Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pilipinas 2010: A Case of Amnesia

The penchant of Filipinos to teleseryes seems to efface the boundary that separates reality from that of a whim of a scriptwriter. Though the term is evolving (i.e. from soap opera to telenovela to fantaserye etc.), the recurring themes of these primetime melodramas remain unchanged: wealth gap of characters; goons, guns and gold; children separated from parents; and the most common of all, amnesia. I know most of us are drawn to real-life dramas we see on the boob tube; it is bad enough for this country to have a seemingly ill-defined difference between show business and politics. But to succumb to another amnesia? We might as well pledge allegiance to another country!

We must not forget what happened in the past, especially those that just happened in very recent history. No one is barred from running for president as long as he/she meets the constitutional requirement --

ARTICLE VII Section 2. No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.

-- unless he/she is an ex-impeached official. We had the country's first impeachment trial on a president but it was not concluded. The former president was not impeached, he was overthrown. What happened in the early days of 2001 is a political coup. So technically (plus the fact that he was pardoned; restoring civil and political rights), Joseph Ejercito Estrada can run for president in the coming election. Well after saying that he is 99.9 percent sure of seeking (again) the highest office in the land, I bet there will be a lot who will challenge this with the High Court. If ever there will be a ruling by the Supreme Court on the issue of either an ex-president who haven't finished his term (remember, technically he is not impeached) or an ex-president running again for the same position after the term of his successor, this will definitely be a landmark case. What ever the ruling be, this will resolve the ambiguity of the 1987 Constitution on the provision on presidential term; this can also answer whether GMA is allowed to run for Congress after her term as president. No one had ever done this in post-EDSA years -- Tita Cory and FVR retired to private life, albeit politically influential -- so it hasn't been really looked into as it will be in the coming days.

But let us leave all these technicalities to those who are legally equipped. The question now is if the Filipino people still suffers from amnesia. I didn't join the so-called EDSA II because it was not as noble as that of its predecessor; I believe it was done out of impulse and out of drama by that walkout of the prosecution team in the Senate eight years ago. Don't get me wrong, I didn't and will never like Erap. It's just that we could have just followed what was constitutionally right. It was just a brown envelope! Years later it was opened. Lo and behold, nothing inside. If they could have just continued on with the trial. If they could have just waited for the final verdict. If they could have just stopped watching teleseryes. I chose to just sleep in the dorm after the school announced "no classes" that time. I reckon it was a slap on democracy's face. I'm sorry to those who believe in the spirit of EDSA II but this is just my opinion. And I can say I made the right choice: we have GMA as our president instead and now, Erap is running again with a vengeful heart for sure! To those who made api to our bida, "pupulutin kayo sa kangkungan!" Hahahaha! (sounding like a kontrabida on a horse, wearing black boots matching a wide ranchero hat with a whip stick clutched by the hand) I'm sure Charo Santos-Concio and Wilma Galvante will scramble for this teleserye material.

I just hope people who watch us don't turn the TV off.

Unless we revise the script on the 2010 election.


Note that EDSA II, in my opinion, is the EDSA of Imperial Manila. So Erap still has a high chance of winning because those present in EDSA II were not his voters in the first place. However, in the 1998 presidential elections, he only got thirty percent (30%) of the votes. Seventy percent (70%) became fragmented to remaining candidates. If only we could rally on "one" president. I believe this 70% comprise the thinking public; not that I'm saying that the 30% are inutile, they can still be informed of the real facts. So go blog. Discuss with friends. Volunteer to voters' education campaign. In any way we can help is a start. Nine months to go!

GMT +8 Manila, Philippines

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