Will Erap Eventually Withdraw from the Race?

It used to be that the favorite Christmas carol of Filipinos was “White Christmas,” an absolute absurdity because as much as we would be “dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the one I used to know,” the fact is, it will never snow here in our tropical islands not to mention it never did (“…just like the one I used to know”). It seems the popularity of that Christmas carol waned as the hope, of not a few, for Philippine Statehood slowly dissipated. In both respects, we’ve finally come to our senses.

In the wake of Tiger Woods’ scandalous “transgressions,” he has decided to change his nickname but still keep it within the cat family — Cheetah. He also announced his indefinite leave from professional golf; he will be resting his balls and keeping away from the holes for now to concentrate on his life as a husband and father. From our talks with friends regarding Tiger’s womanizing, we would say there are as many men envious of him as there are women who now find him disgusting. Whatever we might think of him now, we all ought to remember that our opinions are just that, mere opinions that can change from day to day depending on what’s happening in our respective personal lives which we should all be reflecting on instead of Tiger’s private life. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And for the new year, we share this other simple quote: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.”  On that note, we wish everyone a HAPPY, PROSPEROUS, AND SERENE NEW YEAR — 2010. Cheers!!

Mexico City, capital of a country as catholic as ours, has just legalized gay marriage beginning February of 2010 while we here in the Philippines (the Comelec specifically) nixed the petition of gay organization, Ang Ladlad, for Party List status on grounds of “morality” accusing the members of being “immoral.” Never mind the Comelec’s legal mandate and guidelines regarding eligibility of candidates and qualification rules for Party List status, but for the Comelec to call anyone “immoral” is as laughable as it is pathetic. The Comelec lecturing us on morality is akin to Ampatuan, Jr. giving a harangue advocating pacifism. Don’t the Comelec commissioners get any feedback on how the majority of Filipinos perceive them? Are not the Comelec lawyers aware of the difference between Church Doctrine and State Law and the Constitutional provision that separates them? Even  gay – as in happy, of course – priests know the difference; well, at least, some of them.

During the “talent portion” of political rallies here in the Philippines where the main candidates do a song or dance number, it might be “refreshing”  to see a candidate eat fire or charm a snake into dancing, for a change. That would at least show that the candidate has a capacity for innovation even if eating fire, like singing or dancing, does nothing to demonstrate the ability of a candidate to govern, nor does it say anything about his or her credibility, albeit,  one could say, the flute-song was at least credible to the snake.  Of course, that’s still neither here nor there. Lets see… what about a candidate places his head inside the wide-open mouth of a lion? We know a lot of people would like to see some candidates try that…and then watch the lion do what is needed to prevent  a locked jaw. How about doing cartwheels on top of an elephant?  Oh… well, just some thoughts.  Sorry about that

Moving on to the battle for the Presidency, there is a scenario which, if it does occur, would seal the election for the Presidential candidate that would be the beneficiary of the said scenario. It goes like this: by around March, when Erap finds himself still stuck in 3rd or 4th place and Gibo or Villar within striking distance to come out on top, Erap decides to withdraw in favor of… guess who. Do a process of elimination and the answer should come easy: Noynoy. Hence, we will have another Aquino as President and Erap, a year after, is appointed Senior Presidential Adviser or “Tzar  for the  Alleviation of Poverty”  or some masa upliftment agency or program. Nice and dandy for both, huh? One wins the Presidency while the other wins the chance to redeem himself (short of becoming President again) which, we believe, is the sole reason he is running in the first place. Politics is, indeed, addition.

There is not a single city left in our entire archipelago where you cannot find the drug, Shabu (meta-amphetamine), for sale. From jeepney and taxi drivers to students to business executives to government employees and officials and to policemen themselves,  the users are everywhere and number in the millions.  It is the drug of choice of 90% of substance abusers in the Philippines. According to PDEA and PNP officials, the sale of Shabu in this country has reached 200 kilos (200,000 grams) a day worth P1B in the wholesale market. We are entering the 25th year since Shabu found its way into the Philippines and we have seen how it has grown from a few hundred users to hundreds of thousands to the monster that it is now. Everybody has at least one relative, friend or neighbor that uses this drug. The government’s war against Shabu is like a Goliath (drug lords) pitted against a David (government) with no sling-shot and whose arms have been amputated.  This is no longer just a legal, moral, or “narco-politics”  issue involving drug lords in cahoots with officials in all levels of government, not to mention a nation with millions of unproductive or underproductive drug addicts; it is a scourge that compromises the economic, social, psycho-physical, and even spiritual well being of a whole people – the Filipino people. As Churchill said: “healthy citizens are the greatest assets any country can have.”  What opium did to China (no thanks to Churchill’s ancestors), Shabu can do to the Philippines if it has not done so already or will soon do.


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