Friday, November 21, 2008

Erap’s Phenomenal Rebound

“Eat your heart out, Billy!” I silently exclaimed as SWS and Pulse Asia continued to confirm the only real startling development in Philippine politics today -- the astronomic rebound of President Joseph E. Estrada in the national scene. Despite persistent efforts by mainstream media and “civil society” to demonize him, these groups must know by now that such survey results only show just how ineffectual their demonization has been. Billy Esposo, for one, who is a rabid anti-Estrada columnist, must have been dealt a double whammy – one from Erap’s ascendance, and another from his PR client Manny Villar’s fall from the Senate presidency, partly a fallout from the latter’s perceived culpability in the C5 and other scams, which will only weaken his chances in 2010.

Another chief Estrada demonizer, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, performed its usual tricks on the day Pulse Asia corroborated an earlier SWS survey, finding Estrada a very close second to Noli de Castro -- with just a 1 percent statistical difference -- in terms of the public’s leadership preference. Apart from failing to report it on that day, which other papers like the Tribune dutifully did, it made sure that when it was reported a day later, the item carried a new distracting twist -- that of Estrada having engineered the Senate coup that installed Juan Ponce Enrile, on the say-so of an unnamed “administration senator” -- truly, an old trick that smacks of deliberate misinformation.

The Inquirer should have known that it is only its own credibility that would be damaged by coming out with such an outrageous theory to spite Estrada. Fortunately, Enrile had the good sense to speak the truth quickly, denying any hand of Estrada in the coup. It should be obvious to anyone with common sense that the Senate coup had been brewing for some time now as presidential aspirants in the Senate had been gritting their teeth for months, watching Villar use the Senate presidency to gain undue advantage over the others. Besides, Villar really doesn’t deserve the august office, which controls P1.2 billion in funds, when he has shown himself to be untrustworthy of the public’s trust, which is par for the course for most politicians like Enrile, who has admitted lying to the people too.

The dramatic rebound of Estrada in the face of a whole year of the Inquirer’s constant repetition of totally distorted terms such as “convicted criminal” is nothing but phenomenal. This should not be brushed off simply as a “sympathy” reaction from the masa because the surveys show that he has also gained in the A, B and C levels. The contrast between the actions and policies of the Filipinist Estrada versus the globalizing Gloria and FVR has become clear and swung public sentiment to him, especially with regard to the following issues: his “all out war” in Mindanao versus Gloria and FVR’s appeasement and capitulation embodied in the MoA-Ancestral Domain treaty; his “carabao breeding” program symbolic of expanding domestic production versus Gloria and FVR’s import dependent policy; and his “food security” thrust versus the rice shortages of Gloria and FVR.

The lies of “civil society” mouthpieces can no longer hold up to the truth. It has been said that…

“The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” - Joseph Goebbels (Hitler's Minister of Propaganda)

In a State controlled by Gloria and “civil society” elements, the lie of progress and prosperity could only last up to a certain point. As shown by increasing hunger incidences, reported by surveys and the UN agencies, majority of Filipinos are now feeling the pangs of hunger. Worse, the Gallup polls even rank the Philippines today as number 5 among the hungriest nations of the world.

President Estrada has repeatedly declared that he would only be compelled to run if the opposition cannot come up with a unified candidate, which makes his rise in the public’s presidential preference even more remarkable. He is the only undeclared candidate who is rising in the polls while others, who have made their intentions known, have resorted to all sorts of gimmicks -- from seeking attention in a celebrity singing match, to spending wildly on radio and TV ads, grandstanding on OFW woes, to using government housing projects to endear himself to the masa -- but all for naught.

The fact remains that whenever Estrada was included in the surveys, the supposed leading candidate’s percentage share dropped from 29 to 18. If Erap does in fact run, Noli, as the perceived Gloria candidate, is a goner.

Having fought to obtain justice for Estrada for the past eight years, it no longer matters to me if he runs again or not. By the repeated acclaim given him by his people alone, he has already gotten enough vindication, which will only increase as the system that went against him continues to fail. The saga of Estrada and his mission, which has also become ours, is echoed by the following:

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” – Abraham Lincoln

As Estrada stands by his people, they will continue to stand by him. Nothing -- whether it’s Gloria or her puppet high court -- can stop the fulfillment of a nation’s destiny.

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