RECONCILIATION AFTER SIX YEARS OF FABRICATED PLUNDER CHARGES.by Napanice (no login)
THE COUNTRY HAS HAD ENOUGH POLITICAL CHAOS FOR THE ENTIRE TIME THAT GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO HAS MANAGED TO CHEAT THE FILIPINOS OF THEIR CHOSEN LEADER, TO TALK ABOUT RECONCILIATION OR EVEN A PARDON AFTER A GUILTY VERDICT WOULD BE JUST ADDING MORE SALT TO THE FESTERING WOUND LEFT BY THE MOB RULE THAT OUSTED A DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT.
IF ESTRADA WAS ABLE TO LAST SIX LONG YEARS OF AGONIZING DETENTION, POLITICAL CENSORSHIP AND MANIPULATION FROM THE SOCIETY'S ELITES AND THE CHURCH, THEN THOSE WHO CALLED FOR HIS OUSTER AND MOCK TRIAL IN A COURT OF LAW SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE INJUSTICE COMMITTED BECAUSE RECONCILIATION WILL ONLY JUSTIFY THE ACTS COMMITTED BY GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO AND HER CONSPIRATORS WHEN THEY DECIDED TO GANG UP AND STRIP THE PRESIDENT OF HIS POWERS AND THROW HIM IN JAIL.
NEITHER GLORIA NOR ESTRADA HAS THE FINAL SAY IN A DEMOCRACY, IT IS THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE THE LAST VOICE. GLORIA'S ILLEGITIMACY IS NOT THE BEST REASON TO RECONCILE, IN FACT IT WILL ONLY CONTINUE TO MAKE A MOCKERY OF THE PEOPLE'S WILL.
Erap on nat'l reconciliation: For the masses, why not?
Former president Joseph Estrada will always have the poor folk -- his "masses" -- in mind especially now that the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan is set to issue its ruling on plunder and perjury charges lodged against him six years ago.
"Mabubuhay ako, mamamatay ako, ang utang na loob ko sa mahihirap. Kaya kung national reconciliation, bakit hindi? Kung para sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayang mahihirap. (I may continue living or I might die but my moral obligation is still with the masses. If they're talking about national reconciliation, if it's for the masses, why not?)" he told DZMM news anchor Karen Davila during an interview Thursday afternoon.
Estrada's reply to the question posed by Davila stemmed from reports that Malacañang has been issuing statements to the point that the administration wants to reconcile with its political enemies.
The administration, however, said a pardon for Estrada is not being discussed at this point despite the anti-graft court's scheduled promulgation of its decision by next week.
At least one administration official, in the person of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, revealed that he went to visit Estrada at the deposed leader's Tanay, Rizal vacation estate. Estrada is under house arrest at his villa.
Gonzales denied that he and the former president discussed the possibility of a pardon for the deposed leader at length. He, however, admitted that they briefly talked about the subject.
Estrada, for his part, said he hopes that Sandiganbayan magistrates will decide not with involving politics but based on the merits of the cases against him. The former president faces plunder and perjury charges.
"Kapag pinawalansala ako, mali lahat ang ginawa noong EDSA 2 (If they acquit me, it will only show that what they did during EDSA 2 was wrong)," he said.
On the other hand, Estrada said that a conviction would also be wrong because he considers himself innocent of the charges in the first place.
'Guilty as accused'
With regard to proposals to pardon him, the former president said that would mean admitting that he is guilty as accused.
"Kaya nga sinasabi ko sa inyo, paulit-ulit ako, kung may kasalanan ako, iyong alok sa akin na umalis ng bansa tinanggap ko agad iyon (I would have left the country if I consider myself guilty)," he said, referring to alleged offers made by certain administration officials to him to leave the country following his ouster from Malacañang.
The deposed leader said he has prepared himself for the outcome of the cases as proposals were raised for him to be taken to the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City after the ruling is released.
Malacañang, however, said that Estada will not be taken to the NBP should the Sandiganbayan find him guilty of the charges.
Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, who is also President Arroyo's adviser on political affairs, said he will request the anti-graft court to let Estrada remain at his Tanay villa in case of a negative verdict.
Puno said the proposal for Estrada to remain in Tanay is line with safety and security concerns against perceived destabilizers. He did not elaborate.
The interior secretary, however, said that the Arroyo administration is not afraid of the protest actions that are being planned by Estrada's symphatizers. He said the former president's loyalists should show their support "within legal bounds."
Estrada said the administration's fears are baseless following reports that the police and military have assigned thousands of its men and women to stand guard and maintain peace and order for next week Sandiganbayan decision.
"Sabi ko nga sa kanya (Gonzales), bakit ba takot na takot ang administrasyon? (I asked him, 'what is the administration afraid of?)"
The former president said that anti-Estrada activists were not forced from the streets during his term in Malacañang. "Noong kapanahunan ko [na] sila nagra-rally, I gave maximum tolerance. (During my time, I gave them maximum tolerance when they rallying against me.)"
With just days before the scheduled release of the verdict, pro- and anti-Estrada forces have begun issuing statements with regard to what will happen to the former president after the ruling.
Rene Saguisag, one of Estrada's lawyers, said he sees four possibilities in line with the Sandiganbayan's decision.
First, a guilty verdict and a prison term for Estrada. Second, he could be absolved of plunder but may be found guilty of the lesser charge.
The third possibility, Saguisag said, is an acquittal while the fourth, a mistrial after six years of legal battle.
Posted on Sep 6, 2007, 7:34 AM
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