Thursday, October 25, 2007

Former President Joseph Estrada Pardoned By Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has granted executive clemency to former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, in an order read by Acting Executive Secretary Ignacio Bunye at Malacanang Palace. The pardon takes effect immediately and negates the penalties resulting from Estrada's Sept. 12 plunder conviction before a special Sandiganbayan Court after six and half years of detention and prosecution by Philippine authorities. Transcript and audio recording of the announcement follows.


Downloadable MP3 of Grant of Executive Clemency (Pardon)

TRANSCRIPT:

Whereas this administration has a policy of releasing prisoners who have reached the age of 70,

Whereas Joseph Ejercito Estrada has been under detention for six and a half years,

Whereas Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly committed to no longer seek any elective position or public office,

In view hereof, and pursuant to the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution, I hereby grant executive clemency to Joseph Ejercito Estrada, convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan and imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

He is hereby restored to his civil and political rights. The forfeitures imposed by the Sandiganbayan remain in force and in full, including all writs and processes issued by the Sandiganbayan in pursuance hereof, except for the bank accounts he owned before his tenure as President.

Upon acceptance of this pardon by Joseph Ejercito Estrada, this pardon shall take effect. Given under my hand, at the City of Manila, this 25th day of October, in the year of our Lord, 2007.

Signed,
Gloria M. Arroyo

Attested,
Ignacio R. Bunye,
Acting Executive Secretary.


CAVEATS:

Former President Fidel V. Ramos was very much against the widely expected pardon. No wonder his man at Malacanang Palace, Executive Secretary Ed Ermita did not read the Grant of Executive Clemency and is reportedly on the other side of the world in New York.

Estrada lawyer Rene Saguisag told ABSCBN News that while he agreed with the grant of pardon for humanitarian purposes, he also characterized it as the "act of a tyrant" trying to mitigate her unconstitutional ouster of a sitting President in conspiracy with military and civilian leaders, starting one year before the historic events of January 2001, when indeed "Erap" was removed from office with the help of Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo T. Reyes whose mutiny was later blessed by the Supreme Court as a "withdrawal of support" and most especially Hilario G. Davide, Jr. wearing the costume of the Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Saguisag noted with not a little chagrin and irony that a number of very high profile corrupt criminal personalities are still running around free in Philippine society and ought now to be prosecuted properly and finally punished. For eample: Imelda Marcos and a whole rack of Marcos cronies holding high positions and large business enterprises; Joc Joc Bolante of the fertilizer scam, as well as the aforementioned Gen. Reyes and Injustice Davide.

9 comments:

AdB said...

Aha! Civil Society might go up in arms -- heh! Erap and Gloria will cancel each other out?

Good!

DJB Rizalist said...

FVR called it a disaster...no wonder his man in Malacanang, Ed Ermita did not make the announcement and is in New York!

AdB said...

But I doubt Ed will say anything other than to support Gloria's pardon when he comes back.

DJB Rizalist said...

hehe, if he comes back at all. Note the title given to Ignacio Bunye. Rumors of Ed quitting have been rampant the last few days.

AdB said...

I see - so Manuel Buencamino is right. Poor Ed, ever the smooth operator, a gentle creature who'd rather enter into compromises than shake the status quo has finally had it?

DJB Rizalist said...

It could be the start of a trend though...as saguisag says, time to go after all the unpunished miscreants like Imelda...

Amadeo said...

One wonders if there is any proper juxtaposition between this pardon and others like: Nixon not for his subalterns' crimes but for his cover-up, or for Scooter Libby not for the agent’s outing but for his botched testimony. Or Weinberger under Reagan, again as I vaguely recall not for his personal crimes.

Spiro Agnew I do not recall ever got a pardon. His crime was tax evasion. Clinton among the many charges got convicted in one and lost his law license. As I far as I know, he still does not have his license back.

What grievous impact did the crimes of Erap for which he was convicted have on the country at large?

And to end on a lighter note. In the case of Imelda, let me sing chorus with one of my favorites, Buddy Holly: "..that will be the day.."

the bystander said...

DJB, who's the real "winner" between GMA and JEE?

upoytao said...

So what is my take on Eraps' pardon given by Malakanyang?

First Erap had been wasting his time in prison for a long time without ever being proven guilty at that. To date he's only been proven guilty this year and yet he had to suffer the humiliation of being an ousted President charged with sorruption Etc... while Imelda Marcos, GMA, Joc-joc Bolante, The comelec amongst others gets away with their crimes...

You see life just isn't fair, but that doesn't mean that only the ones in power should have the benefit of the doubt.

What Erap did to date is to face his accusers head on and place his faith in the justice system that actually played him bad. And that was perhaps his downfall... he trusted too much.

So when I'm asked if I agree with the pardon of Erap I think the question should be placed in the context of all the criminals outside of prison and who's forever eluded justice due to influence and power.

Honestly speaking I admire Erap for standing out and facing the truth for all its worth he's one helluva brave person. You must give him credit for that.

Yet...

I do not agree with Eraps' pardon If justice is to be served righteously and equally to each and everyone and that also applies to the President who's forever eluded justice.

I do not agree with Eraps' pardon because it bodes darkly for the plight of GMA and other criminals that by virtue of influence gets away with crimes against humanity.

I do not agree with Eraps' pardon because it is given out by a President who cheated her way to office.

But let justice be afforded to the ones' who had been asking for it for a long time and who deserves it.

But personally... justice in the Philippines? Are you crazy?