Erap's Number

By in

For someone whose heart is in the right place, Erap Estrada is a bit on the “ditz” side of things.  Erap may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, affiliating himself with the masa whom he loves and who adores him, but there’s the audacity of the man to build on an agenda of vindication.  In an report, it is only Erap who favors the legalization of jueteng:

  • Erap wants to legalize jueteng, but does not tolerate it.
  • Erap favors the use of jueteng as a form of alternative employment for the poor.

So much for empowerment?

One of the reasons why Erap was deposed three years into his term is precisely that: jueteng kickbacks, money laundering, and charges of plunder.  Since vendetta seems to be an agenda in the Erap presidential bid as it stands, it seems that a driving force behind his campaign is to vindicate his name, to restore himself to the Presidency, and to give credence to the Presidential Seal he continues to wear on his wristband.  Yet beyond that is the thinking that a cause among causes of poverty can actually lift people out of it.

Improving the lives of the poor is all about empowerment.  When the poor use their money to gamble – money best spent on food and medicine and shelter – there’s the “evil” in gambling.  An “alternative form of employment for the poor?”  How empowering, indeed, to leave the poor in something that cannot be sustained, and does not sustain?  Where’s the empowerment in something that, in many cases, ruined people’s lives, starved many children, deprived many of them of an education, all for twenty pesos laid on a couple of numbers?

Upholding the rights of the poor and improving their lives means to give them the opportunities and avenues needed for them to succeed.  Empowerment is not about keeping the poor poor, and sustaining the things that keep them poor, but uplifting them from those squalid conditions and giving them a shot at life that’s within our common sense of dignity and decency.  Legalizing jueteng does nothing for the poor who continue to bet on it to find a shimmer of hope in their lives.  What about urban farms, collective cooperatives, a national industry, opening up green factories and industries on the outskirts of villages and provinces where produce is left to rot when not transported?  What about community gardens where the poor can grow their own food to consume and to sell?

Surely we have better choices than Erap’s number; and in many ways, better choices than Erap.

6 comments on “Erap's Number”

  1. Reply

    Is it a worry?

    Erap is only polling 3rd, just above his former ass kisser and young trapo Chiz Escudero.

    • dk
    • October 22, 2009

    I love Erap! Vote for Erap!

    I am kidding, don’t shoot me :s

    but seriously, he isn’t constitutionally fit to run. and even physically. heh, kill me now.

    • jam
    • October 22, 2009

    The poor don’t need “an alternative form of employment.” They need employment, period. And education.

    Hope the courts will immediately shove in his face that he can’t run for president again.

  2. Reply

    Very good points though unfortunately, the poor won’t be reading our blogs to understand the problem with Erap’s leadership. And if they could they wouldn’t listen anyway.

    Sometimes the (dark) force within me (huh?) makes me agree to the irresponsible idea that a vote should be directly proportional to the taxes we pay.

  3. Reply

    Very well explained, Erap Estrada will just worsen the country’s situation and political scene.I just could not understand his gall to file his candidacy once more regardless of the election laws and his oath not to run again as stated in his pardon. He really has no shame.

  4. Reply

    Stupidity… NO MORE.

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