12 September 2007 marks the day when the Sandiganbayan will hand down the verdict on the 6-year old case against then President Estrada for the crimes of perjury and plunder. The charges are summarized as follows:
– falsely declared Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth in 1999
– received P545-million protection money from jueteng operators
– diverted P130-million tobacco excise tax share of Ilocos Sur
– received P189.7-million kickback from Belle Corp. for GSIS, SSS purchase of P1.8-billion worth of shares of stocks
– maintained P3.23-billion ‘Jose Velarde’ account with Equitable-PCIBank Binondo, Manila branch
Earlier this day, the court has given a guilty verdict crime of plunder and cleared him on charges of perjury. Of course, people who loathe Estrada and wanted the guilty verdict are jubilating over this for they can’t accept a college dropout leading a country. Perhaps the intellectuals know how to think better compared to a ‘dropout’. Surprisingly, I found an odd remark from a business analyst, someone I can qualify as “intellectual” and here are his remarks. To emphasize:
“A guilty verdict is the market’s best bet. This may lead to people power, but this can be easily addressed by the current administration, which has the full support of the police and military.”
He continued: “With an acquittal, you are setting Erap on the loose. This will lead to a stronger opposition. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be tied to political issues raised by the stronger opposition, which means economic reforms will need to take a backseat.”
Like, duh? Even if with the guilty verdict, the verdict of the court should be based on merits presented on the case not because of the consequences it will lead after. Dura Lex, sed Lex – the law is harsh but it is the law. I guess he’s taking a wrong precedent on what would be the basis of the decision. Very unexpected from an intellectual – perhaps he has lost his objectivity on dealing with the issue.
But then again, some people classify this event as a closure to the year-long issue on the plunder case. According to the news, Estrada’s camp will appeal the decision to the Sandiganbayan and eventually up to the Supreme Court. While this journey will take a long time, when are we going to make those liable for the “Hello, Garci” scandal that robbed the people’s will in electing their leaders? How about the unexplained wealth of “Jose Pidal” and his cohorts? Are we also disregarding the issues of desaparecidos especially those who are vocal against the government?
The people are tired of too much politicking yet it appears that the law favors the rich and influential. Are we having elusive justice? Closure to issues should not be stopped with a self-proclaimed “improvement” in the economy but with the ardent will of the government to solve irregularities that hounds them regardless on who’s who will be targetted as perpetrators.
Congratulations to Mr. Chavit Singson for making people believe your lies. I wonder why you did not win in the last Senatorial elections. I thought you were the “champion” against corruption?