Joseph Ejercito Estrada, the 13th president of the republic, the first
to be impeached by the Congress.
He is not even Asian,
for Asians are known for their delicadeza. The Japanese commit suicide
when they bring disgrace to their narne, the Chinese are true to their
word, Koreans are ashamed for wrongdoings, and Filipinos have a sense
of a graceful exit has been blown away with the waning support of his
fans. The Filipino people have spoken, they want him out of Malacañang.
They gave him the chance to walk away without questions asked. But he
refused. Like a vulture, he holds on to his post as if his life depended
on it. On second thought, maybe it is. Because after all the shame and
corruption, he is as good as dead.
He could have resigned
when he first learned that people are doubting his integrity. But that
would be his first day in of fice, or even before that. He even owes
it to the Filipino people to have given him two and a half years to
sit as highest official of the land. In return, he must have at least
given them their due —to be a law-abiding, God-fearing, and honest leader.
But he laid down on a bed of roses in his days in office. He put up
companies to front for his purchases of land, he built mansions for
his wives, he granted favors to his friends, he gambled. He should have
known by heart the rules of the game—sometimes you win, sometimes you
lose. But he did not even play the game fairly. He cheated. The winners
stayed on his side, the other cheaters spoke up against him, and the
losers wanted him out of the game. Still he has the face to declare
on TV that he never did anything wrong.
Resignation is the
best way out, but even as he resigns now, the damage would be so great
and irreparable. Still, the Filipino people deseive a better government.
Estrada's resignation would save our country from further shame. His
resignation would mean a whole world of good for us, for our children,
and our children's children.