In a news report on the day the Commission on Elections threw out disqualification petitions and ruled in favor of Estrada's candidacy, the evangelist-politician differed from other presidentiable aspirants in that he welcomed the decision. He said that amidst the fact that even legal luminaries are split on the issue of whether Erap could seek the presidency anew, "I'm always in favor for the Filipino people to be given a chance to democratically choose their national leader, whoever is the personality involved."
I find Villanueva's welcoming statements a reflection of his fairness and apparently impartiality and pro-people tendency. Compare Villanueva's comments on Comelec's Estrada decision with those made by Liberal Party bet Noynoy Aquino who said he'll consult his lawyers re the development. As Ninez Cacho-Olivarez writes, "Hello? What's he going to do? File a disqualification case against Estrada? The time limit has been up sometime ago."
Does it sound good that Noynoy, whose camp had recently been revealed to have asked former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada to endorse him and, thus, to withdraw from the race in his favor, even considers (or considered) blocking the latter's candidacy during this time? According to the Daily Tribune's January 18, 2010 report:
In the case of Aquino, Enrile said it was his siblings who approached Estrada and tried to convince him to withdraw from the presidential race in favor of Noynoy’s candidacy. “I don’t know how the meeting transpired. All I know that he, along with his sisters went to see Estrada,” he added.
Had EDSA 2 not happened, that undemocratic conspiracy of elites and gullibles (well-intentioned though some may be), I would most likely consider voting for Villanueva. Of course, I do have reservations about his being too religious and how it has crafted his population management views, among others. As well, I'm not forgetting his participation in that EDSA II fiasco, which he seems to have regretted anyhow.
Nevertheless, I see in Bro. Eddie a rather ideal combination of social progressiveness, intelligence, righteousness, and track record of serving the people, masses well included. He is so progressive that despite the fact that he was part of the undemocratic mob that ousted the former President nine years ago, he wants to bring the Estrada issue directly to the Filipino people--in a constitutionally proper manner this time around.
by Jesusa Bernardo
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