Erap and Sin

Estrada: RP suffering for defying Vatican in 2001 uprising

“Claiming vindication, former president Joseph Estrada said on Monday the country has been suffering because the late Jaime Cardinal Sin did not heed “God’s voice” and, instead, backed the Edsa II People Power revolt, despite a Vatican order to stay away.” more...

I first read this story yesterday, and I still can’t stop laughing about it. Estrada’s chutzpah on this one is almost unbelievable.

It was recently revealed that the highly influential -- and very amusingly named --- Cardinal Sin defied orders from the Vatican when he leant his support to the 2001 “People Power II” movement that swept Estrada from power.

The role of the Church in Philippine politics is ambiguous, and a case can certainly be made for church-elite collaboration against even pseudo-populist politicians like Estrada (Eva-Lotta Hedman’s In the Name of Civil Society is one interesting take). But for Estrada to take this moralistic tone is pretty incredible.

This is the man who managed to reach transparency international’s top-ten list of all-time most corrupt leaders after just 31 months in office! In addition to old standards like graft, kickbacks, complicity in drug smuggling and illegal gambling, Estrada was particularly notorious for spending millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains buying houses for his various mistresses.

But of course, the problems in the Philippines are not caused by corrupt, morally bankrupt leadership. Oh no, says Estrada, it’s because god is punishing the country for Cardinal Sin’s disobedience.

Wala siyang hiya! Ang kapal ng mukha nya!