I for one am not into politics or at least I wouldn't pursue
a career in
one. I am, however, into the impeachment trial of "The People vs. Joseph
It started about a month ago and since then I would eagerly come home and
watch the trial's day summary at 12 midnight before going to bed. For those
times that I do miss this, I eagerly open the newspapers the following day
ready for any intellectual discussion with my colleagues at work. Though it
is true that I do receive a showbiz-like enjoyment from hearing intrigues
over the issues argued at the trial, I am enthusiastic about the other
things regarding the impeachment and the issues on hand.
To begin with, Filipinos have not gone through this method in the pursuit of
justice. In fact, the beauty of watching the drama unfold in the impeachment
trial is that our laws are being enriched with supporting jurisprudence that
would later be tapped for other threatening future presidents. Filipinos
would always look back at how this impeachment court developed the case,
presented the issues, questioned witnesses, judged credibility, and decided
over the pieces of evidence.
I would always come to work fired up with so many observations and opinions
about the trial. I had previously shared the heart-felt desertations of
Joker Arroyo as he passionately but rationally presented the inconsistency
of ERAP in his promises and his consistency in his theft. I had also shown
my suprise at how the Fortun Brothers had improperly treated the court by
misrepresenting Delia Rajas and would soon be charged for contempt and
possible disbar. I had even mixed my views on each and every Senator that
was capable of receiving bribes, following their party lines and plainly
able to wash their hands of the injustice that could come; there so much
disappointment in fact that our beloved Ninoy's relative, Senator Oreta,
would fall under this category.
When the vote was made to open or not to open the 2nd Envelope that would
link all the other pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution linearly
pointing the bribes to Erap Estrada, (a.k.a. Jose Vellarde) I was utterly
disgusted. I couldn't believe how 11 of our Senators decided to follow their
party line over their task of judging over what is presented as evidence as
Senator-Judges, as representatives of the Filipino people. This was a slap
in the face to every Filipino; even more, this was a stab in the heart of
As I saw the remaining just 10 Senators mourn and even wept over the
decision, I began to predict what would happen. Because of this unfair
judgment, more and more Filipinos will suffer from the fall of the peso and
the lack of confidence from our foreign investors. Soon Erap Estrada will
quitely go after every person who has gone against him, and he can because
he is the most powerful man in the country. Because of this decision, the
country has signified its acceptance of graft, corruption and basic
political and social injustice. The torment from which will be upon the
Filipinos today, their children, and the children of their children. There
was no other action left by Filipinos but to cry for this great injustice.
I woke up the day after the decision to find out that as early as an hour
after the vote, thanks to text messaging, EDSA had been occupied by
protestors. I came into the office and was into conversation of our
company's participation in the rally after work. True enough, two hours
before our workhours were completed, our CEO had begun to mobilize the
employment for EDSA. The two days following, our company would do the same.
My first afternoon at EDSA had baptized me with emotions only a political
rallyist would feel. My senses grew stronger with every line of Bayan Ko and
Lupang Hinirang that I sung with my co-Filipinos in front of the shrine.
This is the afternoon that I had heard my first mass on EDSA for the sake
of the nation.
I had spent the first evening with my best friends and a dear friend of mine
over the Rosario-Edsa flyover. The solemnity of the first day of People
Power II was matched with the jubilation of being part of a freedom-loving
society as everyone danced at the songs of Gary Valenciano (Shout for Joy,
Gary V.!). The People had begun to feel the joy of being united as a people
up in arms and at a heightened state of nationalism.
The second day of People Power II, senators, cabinet members, mayors, other
city officials, and political figures graced the shrine with their cheers
for national healing and with the one cry of the people (Ang Sigaw ng Bayan:
Arestuhin si ERAP!). Showbiz personalities also came by and entertained the
protestors who patiently waited for the president to resign.
The third day was the most moving. Early in the afternoon, Anti-Erap
protestors from Makati began their walk towards the EDSA shrine - a force
that would complete the more than one million Filipinos at EDSA. In a
suprising economic uptrend, the Peso gained seven points to reach a 47-1
dollar rate from its previous all time high of 54.6. Before five in the
afternoon, the armed forces of the Philippines as represented by General
Aglipay and Defense Secretary Orly Mercado had let go of their loyalty to
Erap and had turned to the opposition for leadership. The circle of the
people and the government was now complete. We were ready to march on to
At around 12 midnight, Senator Raul Roco had given the ultimatum to Erap to
resign by 6 am or the people will force him out of office. Between this span
of time Erap would give three announcements that proposed the continuance of
the impeachment trial, the call for a snap elections for the presidency, and
the extension of his decision for five to seven more days. The oppositin
said "no". With the negotiations between the opposition and malacanang
breaking down, the people saw no other way to show Erap what they truly
want. The march began towards Malacanang.
Early that morning, the Pro-Erap rallyists grouped at Mendiola as their
leaders lied in their promises of coming support from the El Shaddai, the
Iglesia ni Cristo, and from the nearby provinces - Erap still hasn't stopped
using the poor for his evil doings. The Anti-Erap march was now at Shaw
Boulevard and was on a head on path with the Pro-Erap rallyists near
To prevent further bloodshed, the Supreme Court, as a united group and in
its united decision, called upon a maxim that stated that the people's
welfare is the supreme law and thus lawfully relieves Erap of his post as
president. Erap would soon be escorted out of Malacanang and into his
presidential home in greenhills. Ang mga masasayang araw ni Erap ay natapos
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is now our fourteenth president. The 11
Senator-Judges, who voted following therr party line not to open the ballot,
would be charged with obstruction of justice. Panfilio Lacson, having been
disowned by the PNP leadership will possibly be removed from his post.
Others in the same boat will be charged with all sorts of sanctions because
of our new president's call for a moral change in the way our government
handles the people's welfare.
It's a Sunday, 24 hours after People Power II, and I am wrapped in mixed
We Filipinos needed this. We needed to show to ourselves, our kapwa
Pilipino, and the international community that we do not accept injustice in
our society. I had almost thought that we Filipinos had already lost
ourselves in corruption from the various misdeeds we have grown to accept as
part of the way we do things with the governmentand our society. However,
the past few days had shown me how we Filipinos still care about our fellow
Filipino's welfare and of how justice should reign over all our actions.
Filipinos have learned to love Filipinos again. I return to what Ninoy says
that "The Filipino is worth dying for."
Now we are left with a time for healing. We, as a people, have to heal
ourselves from the hate, the anger that has cloaked our society because of
the immoral way we had been runninng our society. People Power II is our
second chance at doing things right and we can go about this knowing that we
are not alone at this pursuit. I am happy to have been part of the first
step towards true Filipino growth and for whatever change is necessary, I
want to be a part of it too.