How The Wind Blows For Estrada And Villar
Former President Erap Estrads and Senator Manny Villar are a study in contrasts, and similarities.
They’re both running for President, rairing to take over from the hugely unpopular Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Both Villar and Estrada trail Sen. Noynoy Aquino in the surveys but are gaining on the only son of his revered parents Ninoy and Cory Aquino.
Estrada and Villar, either by design or coincidence have their headquarters on Shaw Boulevard.
Estrada is running his 2nd campaign for the presidency at the newly-renovated # 409 Shaw, the very same place from where Erap directed his successful run in 1997 that catapulted him to the presidency with the histori plurarity of 40 percent of the vote.
Villar is also at a newly-renovated digs: the storied Villa Paciencia, once owned by the Laurel family – home to the late Vice President Salvador ‘Doy’ Laurel and scene of many historic political meetings.
And let’s not forget that both Estrada and Villar are grizzled political warriors: Estrada was San Juan town’s (now a city) longest serving mayors before he became Senator, and then Senator.
Villar, most successful son of Las Pinas, rose from rags to riches I (by his own account) to become Congressman, House Speaker and Senate President.
Estrada is on his comeback bid seeking to redeem ‘lost honor’ after being convicted of plunder and suffering several years of ‘rest house’ detention.
Thanks to the pardon swiftly granted by benefactor Pres. Arroyo, E|strada had all his political rights restored to him.
Now it’s full steam ahead for Erap with the COMELEC giving its blessings to his run (while also giving Arroyo the greenlight for her congressional bid in Pampanga).
While the wind is seemingly blowing behind Estrada’s back, Villar is just scoffing at the findings of the Senate Committee of the Whole chastising him for unethical conduct is the C-5 road extension project that zigzagged its way through Villar’s commercial properties.
Why wouldn’t Villar simply laugh?
Well, he’s just being asked to return some P 6-B aspent on the roads project instead of being accused of plunder like Erap.
In sum, both Estrada ans Villar art looking like winners.
Guess who’s on the losing end.