Voters squandered valuable opportunity

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 May, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 May, 2001, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from Joey Rodriguez headlined 'Heroic Estrada' (South China Morning Post, May 11).

Mr Rodriguez says the rich ruling class ousted Joseph Estrada. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't Estrada, his wife and his rather large extended family be considered rich? He was the president and had been vice-president and mayor of his home town of San Juan, so would this not make him a member of the ruling class?

His wife ran in the senatorial elections in the Philippines earlier this month, and his son is currently the mayor of San Juan. Surely this makes him part of a ruling-class family.

Lack of education and long-term thought are the greatest obstacles holding back the Philippines. It seems no one thinks very far down the road.

In the Philippines, the senators do not represent constituents as much as they represent businesses, such as San Miguel or Ayala Corp. Estrada did the same. I believe Mr Rodriguez must be one of those diehard Estrada supporters who will support him even if he is found guilty of all charges. Such supporters would rationalise that he was framed.

Face the facts, you elected an uneducated 'Good Old Boy' who was not a military leader, not an educated economist, not a successful business man, not even a good person with a high moral being. You got what you deserved because this is what you voted for. While all of Asia was in crisis during the past three years, the Philippines had a chance to rise above Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Korea. But what happened? The country elected Estrada, and nothing happened.

Mr Rodriguez, I suggest you stop justifying this failure and look to the future - and to who is going to run your country.