• Amazing democracy in Erap’s final choice of Grace

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    Viewed in the light of my most memorable quote of President Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada of Manila, his recent endorsement of the presidential candidacy of Grace Liamanzares struck me as simply consistent. He declared to the media back in the 70s, when he was mayor of San Juan, then still part of the province of Rizal: “Hindi ako tuta ni Marcos. Aso ako ni Marcos. (I’m no puppy of Marcos. I’m his dog.”

    Famous for his catchy one-liners

    (which had been summed up into a book, for that matter, aptly titled “Eraptions”), Erap by those words perfectly pictured the man’s personal yardstick for what principle is all about: it’s about sticking, immaterial whether right or wrong, to what you believe in. He believed in Marcos, and his administration of his municipality was one of complete subservience to the principles the martial law administration stood for.

    No need here to elaborate on this issue. What matters now is that from his announcement of his support for Grace days ago, it would seem he was consistently standing by his loyalty to Marcos after all these long, long years. Recall that when, despite the national dominance by yellow power, Erap personally maintained his political clout so that ultimately he became Philippine president in 1998, and he finally ordered the burial of President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Much pressure from Cory, who threatened to unleash social unrest if he proceeded with the burial, prompted Erap to exercise exquisite restraint. He called off the burial plans.

    Where pervading opportunism in Philippine politics would otherwise have cast him into the green pastures promised by the yellow power,  he chose persecutions, no matter what.

    Already, the administration bet, Secretary Mar Roxas, has expressed indignation at Erap’s choice of Grace. For a period, it looked as though it was he the former president would support, as indicated by the open endorsement made of him by San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, with Erap sitting quietly in the background, an implied acquiescence to the lady executive’s pronouncement.

    One great factor that could have swung Erap’s support to Roxas is the continued detention of son Senator Jinggoy Estrada at Camp Crame for plunder charges. The evident captivity of the Supreme Court by Malacañang can be a guarantee of Jinggoy’s freedom in the event of a Roxas presidency. It could even be a done deal even before the May elections take place. But then, Erap’s loyalty to Marcos is what appears to have taken the better of him by ultimately endorsing Grace.

    True, Grace is, as the tale has been told from the very beginning, Erap’s goddaughter, the adopted child of bosom friend Fernando Poe, Jr.,   who, incidentally, originally coined the monicker “Erap.”

    But what cannot be denied as well is the story I got from an incumbent Annex Mayor of Antipolo City who as early as middle of last year was already predicting that the tandem to beat in the May presidential elections is the “Ang magkapatid.”  I rather gaped at the information, honestly not knowing what the guy meant. It all dawned on me that night days ago when Erap raised the hand of Bongbong Marcos, for Vice President, and for President, who else but Grace Liamanzares, she of the fairy tale romance, said to be fathered by a virtual emperor in his time.

    That virtual emperor was the very man to whom Erap had declared doggedness of subservience.

    And yet, what is not known to the public is that Erap’s final choice of Grace was not his personal decision and therefore one in which his loyalty to the strongman should not figure.

    Up until the eve of the Erap proclamation rally, his camp was still at a loss as to who he would endorse for President. The mayor’s household and political staff and confidants were sharply divided on who to choose between Senator Liamanzares and Vice President Jejomar C. Binay. A long-time adviser, an influential alderman, and Laarni Enriquez, to name just a few, were diehard Binay supporters. An equal number were rooting for Grace.

    Erap himself was ambivalent; Binay is his kumpadre; Grace, a goddaughter. Would FPJ turn in his grave just to return candles with Erap if he did not support her?

    What Erap did was reminiscent of how humbly he submitted himself to what appeared to be the popular clamor for him to step down from the presidency in 2001. He could very well have invoked the Constitution and insist in his right to stay in office. He was not incapable of performing the duties of  the President, had not resigned and had not died.
    But the mob of EDSA II was calling for his ouster and in a display of supreme circumspection, he did not choose to counter the throng.

    As quoted by the media hours before his proclamation rally, Erap stated that though his camp has diverse opinions on who to support for president, he as head of the family was expected to be the final authority.

    In other words, what he said must be obeyed.

    In the final choice of Grace, Erap did not insist on any authority. And this is what’s amazing about what actually took place. What Erap did was call a vote among his inner circle: who to carry, Binay or Grace? By a mere vote of one, Grace prevailed.

    Unlike Roxas who took Erap’s endorsement of Grace bitterly, VP Binay manifested high-level statesmanship when he calmly expressed respect for Erap’s decision. He has good reason to stay optimistic. He has kept a good half of Erap’s formidable camp. And it is a no mean half, considering that at the helm of the clique is Laarni Enriquez, the woman closest to Erap’s heart.

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    14 Comments

    1. grace poe ‘s rivals and their fanatics are just jealous of senator grace poe because she has a lot of people supporting her .mabuhay ang consistent topnotcher in all recent polls.

      REPLY
      Mabuhay ang mga sinungaling!!! Mabuhay ang kapatid ng magnanakaw!!!

    2. ATTENTION … LATEST BALITA NEWS IN ABS CBN SAID TOP 4 ANG DAVAO SA HIGHEST CRIME RATES IN THE PHILLIPINES . repeat no.4 .

      1. )QUEZON CITY

      2 ).MANILA

      3. )CEBU THEN NUMBER

      4 .) IS TAN…TA…RAN DAVAO CITY OF DUDIRTY … HA,HA,HA,HA,
      PINAGYAYABANG NIYA ANG PEACE AND ORDER NG KANYANG DAVAO AY LOW DAW …TO SEE IS TO BELIEVE THAT DIGONG-GONG AY MAHILIG MAMBULADAS .. AKALA KO BABAE LANG SIYA MATINIK PERO SA PAG SISINUNGALING AY NO1. DI PALA. NO TO DUDIRTY THE FUTURE DICTATOR OF THE PHILLIPINES .

      WE ARE FOR SENATOR GRACE POE THE ONLY UNTAINTED CANDIDATE …SHE WALK THE TALKS ,SHE IS SINCERE ,SMART ,BRAVE ,COMPASSIONATE AND MOST OF ALL SHE HAS ” GOBYERNONG MAY PUSO AT WALANG MAI-IWAN :.

      REPLY

      And she is not a citizen of the Philippines!

      MABUHAY

    3. Erap’s endorsement meant nothing. She will suffer the same fate as FPJ. Ambisyosa ang non-Philippine citizen. She lied in public documents. Yan ba ang klaseng tao gusto nyo ihalal? Funny.

    4. Endorsement of erap not really matters people nowadays are wise enough not to heed the endorsement of political person but nevertheless still it is a one vote for GP afterall politics is addition and not substractoon

    5. Erap did not say that endorsing Poe was because of his belief that the best to lead the country is Grace. He is endorsing Poe out of gratitude to Panday. No other reason.

    6. Mark Laperal on

      At least you are fair in your reporting as compared to other writers of Manila Times who consistently wrote articles favoring their own candidates while also continuously ranting others. Thanks.

    7. armando flores on

      ERAP is kindhearted and a true leader of the masses. His unwavering advocacy for the poor sector of the Filipino society has continuously drawn the ire of the powerful elite and oligarchs who are ruling this country for centuries. Just like Andres Bonifacio, Erap was the victim of dirty politics, injustice, greed and betrayal committed by the rich illustrados not wanting to see an ordinary man of the masses rise to power in pursuit of prosperity for a greater number of Filipinos. Erap’s accomplishments are real and not just fantasy. His LOYALTY to the masses is awesome.

      • I am amazed – Erap (like Poe) are victims – lol – : “illustrados not wanting to see an ordinary man of the masses rise to power – If somebody who can write and use a computer believe that Erap and Poe are ordinary men of the masses. SusMaria. As the Americans say: we are fucked/
        They where born in rich, influential families, All the gipney drivers I see are skinny, I never see a gipney driver looking like the well fed Poe.
        The only – the only – who could tell you he was poor and coming from ordinary people, was DOLPHY,

    8. As I’ve expressed somewhere: “How in the world can political ‘leaders’ can support a candidate for the highest position in the land who is of questionable citizenship, loyalty and ability?” This is not to mention the NAGGING question and problem of the ruling on the qualification of Llamanzares-Poe.

      May God save the Philippines.

      • FM must be grinning from ear to ear in his glass crypt. Siblings (Marcos-Marcos) as the top two elected leaders of a democratic country is unprecedented!

    9. Well, Its i wise choice of Erap, regardless of being a Marcos Loyalist. but it is also a good decision because , Binay is in controversy with regards to Corruption. So, Sen, Poe is much better choice.

    10. Johnny Ramos on

      I have seen and heard Erap during the eve of the fiesta here Pandacan, Manila and I think aged did really catch up with Erap. It is really hard to understand the speech of Erap and he look so haggard in the Buling Buling parade while riding at the back of a pick up while others were dancing in the street. His endorsement of Grace Poe does no longer ring a bell here in Manila since most have decided to go for Duterte and Marcos. The Iglesias will definitely carry Bongbong.

      • If you drink whisky like water and everything else, these things don’t make you look younger, still I prefer somebody who is human Poe looks like a robot – like the film: “I robot” with that white face that is not Pilipino or foreigner or whatever,
        Like they say in England: Nor fish, nor fowl.