Rep. Edgar “Egay” Erice
Each of us seems to have a main focus, a particular idea of practicality—a concept of ‘what we want out of life’ against which we judge our experiences.
— American psychic Jane Roberts
MY friend, Caloocan City District II representative Edgar ‘Egay’ Erice has been a long-time member of the Liberal Party (LP) and he has admitted that leaving his political party was due to his group’s apparent lack of plans as well as its ongoing decline, which he attributed to a leadership problem with vice president Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo.
He alleged that Robredo, being the LP’s chairperson, should have pointed a direction for the party amid the upcoming election season but apparently, because of the vice president’s lack of leadership and their party has subsequently become irrelevant to the changing times. More than that, too, many LP members in the party’s bailiwicks had already left.
Pareng Egay—who had once called himself a certified yellow shirt or ‘dilawan’ in reference to the yellow motif of LP—said that it was hard for him to leave his party of over 18 years, but his decision to part ways with his colleagues was ordained by recent developments so eventually did what he had to do.
I met the congressman way back in the 1990s when he was a councilman of Caloocan City under the mayorship of actor-turned-politician Rey Malonzo. I was invited to a thanksgiving party for the Camanava (Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela) Press Corps led by my colleague Arlie Calalo and pareng Egay partly sponsored the affair held at the San Miguel Corporation’s beer depot (or plant) on Macarthur Avenue.
At that occasion, I met the councilman on equal terms—him not as a politician and myself a plain citizen without the trappings of a member of the Fourth Estate. We actually had a grand time and I even joked to pareng Egay I would really lose my top if we ran out of beer at the SMC plant. He just smiled and pointed at the two trailers of beer parked near where we were having a drinking spree!
And the next time I met pareng Egay was when he was already Caloocan City’s representative in the Lower House. My wife, Heidi, and I were at the old Caloocan City hall on A. Mabini Street when I glimpsed at the congressman’s office and decided to make a courtesy call to my friend. He was surprised to see my better half as she is 22 years younger than me and he advised me to take special care she wouldn’t bump her head and awaken from her stupor of marrying a guy like me.
Three years ago, I met him again in my barangay in Maypajo. I knew right there and then that he would run for mayor since the incumbent local chief executive of the city, mayor Oscar Malapitan, was on his third and final term.
Pareng Egay did not confirm this possibility but in truth, I rather hoped he would run for mayor because I was not satisfied with Oca’s stewardship of our city. And now indeed it has come to that—my friend Egay Erice against Oca Malapitan’s son and District I solon Dale ‘Along’ Malapitan.
Pound-for-pound, in my opinion, pareng Egay would be the better mayor.
On relinquishing his membership in LP, pareng Egay has joined Manila mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso’s party Aksyon Demokratiko. Very apt for my friend because as the party name implies, it hints on action, a thing we need more in these troubled times of economic ruin amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
For now, he is Aksyon Demokratiko’s chairman for its National Capital Region operations.
As to whether former vice president Mar Roxas—Robredo’s running mate in the 2016 polls who accompanied Erice in his meeting with the incumbent vice president—would leave the party to support Aksyon Demokratiko’s Moreno, pareng Egay said he does not know. But he is sure to a certainty that Mar Roxas will not leave the Liberal Party.
And in pareng Egay’s joining Aksyon Demokratiko, I believe we will see him support and be supported by Isko’s practicality.