Friday, November 02, 2007

Damaged Goods, Damage Control

Since the Erap pardon, apologists and propagandists for the so-called leader of the masses has been flailing away. To avert a fallout, media personalities identified with Estrada are hard at diverting the attention of the public. With Erap being perceived as Gloria's new posterboy, they now bear the burden of protecting Erap's image.

Everyday, Erap's media friends have been redirecting the blame on civil society. I don't know if anyone noticed how the crowd that welcomed Erap home did not applause or cheer when he asked them to thank GMA for his release. This only shows that Erap has lost his magic. Gone were the huge Erap crowds during his sentencing. His command to get the warm bodies isn't there.

Erap is a broken man. No amount of image building or even media hype will bring back the glory he once had. I pity those who continue to waste their precious space and time trying to bring back the Erap magic. So from hypocrites, they now want us to think we're stupid. Nice try, but no dice.

The masses still love Erap, but they will not go along with him in supporting GMA. GMA made their lives a living hell. He was used and even the masses know that. The opposition would also back away from such a call. To do so is to sign their death warrants. To stick it out with Erap may cause them their 2010 ambitions. The same goes with those allied with GMA. The unpopularity of Gloria is just too much that no one will dare align themselves with her.

Jinggoy and Erap may deny that they support GMA now. They may even claim that they will remain with the opposition. But the people know better. GMA can recall his clemency anytime and the Estradas wouldn't dare crossing her. Just look at how Jinggoy now diverts the attention to FVR (who's no angel himself). They need to make the people believe in their theatrics.

Damaged goods is damaged goods. Just like Gloria, Erap's camp is in damage control. Whatever influence he had is gone. He too is now a lame duck. He sold his masses out and everybody knows it. The Estradas are dead in the political water. Political survival dictates that no one in his right mind would want to be associated with a loser. GMA and Erap are in the same boat, and both are definitely sinking.

I am sure that in the coming days, the opposition will try to distance itself from Erap. Any statement to deny this will just be empty talk. The opposition's win in the elections is not based purely on Erap's endorsement, a lot were protest votes. Just look at some of those he endorsed but lost. People are just too tired of Gloria and the elections were their way of protesting.

Apologies and propagandas will be hurled back and forth, from the Estradas and the palace. Both will try to paint a favorable picture to help their tarnished images. Erap will try to appease his supporters while Gloria does the same with hers. The pardon has created rifts on both sides of the political fence. Both will try to get on board with their estranged allies.

The pardon weakened both the opposition and the administration. With the realignment of forces, strange alliances will once again be born. Switches will be made and both camps will cancel each other out. Even the CBCP will be ignored. The people will have none of their rhetorics. Rosales and his ilk has long been trashed by their flock. Only a handful of priests remain credible.

Now everything is clear to us. Erap and Gloria are both sunk. Political operators will be at the forefront of cleaning this mess. Erap and GMA lost big time. Millions will be spent to repair the damages this pardon left. Our Trapos will be very happy with the bonus that awaits them. As for the lowly Filipino, its just another day in the desperate life of Juan dela Cruz.