Walang tutulong sa Pilipino, kundi ang kapwa Pilipino

About Erap

Rotary Club of Forbes Park & Manila Speech

Speech of President Joseph E. Estrada

Rotary Club of Forbes Park

McKinley Room, Manila Polo Club, 12noon, Oct. 18, 2012

ISANG MAGANDANG TANGHALI AT MABUHAY SA MGA KAGALANG-GALANG NA OPISYAL, MGA KASAPI AT MGA PILING PANAUHIN NG MGA  ROTARY CLUBS NA NARITO NGAYON.

MALUGOD AKONG NAGPAPASALAMAT SA INYONG MASIGLANG PAGTANGGAP SA AKIN NGAYONG TANGHALI.

NAGPAPASALAMAT DIN AKO SA INYONG IMBITASYON UPANG AKO AY MAGING BAHAGI BILANG PANAUHING TAGA-PAGSALITA NG INYONG REGULAR MEETING.

I AM SURE YOU WILL BE HAPPY TO LISTEN TODAY TO MY HANDSOME AND GOOD-LOOKING ENGLISH.

HINDI AKO NAGDALAWANG-ISIP NA TANGGAPIN ANG INYONG IMBITASYON PARA MAPATUNAYAN KO NAMAN SA INYO NA SI ERAP AY HINDI PARA SA MAHIHIRAP LANG.

SI ERAP AY PARA SA MGA TAGA-FORBES PARK DIN. LALO NA KUNG PARA SA ROTARY CLUB.

AS YOU KNOW, I AM NOW A CERTIFIED MEMBER OF THE X-MEN IN THIS COUNTRY – EX-MAYOR, EX-SENATOR, EX-VICE PRESIDENT, EX-PRESIDENT, AND EX-CONVICT.

THAT IS WHY TODAY, I BELIEVE WE WILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT AND GROUND-BREAKING MILESTONE IN THE HISTORY OF THE ROTARY CLUB OF FORBES PARK.

THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME YOU WILL HAVE AN EX-CONVICT AS YOUR GUEST SPEAKER.

AS YOU KNOW, I WAS DETAINED FOR ALMOST SEVEN AGONIZING YEARS AND WAS CONVICTED UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF MADAM COOL CAT – IYONG KULANG SA SUKAT.

ON HINDSIGHT HOWEVER, I REALIZE THAT IT IS NOT ONLY ME WHO IS A VICTIM OF INJUSTICE AND PUT TO JAIL. I JOIN THE RANKS OF NELSON MANDELA OF SOUTH AFRICA, ANWAR IBRAHIM OF MALAYSIA, THE DISSIDENT AUNG SAN SUU KYI OF MYANMAR, AND OF COURSE, THE LATE SENATOR NINOY AQUINO.

WE WERE ALL CONVICTED, WHICH MAKES US MEN OF CONVICTION.

IT IS A SIGNAL HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE FOR ME TO SPEAK TODAY BEFORE THIS DISTINGUISHED ASSEMBLY.

I AM QUITE AWARE THAT THIS IS A GATHERING OF DISTINGUISHED LEADERS, RESPECTED PROFESSIONALS AND RENOWNED MOVERS AND SHAKERS OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY IN THE PHILIPPINES.

IN MY LONG CAREER AS A PUBLIC SERVANT, I ALWAYS LISTENED TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SOUND ADVICE. BUT TODAY I AM VERY HAPPY YOU ARE THE ONES NOW LISTENING TO ME.

AND IF THERE BE ANY OF YOU WHO WERE PART OF THE CONSPIRACY TO REMOVE ME AS THE DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES IN THE SO-CALLED EDSA DOS, I FORGIVE YOU.

BUT PLEASE DON’T DO IT AGAIN. BECAUSE OF EDSA DOS, OUR COUNTRY SUFFERED FOR ALMOST A DECADE. THIS IS NOW WHAT I CALL OUR NATION’S LOST DECADE.

BUT IN SPITE OF EDSA DOS, I STILL BELIEVE IN DEMOCACY. I STILL BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH, WHICH IS WHY TODAY, I AM DELIVERING THIS SPEECH FOR FREE. WALANG TALENT O PROFESSIONAL FEE.

I TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXTEND MY WARM GREETING AND HIGH ESTEEM TO THE JOINT ROTARY CLUBS WHO ARE HERE TODAY,  WITH THE HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE TO BE ACTIVE IN YOUR CIVIC INVOLVEMENT IN HELPING OUR POOR COUNTRYMEN.

EARLY THIS MONTH, AS YOU ALL KNOW, I HAVE FILED MY CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY TO RUN FOR MAYOR IN THE CITY OF MANILA FOR THE MID-TERM ELECTIONS NEXT YEAR.

WELL-MEANING FRIENDS AND RELATIVES HAVE ASKED ME WHY I MUST SEEK POLITICAL OFFICE AGAIN.

THEY ALSO TELL ME THAT I HAD ALREADY A LONG CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE AND EVEN BECAME PRESIDENT. THEY TELL ME THAT THERE IS NOTHING MORE FOR ME TO PROVE BECAUSE I HAVE SERVED OUR PEOPLE ALL MY LIFE. THEY ALSO ASK ME, WHY MANILA?

MY RESPONSE IS SIMPLE. FIRST, PUBLIC SERVICE DOES NOT RETIRE AND IT DOES NOT KNOW ANY BOUNDARIES.

BUT THE MORE COMPELLING REASON FOR ME TO CHALLENGE THE POSITION OF MAYOR OF MANILA IS BECAUSE YOU AND I ARE NOW WITNESS TO THE CONTINUING DECLINE AND DETRIORATION OF WHAT SHOULD BE OUR PREMIER CITY IN THE PHILIPPINES, THE CITY OF MANILA.

MANILA, AS WE KNOW, HAS A RICH HISTORY AND A RICH HERITAGE BECAUSE IT IS THE SHOW WINDOW OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE WORLD. IN MANY COUNTRIES, MANILA IS KNOWN MORE THAN ANY OTHER CITY IN THE PHILIPPINES.

SOME FORTY YEARS AGO, MANILA WAS THE FINANCIAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES. IT IS THE HUB OF BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES.

YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME PERHAPS THAT THIS IS NOW NO LONGER THE CASE.

INSTEAD WE FIND MANILA TODAY A DEPLORABLE BASKET CASE OF CRIMINALITY, OF CONSTANT FLOODING, OF DRUG DENS, OF KOTONG COPS, OF DECAYING FACILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE, OF SLUMS AND CONGESTION AND SO MANY OTHER URBAN BLIGHTS THAT MAKE ME AND ALL OF US WEEP.

WE WEEP BECAUSE WE HAVE LOST THE GLORY OF THE GOLDEN DAYS OF THE ELEGANT MANILA OF THE FIFTIES AND THE SIXTIES.

MANILA CAN NOW BE CONSIDERED AS THE SICK MAN OF METRO MANILA. AND IT IS OUR DUTY TO STOP THIS DECLINE BECAUSE WE LOVE MANILA. WE MUST BE PROUD OF MANILA.

ESCOLTA AND BINONDO ARE NOW NO LONGER SEEN AS COMMERCIAL CENTERS BECAUSE MANILA HAS BEEN OVERTAKEN BY MAKATI, QUEZON CITY, MANDALUYONG, PASIG AND EVEN SAN JUAN, TAGUIG AND VALENZUELA.

MANILA IS CLOSE TO HEART BECAUSE IT IS IN THE CITY OF MANILA WHERE MY FATHER BUILT HIS CAREER AS A PUBLIC SERVANT, HAVING SERVED FAITHFULLY IN THAT CITY UNTIL HIS RETIREMENT.

MY FATHER SERVED FOR THIRTY YEARS UNDER FOUR MAYORS – MAYORS FUGOSO, DE LA FUENTE, LACSON AND VILLEGAS.

I HAVE NOW DECIDED TO RUN AS MAYOR OF THE CITY OF MANILA TO RESTORE THE GLORY OF THIS PREMIER CAPITAL OF THE COUNTRY AND TO CONTINUE WHERE MY FATHER LEFT OFF IN THE SERVICE OF THIS GREAT CITY.

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW, I WAS BORN IN TONDO, MANILA IN A SMALL MATERNITY HOSPITAL, THE MANUGUID MATERNITY HOSPITAL, NOW CLOSED. SO MANILENO AKO NA NAPADPAD LANG SA SAN JUAN.

IT WAS IN MANILA WHERE I WAS BORN, AND IT IS ALSO BECAUSE OF MANILA THAT I BECAME FAMOUS AS A MOVIE ACTOR PORTRAYING THE ROLE OF THE ROBIN HOOD OF TONDO, MANILA – ASIONG SALONGA.

SO YOU CAN SEE, MANILA IS CLOSE TO MY HEART BECAUSE WHEREVER YOU MAY GO IN THE WORLD TODAY, MANILA IS THE PHILIPPINES.

BUT IT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE FOR ME AND FOR YOU, THAT IT HAS NOW ACQUIRED THE UNSAVORY REPUTATION OF URBAN DECAY, POVERTY, UNCOLLECTED GARBAGE, UNSANITARY CONDITIONS, ENCLAVES OF SLUMS AND HOMELESS PEOPLE, ALL REFLECTING THE SQUALOR OF A CITY THAT HAS BEEN NEGLECTED, MISAMANAGED AND MISGOVERNED.

THE SAD THING IS WHEN FOREIGNERS COME TO OUR COUNTRY, IT IS MANILA THEY FIRST SEE AND IT CREATES A VERY BAD IMPRESSION ON THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.

I CANNOT AND WE MUST NOT THEREFORE SIT IDLY TO SEE THE CONTINUING DECLINE OF WHAT SHOULD BE THE PREMIER CITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, BEING ITS CAPITAL, THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND WHAT MUST BE THE MOST RENOWNED METROPOLIS OF OUR NATION.

QUITE RECENTLY, A REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT ON THE FINANCES OF THE CITY OF MANILA INDICATED THAT THE CITY GOVERNMENT HAS UNPAID DEBTS AMOUNTING TO 3.5 BILLION PESOS.

THIS IS THREE TIMES MORE THAN THE CITY’S CASH HOLDINGS OF ONLY ABOUT 1 BILLION PESOS.

OUT OF THESE ARREARS INCLUDE THE NON-REMITTANCE OF EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, THE HOME DEVELOPMENT MUTUAL FUND OR PAG-IBIG, AND THE PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORPORATION.

KAWAWA NAMAN ANG MGA KARANIWANG KAWANI NG MANILA. BINABAWASAN ANG KANILANG SAHOD BUWAN-BUWAN, TAPOS WALA SILANG BENEPISYONG MAKUKUHA SA GSIS, PHILHEALTH O PAG-IBIG.

WE MUST NOW LAUNCH A MASSIVE REVENUE GENERATION CAMPAIGN FOR MANILA. AS MAYOR FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS, I KNOW THAT THERE ARE THREE MAIN SOURCES OF REVENUE FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT. THESE ARE: THE REAL PROPERTY TAX, THE BUSINESS TAX AND LICENSES AND ECONOMIC ENTERPRISES. WE CAN ADD TO THESE THOSE REVENUES THAT CAN BE GENERATED FROM TAXING IDLE ASSETS.

MY INITIAL APPROACH HER IS TO UPDATE THE SCHEDULE OF THE FAIR MARKET VALUE OF REAL PROPERTIES BECAUSE THE LAST REVISION WAS IN 2005 OR SEVEN YEARS AGO.

I ALSO SEEK TO OPERATIONALIZE THE COMPUTERIZED REAL PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM FROM WHERE WE CAN GENERATE A LIST OF DELINQUENT PROPERTIES.

A STUDY WE CONDUCTED SUGGESTS THAT THE REAL PROPERTY TAXES THAT HAVE BEEN DELINQUENT AND OUTSTANDING SINCE 1974 CAN AMOUNT TO AS MUCH AS 764 MILLION PESOS.

SIDE BY SIDE WITH THESE, WE NEED TO INSTITUTE AN EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT AND COLLECTION OF MARKET FEES AND CHARGES.

IN ALL THESE, WE WILL ENSURE COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY IN REVENUE COLLECTIONS AND IN DISBURSEMENTS. THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF MANILA WILL KNOW WHERE THEIR TAXES WILL GO.

BUT MY OTHER PRIORITY WILL BE ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM OF CRIMINALITY IN THE CITY.

AGAIN, ONLY RECENTLY TOO, JUST EARLY THIS MONTH, A REPORT BY THE HIGHWAY PATROL GROUP OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE HAS DECLARED MANILA AS HAVING BECOME THE CARNAPPING CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES.

TINALO NA ANG QUEZON CITY WHICH ONCE HELD THAT DUBIOUS REPUTATION OF BEING THE CAR-THEFT CAPITAL OF THE COUNTRY.

ON TOP OF ALL THESE, WE CONTINUE TO RECEIVE REPORTS OF SCALAWAGS IN MANILA’S FINEST OR MANILA WORST, WHERE POLICEMEN OF THE MANILA POLICE DISTRICT HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN ALL SORTS OF CRIME.

AS AN EXAMPLE, AGAIN VERY RECENTLY, THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER REPORTED THAT TWELVE MANILA POLICEMEN ASSIGNED AT THE MANILA POLICE DISTRICT STATION 4 INCLUDING THE COMMANDER WERE CHARGED WITH KIDNAPPING. THIS INVOLVED A FILIPINO-CANADIAN WHO ACCUSED THEM OF EXTORTING ONE MILLION PESOS FROM HER.

WE HAVE ALSO RECEIVED CONTINUING REPORTS OF TORTURE OF SUSPECTS BY MANILA POLICEMEN, AS WELL AS CASES OF HULIDAP, EXTORTION, ROBBERY AND OTHER FORMS OF POLICE CORRUPTION.

PAANO MO AAYUSIN ANG CRIMIMINALITY SA MANILA KUNG ANG PULIS MO MISMO ANG NUMBER ONE VIOLATOR NG BATAS? HINDI KO MAINTINDIHAN ITO DAHIL DATING PULIS PA NAMAN ANG KASALUKUYANG ALKALDE NG MAYNILA.

KAYA ANG SABI KO TULOY, KUNG ANG SLOGAN NG TOURISM NATIN AY ITS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES, SA MANILA ANG FUN NA SASALUBONG SA IYO AY HOLDAPAN, KIDNAPAN AT CARANAPAN.

WHEN I WAS PRESIDENT, I DECLARED AN ALL-OUT WAR AGAINST THE SECESSIONIST MOVEMENT IN THE SOUTH AND AGAINST CRIMINALITY.

AND FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER MANY YEARS, THE PNP WAS GIVEN A HIGH POSITIVE APPROVAL RATING BY OUR PEOPLE DURING MY WATCH.

I PROMISE YOU, I WILL DECLARE AN ALL-OUT WAR AGAINST CRIMINALITY AND POLICE SCALAWAGS IN MANILA IF EVER I WILL BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE THERE.

I REMEMBER WELL THAT THIS WAS THE VERY SAME SITUATION WE HAD WHEN I BECAME MAYOR OF SAN JUAN. IT WAS A BASKET CASE AMONG THE MUNICIPALITIES IN THE THEN GREATER MANILA AREA.

THERE WERE MANY POLICE SCALAWAGS AND THE MUNICIPALITY WAS A HAVEN FOR DRUG PUSHERS, GAMBLING LORDS AND ALL SORT OF SHADY CHARACTERS.

WE WERE ABLE TO TRANFORM SAN JUAN TODAY AND IS NOW RECOGNIZED AS AMONG THE TOP HIGHLY URBANIZED CITY IN METRO MANILA BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

IN THIS STUDY, MANILA WAS WAY, WAY BELOW THE RANKING COMPARED TO OTHER PERFORMING CITIES IN THE COUNTRY.

HINDI NAMAN GUSTO KONG MAG-BUHAT NG SARILING BANGKO, PERO SIGURO NAMAN INIWAN KO ANG SAN JUAN NGAYON SA MABUTING KAMAY. PATI ANG MGA SQUATTERS DUON, HINANAPAN NATIN NG MAAYOS NA RELOCATION SITE.

THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO NOW TO THE CITY OF MANILA WHICH HAS BEEN NEGLECTED AND LEFT BEHIND IN THE DRAMA OF GROWTH AND TRANSFORMATION NOW CHARACTERIZING MAJOR CITIES IN THE PHILIPPINES.

KAYA ANG NASABI KO SA SARILI KO, THIS IS NOT THE MANILA WE WANT. THIS IS NOT THE MANILA WE NEED. THIS NOT THE MANILA WE CAN BE PROUD OF.

WE NEED TO REHABILITATE MANILA AND RESTORE ITS GLORY BY LAUNCHING A MASSIVE CAMPAIGN OF URBAN RENEWAL, CREATE PRO-POOR EMPLOYMENT AND LIVELIHOOD OPPORTUNITIES, AND EXPAND THE FUNDS FOR SOCIAL SERVICES.

WE NEED TO CLEAN UP THE POLICE FORCE AND RESTORE ITS IMAGE AS MANILA’S FINEST. THEY MUST RELEARN THE VALUE THAT THEY ARE THERE TO SERVE AND TO PROTECT, AND NOT TO ARREST AND EXTORT.

WE NEED TO REHABILITATE AND UPGRADE PUBLIC BUILDINGS, FACILITIES AND UTILITIES, ESPECIALLY HISTORICAL LANDMARKS.

WE MUST BRING ABOUT A MASSIVE CLEAN-UP OF THE CITY AND INSTITUTE FLOOD CONTROL SYSTEMS, SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PROJECTS, SYSTEMATIC GARBAGE COLLECTION AND CONTROL OF CARBON EMISSIONS.

IN ALL THESE, WE WILL PAY ATTENTION TO CLEAN AND GREEN TECHNOLOGY WHICH SHOULD BE IN HARMONY WITH THE ENVIRONMENT.

KAILANGANG IBALIK NATIN ANG ANGKING DANGAL, AT GANDA NG MAYNILA NA KINIKILALA SA BUONG MUNDO.

AS FOR ME, I STARTED MY CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE AS A MAYOR. I FIND IT QUITE REASONABLE AND FITTING TO END IT AS A MAYOR IN THE LAST QUARTER OF MY LIFE.

THIS WILL BE MY CONTRIBUTION TO THE MATUWID NA DAAN OF THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT AQUINO.

WE MAY BELONG TO DIFFERENT POLITICAL PARTIES BUT WE MUST BE JOINED TOGETHER, AS WE ALL MUST BE, TOWARDS REDEEMING THE GLORY OF THIS NATION.

I ACCEPTED YOUR INVITATION ON THE FIRM BELIEF THAT YOU CONTINUE TO ABIDE BY YOUR FOUR-WAY TEST, WHICH GUIDES ROTARIAN ACTION. IS IT THE TRUTH? IS IT FAIR TO ALL CONCERNED? WILL IT BUILD GOODWILL? WILL IT BRING BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

I BELIEVE THESE ARE THE TIMES WHEN WE NEED TO PURSUE THAT FOUR-WAY TEST BECAUSE THE TRUTH OF THE PRESENT LEADERSHIP IN MANILA WILL NOT ONLY SET US FREE. IT WILL ALSO MAKE US MAD! AND IT IS ALSO NOT FAIR BECAUSE INSTEAD OF BUILDING GOODWILL AND FRIENDSHIPS, IT ALIENATES AND FRUSTRATES OUR PEOPLE IN MANILA.

HINDI ANG KASALUKUYANG PAMAMALAKAD ANG URI NG LUNGSOD NA DAPAT NATING IPAMANA SA ATING MGA ANAK, SA ATING MGA KABATAAN, SA DARATING PANG MGA HENERASYON NG PILIPINO DITO SA KAMAYNILAAN.

WE MUST DELIVER TO THEM A SOCIETY AND A GOVERNMENT THAT IS COMMITTED TO OUR COUNTRY’S WELFARE. WE MUST LEAVE THEM A NATION THAT IS HONORABLE, PEACEFUL, JUST, AND PROSPEROUS.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN IN HIS FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS SAID AND I QUOTE, “WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO DREAM A HEROIC DREAM.”

HINDI PLAGIARIZED YAN HA.

LAHAT TAYO AY MAY KARAPATANG MANGARAP NG ISANG DAKILANG PANGARAP.

AT ANG DAKILANG PANGARAP NA YAN AY ANG ISANG MATAGUMPAY NA PAGBUO NG ISANG PAYAPA, MAUNLAD AT MAKATARUNGANG LIPUNAN PARA SA ATING BANSA.

AT ITO AY DAPAT SIMULAN SA MAYNILA PARA MAGSILBING MODELO SA LAHAT NG LUNGSOD AT BAYAN SA PILIPINAS.

IN CLOSING, I TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ASK YOU TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF RESTORING DECENCY AND THE HONOR AND INTEGRITY OF OUR COUNTRY.

MARAMING SALAMAT, MAGANDANG ARAW AT MABUHAY!