The big fish was caught through its big mouth. With what deposed President Estrada had revealed in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Strictly Politics,” he did not only incriminate himself but caused his lawyers to panic because it showed they were not doing their homework.

Estrada said he just acted as guarantor to his good friend Jaime Dichaves, who wanted to borrow money from his other friend William Gatchalian. With the assurance of another friend, George Go, the president of Equitable PCI Bank at that time, that he could sign under the name of Jose Velarde and that it would be up to them to arrange things, he gamely signed.

This conspiracy between the ill-advised client and his circle of friends only showed how an extremely “friendly” president could sacrifice good sense and presidential credibility just to please or help his friends. Indeed, Estrada as the President and not the friend was the best guarantor his friends could have in order to borrow P500 million.

But, as stated in his declaration of assets and liabilities, he only had P30 million to his name. And if that were true, how could he have become a guarantor in a P500 million loan?

Which then was the real conspiracy? And who then were the real conspirators and the willing victim?

In the course of the interview, Estrada even admitted that Clarissa Ocampo, the then PCI Bank vice-president for trust, was present during the signing in Malacañang and that she was the one who further convinced him to sign under a false name.

Ganid sa media

Obviously, Estrada was the most helpful of all Philippine presidents because he just couldn’t say no to favors, not even considering their tag price, to the extent of putting the presidency at stake.

In almost all of his interviews these past few months, he repeatedly said that he wanted his trial to be resolved as soon as possible. As if on cue, he blurted out the words the prosecution panel was fishing for to expedite the case.

He now must bear with the consequences of his slip of the tongue. His ever “paawa” tactic could no longer be employed. Maybe, he should now just stick to his more famous technique of persuading people that he is innocent, that he is merely dumb.

Now, Filipinos are asking, which is better in our present situation, charisma or intellectual quotient?


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