Some people don’t seem to get wiser even if they get older.
Instead of getting wiser with age with presumed more knowledge and wisdom, they even get to be more mentally deranged and twisted,
Manila city mayor Joseph Estrada, a former president, and Vice President Jojo Binay are cases in point.
In an interview with ABS CBN, Estrada has threatened to run for president in 2016 if Binay, is jailed for plunder before the 2016 presidential election and if Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares, daughter of bosom friend Fernando Poe, is disqualified to run for president as a result of a complaint which questions her citizenship.
Estrada remains popular among the masses across the country even if he was convicted for plunder and corruption when he was president. He came in second to President Benigno Aquino in the 2010 presidential election and easily won the post of Manila city mayor — clear proof of his enduring popularity.
But while he remains popular, Estrada continues to display an appalling and understandably infuriating demented and crooked frame of mind, arrogance and utter lack of genuine concern for the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the Filipino people.
If Binay is jailed for plunder ahead of the 2016 presidential election, this is merely a result of large-scale theft of public funds that the vice president is accused of. The country’s judicial system and the Aquino administration should never, never be blamed for the wrongdoing even of the second highest official in the land.
If the Ombudsman finds sufficient evidence against Binay in any of four separate plunder charges filed against him at the Tanodbayan, then he should blame himself — not anyone else — for his kleptomaniac tendencies.
Estrada has no business at all throwing a tantrum like a spoiled brat if the country’s judicial system finds sufficient grounds to charge Binay for plunder — and if he gets jailed while a plunder case against him is being tried at the Tanodbayan.
If Estrada wants to stop the Tanodbayan and the Ombudsman from doing their work properly just because one of his friends, Binay in particular, is charged with plunder, what will happen to the fight against entrenched and endemic corruption the country? What will happen to ordinary citizens deprived of essential medical and other services as a result of loss of huge sums to corrupt officials, like Binay?
In this respect, Estrada wants to avoid a friend, Binay, from being jailed even if this means depriving the entire Filipino people of justice that they deserve against corrupt officials who steal huge sums of taxpayers’ money while they are in office.
In this respect, Estrada deserves to be condemned for making a mockery and travesty of the Philippine judicial system. And the masses should clearly see Estrada for what he really is — a true champion not of the poor and the oppressed, but a champion of crooked-minded politicians, like Binay, who oppress and steal much-needed funds from the poor and the oppressed.
Estrada was once convicted of plunder and there was incontrovertible pieces of evidence that led to his conviction. He was subsequently ousted from power by a popular bloodless uprising because of his corruption.
He conveniently glosses over his moral bankruptcy and his “mortal sin” to the Filipino people with his threat to run again for the presidency. He doesn’t care at all if the Filipino people gets another corrupt and morally-bankrupt president, like him or his friend Binay. He cares more about his personal glory and the interests of his friends, like Binay, more than that of the Filipino people who deserve another reform-minded president, like Aquino.
In this regard, Estrada is a selfish, arrogant and mentally-twisted politician who deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms, not admired and adulated.
This should be applied equally to Binay who lacks any sense of shame and decency by aiming for the presidency — despite tons of testimonial evidence and documents presented at the ongoing Senate blue ribbon sub-committee hearings that he, his family members and his accomplices connived in an intricate and widespread web of conspiracies to steal billions of pesos from Makati taxpayers.
In normal circumstances in many countries around the world, a senior official accused of serious malpractices will step down from public office and retire as quietly as possible due to shame and embarassment that will be brought to the public office that he or she is representing.
But binay and Estrada are both devoid of shame and decency. Both individuals are greedy for power and presumably, easy illicit access to public funds that power facilitates.
Despite Estrada’s threat to run for the presidency again, the offices of the Ombudsman and the Tanodbayan should both muster ample fortitude and the political will to do what ought to be done under the law and for them to serve the Filipino people the best way they can — proceed without delay in assessing the merits or substance (or lack of it) of the four separate plunder charges filed against Binay.
If sufficient grounds are established to charge Binay for plunder at the Tanodbayan, he should then be jailed just like Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla.
The law against graft and corruption should be applied equally and without reservations to all public officials — even if they include someone like Binay.
The Filipino people deserves no less.
And overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong and around the world should be made aware of the follies and weaknesses of Estrada and Binay as the 2016 national elections approach.