FORMER President Joseph Estrada who was campaigning in the province two days ago is said to have displayed the same kind of charisma and that has attracted him to the poor folk everywhere he went during his stint as president of the country.

On accusations that he distributed campaign money to the people who met him especially in Silay City, his longtime apologist former senator Ernesto Maceda was quick to come to ERAP’s defense by saying that he (Maceda) was actually the one who gave money to an old woman who came to hug the ex-president at the Silay plaza. Maceda said he did it out of compassion after watching the old woman’s display of affection for the former president, and because Maceda himself is not running for any position in the coming May 10 polls.

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The fact is insofar as remembering the “sins” of ERAP that led to his being convicted of plunder despite being the sitting president at that time, Filipinos are expected to easily forget. And this is expected to be reflected in the results of the forthcoming national elections as indeed Filipinos generally have a poor memory when it comes to the excesses committed by their government officials.

The fact that ERAP has maintained his No. 3 position in a couple of surveys among presidentiables behind frontrunners Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and Manuel Villar is indeed not a bright prospect at all for the country. Only former Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro’s inching much closer to ERAP in the survey standings is a kind of consolation, if any.

As for the so-called ERAP magic, you may be sure to catch some of its virus as the election draws near, despite Maceda’s protestations.