You know something really depressing? Despite all the damning evidence and credible witnesses testifying against President Estrada, and despite the obvious clarity of the crimes he committed which led to his impeachment trial, the verdict of guilt still rests with the Philippine Senate. A two-thirds vote (of 22 senators) is required to convict Erap and dismiss him from office. And that’s most likely not going to happen, simply because more than a third of the senators have vested political interests in keeping Erap as President. (Are rumors true that he is funding their political campaigns? I don’t know, but I do know that many re-electionist senators are blatantly supporting him.)
In short, Erap is going to be acquitted on Feb. 12, despite the avalanche of credible testimony proving his guilt on several charges of corruption and bribery.
And if he is acquitted, there are not enough people opposing his administration to form the critical mass needed for a new revolution. The leading local cultic religions, Iglesia ni Cristo and El Shaddai, which constitute a fair percentage of the poor, uneducated Filipino population, have ordered their followers to support Erap 100%, effectively splitting the cultists off from the largely Catholic masses. Even without the religious discrepancy, Filipino public opinion is unstably divided between support for and outrage over Erap’s administration, so that there is no clear majority. This still will not stop Catholic Archbishop Cardinal Sin from trying to start another “People Power” movement, just in time for the 15th anniversary of the 1986 People Power revolution (when a united Philippines ousted thieving dictator Ferdinand Marcos from his throne).
I see a major socio-political disaster coming. Pray to God for the Philippines, people. It’s going to be a rough, potentially bloody ride.