I've been gone (from Manila) for about 1.5 weeks and things get exciting--explosions at the mall and a pardon for a plunderer. Wow, maybe I really should get out more.
Seriously, when the Erap pardon first came out, I was just about to prepare for a retreat and all of a sudden, I get this deluge of sms from irate friends cussing in all shades of blue (many of them female). Many asked me why, which is funny because I really don't know the answer (I have my speculations but, of course, your guess is as good as mine).
Let me hazard a guess though.
The Erap pardon is not an act of grace nor an act of forgiveness--it is purely political. Gloria is storing capital for 2010 because when she steps down--assuming she's not sooner removed before then--she is going to be sued for plunder, just like Erap. Right now, there is no one looking out for her because when she loses power in 2010, she will just be another ex-president facing a plunder charge. So the Erap pardon is clearly political security for her even as she anticipates the deluge of plunder suits she and Mike Arroyo will face.
As to why Erap accepted it--why shouldn't he? It is a golden opportunity to parlay into political capital once again his tarnished name and reputation. And if it means not calling for Gloria to step down sooner than 2010 and calling her "President", it is a cheap price to pay and a not too bitter pill to swallow.
In the meantime, we, the people, have just been had again.
Old dogs do learn new tricks--Erap and Gloria did. Whyever can't we, the people, learn?