Oct 26

GMA Pardons Erap

erapForty-four days after former Philippine President Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada has been convicted by the Sandiganbayan guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of plunder, the deposed President is now set to accept and sign the order of executive clemency issued last night by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, current President of the Philippines. Previously, the legal team representing Erap withdrew the Motion for Reconsideration which they filed 15 days after the conviction was promulgated, and instead sent a petition letter to GMA asking for presidential pardon. The lady President didn’t waste time and just a few days after, issued the clemency with a condition that Mr. Estrada will distance himself from politics from hereon.

When the conviction first came out in September 12, 2007, I surely believed that an executive pardon is far from happening, at least not in the next 4 years, not when GMA is still the President. I was dead wrong, because it didn’t even take 4 months, but barely 44 days and now the “agreement” is a done deal.

Whether the reason for this sudden change of heart is Erap’s genuine desire to personally care and spend more time with (or whatever time is left of) her ailing mother, or a simple case of “raising the white flag”, Erap made a smart decision, though not necessarily a proud choice. Now he is a free man once again.

On the other hand, it is obvious that the grant of presidential pardon was a hasty decision from Malacanang, and many are speculating that this could just be another way of diverting the people’s attention from the various allegations of corruption and bribery against the President and her spouse, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. Again, that “conspiracy theory” is hard to prove. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the decision somewhat scored GMA some “pogi points” in the eyes of the Opposition, and this might further weaken the support for the impeachment complaint against Arroyo.

Well, it looks like the pardon was a win-win situation for the two Presidents after all. But where does this leave the Filipino people?

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1 comment

1 comment!

  1. faith says:

    Diversional tactics again. Bka dapat divert na nga attention natin. Who knows what they will think of next if this one doesn’t work. . .

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