Clearly, Erap is back on track.
Over the decade, former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, in the eyes of the Filipino people, became prince, then pig, then prince again.
Erap became the 13th President of the Philippines from June 30, 1998 to January 20, 2001. He was peacefully overthrown by the Second People Power Revolution after his aborted impeachment trial in the Senate, where eleven Philippine senators refused to examine the second envelope of the Jose Velarde bank account that would supposedly prove acts of political corruption. On April 4, 2001, the trial of Estrada began as Ombudsman Aniano Desierto filed before the Sandiganbayan, a Philippine anti-graft court, a PHP 4-billion plunder suit and a minor perjury charge for falsely declaring his assets and illegally using the Jose Velarde alias. On September 12, 2007, he became the first Philippine President to be convicted of a crime after the Sandiganbayan found him guilty of plunder, which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. He was detained in his Tanay, Rizal resthouse but then pardoned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on October 25, 2007.
Until today, Erap is actually a free man roaming around the country and undeniably a still strong opposition character.
But is he still a threat against the ruling administration party headed by incumbent president Gloria Arroyo?
His lawyers have repeatedly took their stand- Erap can still run for office. And Erap have always expressed that he will be forced to run if and when the opposition fail to unite and field a single candidate come 2010.
On Monday, April 13, following his repeated announcement to run for the Presidency, Erap has released a list of the opposition's (Partido ng Masang Pilipino) twelve senatoriables for the coming elections, namely:
1. Reelectionist Senator Juan Ponce Enrile (Isn't he a GMA ally now?)
2. Reelectionist Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago (another GMA ally? Or an opposition? Or.... ano ba talaga?)
3. Reelectionist Senator Jinggoy Estrada (In fairness, magaling si Jinggoy)
4. Former Sen. Sergio Osmeña III (I like this guy. Kahit kapatid pa niya si......)
5. Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez (aww, kaya pala nagyayaya ng suntukan: publicity pala iyon)
6. Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño
7. United Opposition spokesman Adel Tamano (pwede! iboboto ito ng federacion!)
8. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (he should learn better this time. huwag na maulit ang nangyari dati)
9. Broadcast journalist Ted Failon (e di ba nga nag congressman na rin? me nagawa ba?)
10. Grace Poe (Grace who?!!! Aah, anak pala ni FPJ. Naalala ko tuloy nuong tumakbo si Sonia Roco-olats)
11. Brig. Gen. Danny Lim. (whatever happened to Sonny Trillanes? Edi pareho ring wala tayong mapapala kung mananalo si Danny Lim?)
12. Gina De Venecia (wife of ousted House Speaker JDV)
(Former Sen. Agapito “Butz” Aquino and Makati Mayor Jejomar “Jojo” Binay were listed as reserves, in case some of the first choices backed out)
While Erap has repeatedly said that he will run for president in 2010, many analysts believe that he wouldn't, but instead, play the role of kingmaker in the coming elections. Thus, we can still expect lots of changes in the coming days as the deadline for submission of Certificate of Candidacy (in November ?) draws near.
And to me, the key really, is for the opposition to field a single candidate. Else, we end up having a GMA-FPJ story part 2.
Clearly, Erap is back on track.
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