What does Trump’s indictment mean to Filipinos

By Alex P. Vidal

“What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.”— Donald Trump

WHEN it comes to indicting a former president, the Philippines is “ahead” of the United States.

Before Donald Trump was indicted by the Manhattan grand jury in New York March 30 for hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election to become the first American former president indicted for a crime, Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo became the first two former presidents to be indicted for separate crimes in the Philippines.

Mr. Estrada was sentenced to life in prison after an anti-graft court found him guilty of plunder on September 11, 2007. He was pardoned by his successor, then President Arroyo.

Mrs. Arroyo, on the other hand, was arrested for electoral sabotage (remember “Hello Garci”?) at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig on November 18, 2011.

Under hospital arrest, Mrs. Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, was also charged for misuse of millions of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds and was released on bail on July 25, 2012.

“No one is above the law” was the line used by critics of both Mr. Estrada and Mrs. Arroyo’s that was also used by Mr. Trump’s critics.


Thus Mr. Trump’s indictment, although the first for a former US president, was not really something new or earthshaking for most Filipinos who value and believe in the rule of law.

There were Filipinos who considered the arrest of both former Philippine presidents to be politically motivated.

Just like Mr. Trump’s loyal supporters, especially some GOP lawmakers, who blamed President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party for Mr. Trump’s legal predicament.

Mr. Trump has denounced the indictment and lashed at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. He also denied any sexual relations with Daniels or Stephanie Gregory Clifford in real name, which was viewed by legal experts to be a “weak” defense.

Another former Filipino president, Rodrigo Duterte, also faces a possible indictment this time by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the bloody drug war during his presidency.

Mr. Duterte, in a latest speech, again called the ICC “mga putang ina” or SOB, his trademark.

New Yorkers beamed with pride as former President Donald Trump was indicted in his hometown, reported the New York Daily News which quoted Lisa Fithian, 62, as saying, “This is like a holiday. We should be popping champagne. This is a historic day. It’s a long time coming. We’re grateful for the DA and the courage of the grand jury.”

“What I did, I did at the direction of, for the benefit of, and in cooperation with Donald J. Trump,” Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer who testified against him, said. “And so, I ended being forced to plead guilty. I was charged, I was fined, and I was ultimately sentenced to several of these things that they’re looking at with Donald. What’s good for one has to be good for all.”


LAST SUPPER. There were 69 percent increase in portion sizes at the Last Supper over the past 1,000 years, according to researchers who studied 52 paintings that depict the meal (Time).

LONGING FOR SWEET ITALIAN CUISINE? An Italian meal may contain as much monosodium glutamate (MSG) as an Oriental meal since both tomatoes and cheese are natural sources of this substance.

VITAMIN. Women may find B12 helpful–as part of a B complex–during and just prior to menstruation while elderly people frequently have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 and require supplementation by injection.

If we are a vegetarian and have excluded eggs and dairy products from our diet, then we need B12 supplementation. If we keep regular “Happy Hours” and drink a lot, B12 can be a most effective revitalizer.

Cancer is more common among people who are obese than people who are at or below their ideal body weight.

Smoking, caffeine, refined sugar, and pollution can all raise our cholesterol level. Amino acids arginine and omithine can help us gain less–even as we eat more.

Products marked as aren’t necessarily low-calorie, and some products using artificial sweeteners contain more calories than if they had natural sugar.

THERE IS ALSO SOFTNESS IN HIM. 43 percent of all men have cried because of love-related issues. (Askmen).

(PG 13) It’s been estimated that the practice of autoerotic asphyxiation (temporarily suffocating yourself while masturbating) takes the lives of 250 to 1,000 people each year.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)