Commentary: Guilty or not guilty?
By Behn Fer. Hortaleza, Jr.
DAGUPAN CITY (10 September) -- Whether the Sandiganbayan verdict on former President Joseph E. Estrada is guilty or not guilty, the doomsayers will not have their day.
The usual protests will come and die down soon enough for the country – and the Filipinos – to slip back down again to that languid, resigned state. This is the new Philippines inured by tiresome people power and impervious now to mass protest actions on the EDSA 1 magnitude and only wanting to 'move on'
Whether the opposition agrees or not, the Palace has a much better reading of the Filipinos capacity to sustain its anger over time. The administration has mastered and measured the extent of the people's wick and knows, by the palm of its hand, just how long it has to stay the course, keep the troops on alert, before any public uproar burns.
Erap may still have legions of fans and supporters out there and if a guilty verdict indeed gets handed down, there'd be shouting and swearing in the streets – of Manila mostly and nowhere else. Nothing we believe that the troops of Esperon cannot control.
Now, what if the Justices decide Erap's not guilty?
Silence will reign over the land. Hard to imagine Malacañang mounting a massive rally over it. In fact, in a way, it will have felt relieved.
Only a guy named Chavit will be left sulking. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]