Ex- president Joseph Estrada limped in an hour and a half late for his meeting with Sun-Star journalists. But when Erap sat down in the paper’s conference room, he didn’t recycle the old “we wuz robbed in Cebu” syndrome.
Fernando Poe Jr. campaign failed to muster candidates or watchers down to barangay precincts, he candidly admitted Today, the fractured opposition is distilling lessons from the one-million vote trouncing it got.
“The opposition is cobbling a complete local ticket for 2010.“ There’ s still a 50-50 chance the opposition will unite. If that fails, then I will run.”
Watch the body language. Gauge the adrenalin and punishing schedule. If you were not born yesterday, you can see: The man is running. He doesn’t give a fig, whatever “presidential” Manny Villar, Mar Roxas, Chiz Escusdero. Loren Legarda, even Jamby Madrigal; will whip up between now and filing of candidacy. .He’s off the running blocks to the future…
But his checkered past simply won’t let go, as the conference questions showed. “What lessons did you learn from your ouster?” There was dead silence. It referred to his notorious midnight cabinet and scandals like the BW Resources stock scam
In two and a half-years, the soaring aspirations of his “Now Power Is With the People” had tuned into the 5-K government:: kaibigan, kumapdre, kaklase, kasama – at kabit.
“I was overconfident,” he admitted. “And perhaps, I shoud have been more selective with friends.” He didn’t say who. Most had skipped town like Jaime Dichavez, Dante Tan to Lucio Cao Co.. Nobody pressed.
“How can you ask the youth to vote for you given your record?.” Estrada bristled. “What record,” he snapped. ” My record is unblemished.” . Denial unsupported by deeds doesn’t hold water..
His chief of staff, Professor Aprodicio Laquian, wrote: Erap failed to deliver on his pro-poor programs” “At four in the morning, I’d be the only one sober “ among Erap’s midnight cabinet members. Erap snapped : “I fired Laquian,”
In this press conference, denial also blanketed his answer on “command responsibility over the 22 Presidential Anti-Organized Crime personnel involved in the Dacer-Corbito murder”,“I have nothing to do with that case..” Was I in Singapore then?, he tried to recall.
“There was no investigation. then.” Panfilo Lacson, being PNP chief, would know more.
Estrada declined to answer the question: “What can you say about the P1-million Le Cirque dinner of President Arroyo since in you time you partied like crazy?”
That was wise of him, a Sun Star reporter muttered. After all, Erap and barkadas would swill Chateau Petrus at $1,000 a bottle supplied by Jaime Dichavez
The legacy of his truncated term could not be compared to Cory Aquino’s legacy, Erap insisted. Cory served a full term and is seen like the faithful servant of the parable who used entrusted talent wisely.
“I was ousted unconstitutionally, “ he insisted. Thus, comparing him to the servant who buried his talents and came to the Master empty handed, doesn’t hold water.. Only a full term will show that, Estrada said. But will a people badly burned agree?. Only 2010 will tell.
“That’s odd,” the two nuns murmured. Pedestrians ahead, on a road in Talisay, Cebu, would stare at something, then .cross to other side of the road. .
The sisters from a home for old women, came up to the reason why. Crumpled on the roadside was an aged, dirt-caked, scrawny and half-conscious man.
No one helped or call the emergency hotline. The nuns tried to determine his name, home, relatives. “Our sisters loaded him on a vehicle, then brought him to our home. recalls Sister Sini Barbara, OSMP We house only women. But this was an emergency.”
They bathed the man, treated his bruises, cut his hair. “We had no men’s clothes in our house,” explained Sister Sini who is the superior.“In the end, we burned his foul smelling clothes and put a woman’s duster on him. But it was clean at least.”
Wasn’t this a 21st century retelling of Luke’s parable? A man, left for dead on the wayside, is by passed by people – until someone “took pity and went up to him, bound up his wounds…set him on his own beast, brought him to an inn and took care of him.”
“We know nothing of him,” said the priest called by the sisters. .So, I’ll administer conditional baptism. What name shall we give him?”
The sisters, who caught snatches of the telecast on Cory Aquino’s funeral, suggested: .“Call him Ninoy,” they agreed. The priest turned to the dying man and began: “If you have not been baptized, I baptize thee Ninoy in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit….”
He traced the oil of extreme unction on “Ninoy’s” eyes, ears, lip, hands – organs of the senses. With other nuns, Sister Sini began the ancient prayer of farewell which the Church pronounces over her dying children:
“Depart O Christian soul out of this sinful world in the name of God…Let peace come to thee this day and let thy abode be in holy Sion….”
The man passed away peacefully later that day. The sisters got a coffin for him Among a pile of donated clothes, they sisters found an old coat, shirt, etc. “Was the coat yellow?” I asked. “No,” Sister Sini replied. “It was dark blue. But ‘Lolo Ninoy’ looked good in it.”
“The one who showed mercy” proved to be neighbor, the lawyer admitted to the Master , in the “Good Samaritan” parable. Blue coats, like yellow ribbons can sometimes denote mercy.