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Estrada played with by Arroyos

07:27 PM December 31, 2013

The capacity of Mayor (former President) Joseph Estrada for forgiveness is quite remarkable. I can’t imagine any other politician in his right mind who could extend a forgiving hand, and personally visit the person who ousted him from power, had him jailed and convicted, and even cheated his best friend out of a rightful presidency.

I followed this “bizarre” happening in the news, wondering what Erap ate to make him do this. After reading the statements of former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo’s spokesman, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, it became clear. It appears that Erap was induced by the Arroyos, possibly through the wily Topacio, to visit Gloria Arroyo as a way of making a statement or sending a message to President Aquino.


Various online news sites quoted Topacio as saying: “When President Estrada was similarly situated during the Arroyo administration, he was always accorded by the Palace all the courtesies befitting him as a former chief executive who has served the country in the highest capacity and, during his trial, as a person who was presumed innocent under the Constitution.” Topacio must have been delirious when he wrote this, conveniently forgetting that Erap was arrested in a shameful manner and mug photos of him were taken as if he was a common criminal, and then he was jailed initially in Camp Crame and then in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, for two and a half years before he was allowed hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

The statement was followed by another quote from FG or Topacio: “President Erap is truly a man with a big heart and of tender, Christian mercies, an example which the present administration would do well to follow.” Obviously an appeal to P-Noy to have mercy on Arroyo.


Thankfully, we have at present a President who puts justice and the objective of ending corruption at the top of his priorities and, unlike Erap, won’t be swayed by the likes of Topacio.

Whether Topacio designed this or whether he took advantage of the situation, one thing’s for sure: Erap is probably the last to know—once again—that he was once again played with by the Arroyo camp. The Arroyos are clearly trying to win over President Aquino at the expense of Erap. Then when P-Noy gets irked at Erap for this unnecessary gesture, Erap will just scratch his head, thinking in all sincerity that all he did was extend a kind gesture in the spirit of Christmas, unaware that he had been used.

While Erap deserves some credit for his magnanimity, he should learn to be wary of such traps set up by his enemies. Lest his kindness—unbeknownst to him—be used for twisted reasons again.—GEORGE JIMENEZ,

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TAGS: Arroyos, Forgiveness, Joseph Estrada, politics
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