Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Guilty and Acquitted

The (extremely) long wait is over. Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada, the 13th Philippine President, was found not guilty of perjury but guilty of plunder. Thirteen might well be proven to be the unluckiest number of them all.

As per my previous post, I stand corrected. Given that Erap is sentenced to life imprisonment (reclusion perpetua) on his Php40B-plunder case, the last six years of his house arrest will be perceived as serving this sentence.

Despite my belief in his guilt, I still felt pity on Erap's situation --- in his old age and frailty. To think that he is not the only one who might have committed plunder in our country, he just had his (bad) luck. Nevertheless, PGMA might give him pardon (if ever Erap is willing to take it and swallow his pride) to win over the opposition's camp and its followers. Happy ending, isn't it?

A positive note on this outcome is the hope that future (may we say present?) government officials, be it the President, can still be imprisoned and justice may well be served in the Philippines at last. I hope that the Sandiganbayan's seal will serve its utmost purpose: Karangalan (Honor), Katapatan (Fidelity), Kapanagutan (Accountability). So help us, God.

Related links on Erap's verdict:

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