our people. I will not shirk from any future challenges that may come ahead in the same service of our country.

    "I call on all my supporters and followers to join me in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity.

    "May the Almighty bless our country and our beloved people.


    When we were in grade school, we were made to memorize "The Gettysburg Address" and "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death". Erap's valedictory would make a good material for declamation contests,

  2. A gracious farewell speech, indeed!