By Emmanuel M. Hizon and James Miraflor
We are glad Mr. Joseph Estrada was pardoned. We are glad Erap entered into a compromise with Mrs. Arroyo, in effect absolving him of any wrongdoing he bestowed in a country so wronged and offended. Thank you for sparing us the effort to remind everyone that justice here in our society is a plaything of the rich and powerful, that the search for truth within the comforts of legalism, of our ‘beloved constitution’ and jurisprudence, is nothing but a blind alley.
We are also glad Mrs. Arroyo is capable of feelings, however twisted the brand of empathy and compassion she usually evokes whenever her throat and her ‘presidency’ is on the line. We are glad Mrs. Arroyo once again spat on the spirit and ethos of Edsa 2, reminding everybody especially the middle class that it takes more than a restrained remonstration to bring forward a better future free from elite exploitation and domination.
We are equally glad Erap puked on the masses who stormed the gates of Malacanang in Edsa 3, all for the comfort of his mansion in San Juan which none but the few like him enjoy. We are glad he swindled those who believed in him, those who sacrificed and died all in his name. We are glad the self-styled champion of the poor accepted a cowardly, pathetic and unsacrificing settlement with the same faction of the elite he regularly lambasted as the ‘real enemy.’ We are glad he finally went back to the fold of his true class roots. We are happy that with his newly found freedom he denied satisfaction to a people longing for truth, justice and accountability.
We are glad they did it. We are happy they finally shed any form of pretension and illusion. We are relieved they finally erased any memento that their was an indeed an “Erap-Gloria war”, that our society is stupidly divided between their interests, that our struggle is a fight between the camps of Estrada and Arroyo and that we are compelled to decide if we are for “Erap for the masses”, for “Gloria’s Economic paradise” or national suicide.
Now, it’s just between them and us, between the haves and have-nots, between the different factions of the elite pursuing the same elite interests and the poor who for the longest time have been sidelined, used and abused.
Now, let us march in the streets not in their name, not with their plundered resources, not with their prodding. Let us pour in the streets without them, without their plastic smiles, without their fake patriotism, without their unsolicited leadership, without their phony loyalty to the people—the same people they unhesitatingly rob and oppress whenever they are in power. We must hit the streets because we are sick and tired of them all. Let us tell them that we are tired of elitist reruns, of same conjured dreams, of the same trapo governance.
We must muster our strength because we believe that a better world is not only possible but is currently under construction. We should not limit ourselves in outlining an alternative society; we must begin building the edifice of a humane and egalitarian future now. For pete’s sake, let us spare the next generation of this system.
Instead of getting frustrated and disappointed, instead of running away to some first world country, instead of being paralyzed by apathy and indifference, let us have the resolve to have another Edsa. Let us reclaim it from the elite who bastardized it.
Let a hundred Edsas bloom. Edsa uprisings that are radical, mass-oriented and explicitly anti-elite rule.