Kasapi: College Editors Guild of the Philippines

Erap caricature form Elagda.com

Tomo 22 Bilang 1 January 2000  Internet Edition

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President 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 "hiya'.

Estrada's chance 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.

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