Monday, October 29, 2007

If Erap's Pardon Is Constitutional, Resignation Becomes a Loophole and Mockery of the Law

Chief Prosecutor Dennis Villaignacio says they will question the constitutionality of Erap's pardon from GMA, despite an article by "Constitutionalist" Joaquin Bernas, S.J. declaring it okay by him. The 1987 Constitution contains this provision:
ART VII The Executive Branch Section 19. Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment.
I think the question should be settled once and for all by the Supreme Court because of the following very possible scenario.

Suppose President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is impeached by the House and tried in the Senate in 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010. Suppose further that, upon sensing that she is about to be convicted in the Senate Impeachment Court, and before a guilty verdict can be rendered, she voluntarily RESIGNS, but before she can flee to Hawaii or Shanghai, she is charged, arrested and convicted for plunder or some other capital crime and sentenced to reclusion perpetua, (exactly what happened to Erap.)

Now then, if the pardon for Erap by GMA in 2007 is deemed to be Constitutional, by parity of reasoning, the convicted Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would also be eligible for pardon, thus making a mockery of the clear intention of the Constitution to exclude cases of impeachment from the powers of the Presidency "to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons and remit fines and forfeitures."

In other words, if Erap's pardon is considered Constitutional, it would seem to me that we are allowing resignation to be a loophole by which an impeached Constitutional officer could defeat the Constitution and preserve his or her eligibility for reprieve, commutation of sentence and pardon in the subsequent criminal cases that could be brought against such officer after removal from office. It is a loophole that would certainly be resorted to once the impeached officer is relatively certain of conviction and removal from office anyway.

This seems to me to be absolutely unacceptable and a mockery of the Law.

Was Erap a case of impeachment?

Indubitably so, since the House of Representatives transmitted a case of impeachment against him in November, 2000 and his trial at a properly constituted Senate Impeachment Court began in December, 2000. Art. VII Sec. 19 explicitly states, "Except in cases of impeachment..."

Is there an ambiguity in the provision?

Yes there is, because the provision also explicitly states, that the various forms of executive clemency may only be granted "after conviction by final judgment."

In Erap's case, the events of Edsa Dos intervened, and though he was virtually certain of acquittal at the Senate Impeachment Trial after the Craven Eleven tipped their hand and showed Erap had the numbers for acquittal, the Supreme Court Chief Justice swore in the Vice President after she claimed the President was permanently incapacitated on 20 January 2001, which was later "construed" by the Supreme Court to be a valid resignation under the Constitution, in the historic case of Estrada v. Arroyo (March, 2001).

Thus it is now argued that there was a case of impeachment but no conviction by final judgment in that case. The conviction by final judgment now applicable to the pardon is that of the Sandiganbayan for plunder last September 12, 2007, six and half years after Erap's constructed resignation.

It would seem inconceivable to me that the framers of the Constitution intended for such a loophole to exist in cases of impeachment. The reason cases of impeachment are exempted from executive clemency would seem to be the serious nature of the high crimes and misdemeanors that qualify for impeachment of Constitutional officers. If they intended for resignation to be a means of preserving the possibility of pardon, they should have stated so in the Constitutional provision, explicitly.

The Supreme Court must settle this issue for all future cases of impeachment!


MLQ3 said...

the nixon scenario. perfectly legal.

Cocoy said...


i do agree on the point that this pardon does create a precedent--- an option, if you will, for Mrs. Arroyo... as a possible exit strategy, should she be impeached.

I think this is what she has been searching for. it is why she has taken such a hard stand over the years. She doesn't want to fall into the trap Mr. Estrada found himself in because, I think she somewhat knows, people will be less sympathetic to her.

i don't think the framers of the constitution, or anybody could have predicted the circumstances that our Republic found itself in that January.

i was really surprised Mr. Estrada asked for the pardon. He could have had the case dragged on, kicking and screaming for years until he's either dead, in which case a decision would be academic or finds a more sympathetic president to pardon him, couldn't he?

The way i see it--- Arroyo pardoning Mr. Estrada is a win-win for the Arroyos. She sets up a nice exit strategy, should it come to her being ousted from office and she at least "neutralizes" Mr. Estrada in the short-term, buying her enough political capital and time to take care of the growing dissent from her ranks. A reversal by the Supreme Court of this pardon can be dangerous for Mrs. Arroyo.

Cocoy said...

mlq3 and djb, from what i've read and understood from Fr. Bernas' article, the pardon is legal.

DJB Rizalist said...

Nixon was not a case of impeachment" since the House of Representatives had not yet initiated it. A case of impeachment means there is a trial to follow. Nixon was never impeached. Unlike Erap who most definitely was.

DJB Rizalist said...

Bernas also thinks that erap's removal was constitutional even though it is now very clear that the Supreme Court has less than zero jurisdiction throughout Article XI Public Accountability. The Supreme Court is the main reason also why impeachment as a tool of the political branch of the government is largely dead! Bah! Even I can read and comprehend an English Composition like the Constitution and see why he is wrong.

Cocoy said...


That's where everything hangs on, that's the root cause of all our troubles, isn't it? Every single thing that our country has done, right and wrong since the removal of Mr. Estrada from office hinges on that Supreme Court decision that EDSA 2 was Constitutional. Take that away and everything tumbles like a jack of cards.

It's what i'd like to think of as our gordian knot problem. How do you cut that Gordian Knot without unravelling everything? How do we solve that quandary? We can't undo the crime our Republic has done to Mr. Estrada, but that's not saying, I believe he's innocent. For lack of a better analogy, like a broken computer, how do you reinstall a country because that's where it all goes down to, doesn't it?

DJB Rizalist said...

Is it your opinion that the Supreme Court cannot make a mistake?

If it cannot make a mistake and is by definition infallible, then why does it from time to time correct itself, and even reverse major decisions of long standing.

If it can make a mistake, how does the Supreme Court correct itself?

If I insist on the historical importance of 20 January 2001 (Edsa Dos) and of the Supreme Courts acts and decisions leading to Estrada v. Arroyo, it is only because these are historical firsts. The first time we have impeached a President, the first President to resign four days after he was sure of acquittal, first time the Supreme Court usurped powers exclusive to the Senate.

Now do I lose sleep over it? Or squirm in frustration like some out there when I can't have my way? Of course not!

But I can appreciate the feeling that I understand what happened well enough that persons like you are disturbed enough, I hope to spend a minute or so thinking about it. And even venting sarcasm on it. Well at least I got a rise out of you. Thanks.

Cocoy said...


I've long held the opinion that they are not infallible. In this instance, from hindsight--- their decision to "promote" Arroyo in my opinion wasn't the wisest course of action, in fact I think it was the easy way out. I've long held the view that EDSA 2 shouldn't have happened. In that regard, I've admitted it several times that from the sidelines, I too wanted Mr. Estrada out then. I've know for quite sometime what a huge blunder it has been and how wrong that was.

quote: "If it can make a mistake, how does the Supreme Court correct itself?"

Where i get stuck is this. should they ever decide for some reason to reverse that EDSA 2 decision, what will happen to the past 7 years? What will happen to Mr. Estrada's conviction? What will happen to all those documents Mrs. Arroyo has signed as President? As a country, where the heck do we go from there?

how can they in this instance?

quote: "If I insist on the historical importance of 20 January 2001 (Edsa Dos) and of the Supreme Courts acts and decisions leading to Estrada v. Arroyo, it is only because these are historical firsts. The first time we have impeached a President, the first President to resign four days after he was sure of acquittal, first time the Supreme Court usurped powers exclusive to the Senate."

I know its important we have a frame of reference and like 9/11 was, that January continues to play a huge role in the future of this country. It's like everybody synchronized their watches to that month and generations from now, people will still be looking back at it.

My concern really as a citizen is that given this huge mess, given the facts that we know the historical data (i.e. that Supreme Court decision, Mrs. Arroyo, etc.), the economic and sociological problems we know that do exist, that need doing, how do we as a nation right our wrong without correcting it with another wrong? How does our country get better from here? How do we pick ourselves up? How do we turn to the future and admit to ourselves "yeah, we made a mistake," but to correct it, "we're not doing an EDSA. These are the steps that we're going to make to be a better people". Do we need something, new and if so, what is it?

quote: "Now do I lose sleep over it? Or squirm in frustration like some out there when I can't have my way? Of course not!

But I can appreciate the feeling that I understand what happened well enough that persons like you are disturbed enough, I hope to spend a minute or so thinking about it. And even venting sarcasm on it. Well at least I got a rise out of you. Thanks."

yeah, I know what you mean, too many people these days are frustrated and angry when they can not have their way. I appreciate you're thoughts on this matter. The discussion is always good. I realized that If we can not understand what went wrong or how things are, or how significant EDSA 2 was, or do not talk about it--- how can we improve the dynamics of our country going forward?

Cheers and thanks.

DJB Rizalist said...

Good question:

Where i get stuck is this. should they ever decide for some reason to reverse that EDSA 2 decision, what will happen to the past 7 years? What will happen to Mr. Estrada's conviction? What will happen to all those documents Mrs. Arroyo has signed as President? As a country, where the heck do we go from there?

Had Joseph Estrada appealed his plunder conviction to the Supreme Court, he could there raise the entire issue of how he, JEE, came to be convicted of plunder by a Special Sandiganbayan Court.

Upon appeal of a capital crime conviction like plunder the Supreme Court is forced to review and pass upon not only the plunder prosecution, but how he, JEE, came to be removed from his high Constitutional office as democratically elected President of the Philippines in those long ago days of 2001.

At this point, after seven long years, we the Filipino people are indeed able to look back on those events and see them for what they are: a patently and obviously unconstitutional removal of the President.

Even if the High Court so ruled, so what?

Well they would then be forced to ACQUIT convict Joseph Estrada on a "technicality":::that he had been illegally removed by the Chief Justice Hilario Davide who commited the first illegal, unconstitutional act of those historic events, EVEN IF they could also rule that his plunder conviction was properly executed, but would be analogous to the following hypothetical case:

Suppose the police know that A murdered B, but they force a confession out of A by torturing or blackmailing him while under arrest. If A is tried in court and the confession is presented, he might then be convicted of murder based on a forced confession.

I think in Edsa Dos Erap was literally coerced into taking certain actions that later got construed or understood by the Supreme Court as resignation.

Simply put, the Supreme Court can correct their own errors, in particular those in Estrada v. Arroyo. They could do this by ACQUITTING Erap on appeal of his plunder charge on a mere "technicality" called the Constitution.

The broader point is that the Supreme Court is not infallible and it is FUTURE Supreme Courts and their new decisions that can correct PAST Supreme Courts and their decisions. Nuthin' to it in my self-aggrandizing opinion. My favorite example is the history of US Supreme Court decisions re: SLAVERY.

We must await a Supreme Court composed of intellects able to see their power to correct, to redact the proceedings of the honorable Court, to bring Justice closer to fairness all around such that progress becomes possible because rancor is banished and replaced by common sense.

The point in this post can be restated as follows:

If Erap had been convicted in the Senate impeachment court, and then convicted of plunder, it hit me like a ton of bricks that GMA would not have the option of pardoning him, since that would be tantamount to a case of impeachment that got to a final conviction.

But since Erap resigned, as ruled by the Supreme Court, I conclude that resignation has indeed become a loophole by which any impeached constitutional officer could then at least preserve the possibility of being pardoned!

I don't like this conclusion because I cannot imagine that if we were framing the constitution, we would construe this provision as having such a loophole.

blackshama said...

Fr Bernas is right. The President's power of pardon is probably the most monarchichal power of the president. The President's power to pardon now is differs little from what Gloriana a.k.a Elizabeth I had.(The Monarch is the Fount of Mercy) Elizabeth I is remembered in history as the woman who stiffingly refused to grant a pardon to her treasonous lover Essex. She signed his death warrant to show her subjects that SHE WAS A WISE AND JUST RULER.

No one in the realm of England dared to question her motives.

Our own Gloriana is definitely not in the class of Elizabeth I. We may question her motives and put a constitutional challenge. But as Bernas points out that would not be a walk in the park.

Challenging the president's power to pardon and determining a limit to it may negatively affect the fates of convicts who are really deserving to be pardoned.

History will be the final arbiter of Mrs Arroyo's actions.

One thing is sure she does not measure to the Elizabeth I's wisdom and justice.



Must say that I was a bit flummoxed by the comparisson made between Elizabeth I Regina and Gloria; there is JUST NO comparisson.

If I may add, decisive and courageous Elizabeth I, one of the greatest monarchs and leaders England ever had, had one and only one genuine passion: ENGLAND!

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? Why she wouldn't even exist when one draws the parameters for great leadership!

DJB Rizalist said...

I suppose the thing that dismays me is that we seem to have little more in our armamentarium as Filipinos for criticising our leaders and their acts than to say that they are encompassingly evil or utterly stupid.

I agree with HB: a genuine passion for the nation's highest interest: preserving or expanind itself, stands sometimes, though rarely above the law. But I think this is the difference between its spirit and its letter. Even if it is the combination that results in majesty and grandeur, each great decision must apprehend history and be unerringly on its side.

blackshama said...

Elizabeth Regina I and Gloria Arroyo are compared since the latter began saying things in State of the Nation addresses that sounded more Queenly than what Elizabeth Regina II would say to her Parliament!

So in my blog I dubbed her as Gloriana Queen of the SONA.

Nonetheless the comparison is really of irony. One can plainly see what the differences are.

As for acting in the nation's higher interest, I would agree that the presidency has a lot of powers here. But this should be within the bounds of the law. To give credit to where it is due, the President's fiscal and economic reforms has had it results in the provinces. Having travelled widely in the provinces, I can see development everywhere. It may be only Manila bound critics who say her reforms have no effects.

But it is her other political decisions like her attempt at emergency rule and muzzling of her critics (struck down by the Supreme Court), inaction with regards to extrajudicial killings and endless flip flopping for expediency, bribery scandals and now the Estrada pardon that has earned the distrust of the electorate.

Of course Gloriana's fans may concede that she isn't perfect!

DJB Rizalist said...


I too have noted amazing signs of development, progress and even economic well-being in the provinces.

From the last time I visited the mountain aerie of Sagada, for example, in particular an out of the way village near the Big Falls of Bomod-ok, I can not forget the sight of all the shining new galvanized sheet roofs gleaming in the bright sunshine where before I used to espy brown rusting tops.

However, I did not credit GMA and her policies for this progress, because this could not have been the result of a trickle down effect that is working.

I guess it was natural for the opposition and reflexively anti-Gloria folks to label her economic policies with the Reagan-era epithet of "the trickle down".

Whenever the President has claimed some measure of economic progress, it has been acknowledged reluctantly since the numbers and statistics are hard to deny, but the refrain is unfailingly that such progress won't ever make it down to the poorer levels of society.

I think the explanation here has to do with not appreciating the possibility that the economic progress the president claims as the result of her policies and philosophy are merely the result of a "trickle up". By this I mean that many ignore the rising tide lifting all boats effect of the OFW contributions as a means of refuting the President's claims.

Those shiny new roofs came not from her genius or brilliance, but from the direct fuel-injection of OFW remittances.

She has been a massive failure even at harnessing the largesse, preferring instead to make new taxes, and improve the ability of the govt to finance the pork barrel.

Cocoy said...


quote: "I don't like this conclusion because I cannot imagine that if we were framing the constitution, we would construe this provision as having such a loophole."

Given EDSA 2, and what has happened in the last 7 years or so... to shape a better Republic, do you think, it would be best that the people really ought to consider re-writing the Constitution?

DJB Rizalist said...

"Writing a Constitution" I consider to be the historic and moral equivalent of giving birth to a nation. I guess I am viscerally against giving birth to ourselves a fifth or more times.

I subscribe to the general view that it does not serve justice as fairness to be too often changing "the basic Law of the Land". It's like rearranging the periodic table for no good reason.

Not rewriting but rereading. Redaction?

DJB Rizalist said...

You mistook my meaning. I am arguing that the we, and the Supreme Court, ought to construe this provision as NOT HAVING such a loophole, that they must resolve the undeniable ambiguity in the provision in such a way that such a loophole does not and cannot exist. In other words, by arguing that such a loophole would be abhorrent to the spirit of the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court should rule a pardon made possible by such a loophole as unconstitutional!

Cocoy said...


aaahh. from what i understand from your point of view, there isn't a need right now to re-write a constitution. that a supreme court decision serves our purposes better--- especially to patch this loophole.

makes sense, really.


Speaking of Queens, just read in PDI “GLORIA TO VISIT QUEEN. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will go to London in December to meet with the Queen of England and British investors, according to British Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Beckingham.”

Blimey! I bet UK’s QINETIQ has something to do with this visit as well as MabeyJohnson bridges. They must have lobbied with British Ambassador so hard for Foreign Affairs Minister Miliband (that UK Labour Party jerk!) to have Gloria sip tea with the Queen. The Brits are hoping to win more defence contracts with PN and Philippine Army too.

With regard MabeyJohnson bridges and allegations that they paid off Arroyo family with real estate properties in London for bribes, I believe if true, these properties are in the name of Iggy Arroyo (based on what his beleaguered wife said that they have a property in London.)

Time to get the NGOs in London cracking to follow the trail!!!!

The overpriced deal with Kinetic was signed by Angie Reyes while he was Defence secretary — that contract has been in force and all sea tests are supposed to be over this year (thereby completing contract) but there are follow-on projects with the Navy and I’m pretty certain that there is a question of these projects for Gloria’s sipping tea with Elizabeth Regina II.

DJB Rizalist said...

Been thinking it over and re-reading Bernas...looks like I may be all wet and he's right! The pardon is constitutional. It is further proof however, that the power to impeach and remove Constitutional officers is the exclusive and sole power of the Congress. Even the President's check and balance power against the courts, at least in sofar as the punishment levelled against anybody, is unavailing against the Congress!

Equalizer said...

The Nobel Peace Prize 2008

We respectfully propose to The Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2008, in alphabetical order, to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada and Ronaldo Puno for their efforts to create peace and national reconciliation in the Republic of the Philippines.The three nominees have worked hard to establish a political democratic atmosphere and firm respect for majesty of the Law (following the dictum of "justice delayed is justice denied")

For the past decade, the conflict the “Pro Erap” forces (the “masa” ) and the “Pro Gloria” (the ruling elite), has been among the most irreconcilable and menacing in Philippine politics. The parties have caused each other great suffering.

By negotiating the The Presidential Pardon For Erap , and subsequently following it up with the quick pardon after six (6) weeks from the conviction of Erap by the Sandigan Bayan, Arroyo,Estrada and Puno have made substantial contributions to a historic process through which peace and cooperation can replace a bitter political feud and possibly a dangerous civil war and hate among Filipinos.

In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel wrote that the Peace Prize could be awarded to the person who, in the preceding year, "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations".

The proposed award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2008 to Arroyo, Puno and Estrada is intended to honor a political act which called for great courage on both sides, and which has opened up opportunities for a new development towards fraternity in the Philippines.

It is our hope that the Committee will give the award to these great Filipinos to serve as an encouragement to all the Filipinos of different political persuasions who are working to establish lasting peace in this important country in the strategic ASEAN region.

The Profiles of the Proposed Nobel Peace Prize Awards for 2008

1) President Gloria Arroyo: She has declared the Philippines as the most democratic country in our region. “We have no tolerance for human rights violations at home or abroad.” GMA Speech in the UN General Assembly;Sept.28,2007

2)Ex- President Joseph Estrada:He served more than six years in detention — six years and six months to be exact. First in an air-conditioned suite at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, and then at his own well-appointed rest house in Tanay town, outside Manila .

3)Secretary Ronaldo Puno :The Peacemaker between President Gloria Arroyo and President Joseph Estrada. He is arguably one of the most successful campaign managers in Philippine politics. He supported the presidential bids of eventual winners Ferdinand Marcos,Fidel Ramos,Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.


Didn't think of doubting presidential pardon or amnesty as being Constitutional.

Thought that was one legal prerogative, rightly or wrongly, that cannot be questioned by either Congress or anybody.

True in US, true in all countries in Europe, I guess mother of Pinas Constitution being US, Gloria's pardon for Erap is Constitutional, never mind if it was given for all the wrong reasons.


Re: True in US, true in all countries in Europe... what I meant was chief executive prerogative of pardon. However, most chief execs in countries in Europe don't use this prerogative and allow the supreme court time to do its work.


It's because many countries in Europe have parliamentary form of govt with constitutional monarchs as heads of state, hence, difficult to get monarchs embroigled in this sort of decision.

DJB Rizalist said...

Equalizer..haha very good! but i guess we could nominate them for the annual Ignobel Prize, although that usually goes to science related ianities.

DJB Rizalist said...

hb, is shall have a little more to say about this however in the context of the separation of powers and impeachment, which is still quite relevant. Erap? Curse him!

Equalizer said...

Excerpts from a Presidential Speech of Resignation

Good evening my countrymen:

This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest.

In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation.

In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.

But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged.

I would have preferred to carry through to the finish whatever the personal agony it would have involved, and my family unanimously urged me to do so. But the interests of the Nation must always come before any personal considerations.
I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of the country first.

The nation needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.

To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great national issues of economic prosperity and political stability..

Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. The Vice President will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.

By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in this country.

I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.

To those who have stood with me during these past difficult months, to my family, my friends, to many others who joined in supporting my cause because they believed it was right, I will be eternally grateful for your support.

And to those who have not felt able to give me your support, let me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed me, because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned with the good of the country, however our judgments might differ.

To have served in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship with our people. In leaving it, I do so with this prayer: May God's grace be with you in all the days ahead.

Tiki Music said...

But Estrada wrote a letter stating that he was voluntarily stepping down. Also, from what I remember, he also welcomed a trial because he wanted to prove that he was innocent. Finally, I think he also asked for and accepted the pardon.

D.K. said...

My dear brethren.. Good day to you!
I've been confused if I will accept the legality and political issues of the pardon given to then president, Erap Estrada.
Many have said that her excellency had given this "executive clemency" to her predecessor to bring about peace and order between the people, to reconcile humanity and as an act of Christianity.
But many have doubted her words. Those who opposed Msr. Arroyo said that it was a political move to make of her a different character to the people, especially to the pro-Eraps. And will be an instrument of hers during the next election.

But we can't judge the word's of her exellency as we can't judge other people. "Don't judge the book through its cover." Yes, we are in a democratic country but it does not mean that we could say EVERYHTING!!!! EVERYTHING HAS LIMITATIONS! Who are we to judge her by the way? We are not God! So we must not act like God for it is an act of sacrilege and of blasphemy!

All we can do is to accept the decision of her exellency because we are under her leadership. By the way, who was the one who placed the President on her seat? Is'nt it we, the people and the majority? Don't blame the president if she didn't please you of what she has done on the former president. Blame yourselves those who disliked her acts of humanitarian love and Christian values!

Corrpution is not included and is not part of the pardon of Erap!

Why do people look on the negative side and not on the positive side? Her actions are simple and it is an act of mercy to an old man who was in house arrest in 6 1/2 years. Isn't that enough! How rude are the people today! Even Erap was guilty he had suffered a lot! We can compare him to thieves and he is like them but he is different because he is too old.
"A young man may not change for the good and may do his sins again but an old man is different because he is weak and doesn't have enough strength to do all those things abd he may change."
All that I want is to say that Erap is worthy to be pardoned.
If you question the legality of the pardon all I can say is that it is LEGAL!

"Absolute pardon could be given to those who are not impeached and Erap, although he was impeached, was not convicted of impeachment but was pardoned because of the plunder case."