Former President Erap Estrada shut the door close on calls for him to support the candidacy of LP standard bearer Noynoy Aquino because of the presence of people around the Senator who were responsible for Erap's ouster from the presidency in 2001.
"The conspiracy of this elitist so-called civil society and Noynoy is surrounded by these people which I cannot go along with and I don't believe that these people has a right to dictate to the Filipino people whom they like as their president," said the former President who was ousted in 2001 while going into his third year in office.
This is 24 Oras report by Ruth Cabal.
A cursory look at my blog should give you some idea of my political preferences but Erap has a point in the sense that anybody who wants to be regarded as the people's standard bearer would need to bear the people's agenda, not just the agenda of a few.
Noynoy has stated that he needs the people to fund his campaign. Well and good. That will set him far apart from most of those who are running. But if he is to become the people's standard bearer, he needs to make himself more accessible. Not just shaking hands with people but sitting down with the people, listening to them and learning from them.
Early on, he needs to state clearly how he intends to handle the problem of Hacienda Luisita which will be a focal point of the attacks against him as a candidate. This has been a festering issue for years and Noynoy has the perfect chance to put his mark on this problem and dispose of it for good. It will be an early acid test of his judgment and leadership and skill in consensus building.
The process of crafting the people's agenda needs to include the voiceless and the powerless. That is easier said than done but it is a vital part of making the entire process work. Without it, there will be no people's agenda to speak of and no people's standard bearer to cheer for.