Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Estrada verdict a warning to Arroyo

Full text of the SandiganBayan verdict here.

Bayan accepts decision, says significance of the verdict will be greatly diminished if same standards of justice will not be applied to Arroyo. Read Bayan's initial statement here.

Joint statement of the progressive partylist groups point out the same and that the verdict must serve as a warning to the Arroyo government. Whole text of the joint statements of Rep. Ocampo, Rep. Maza, Rep. Beltran, Rep. Casino, and Rep. Ilagan reposted here from email:

Joint Statement on Former President Estrada’s Conviction for Plunder

The Sandiganbayan verdict of guilty on two of four counts of plunder on former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada affirms our stand when we supported and endorsed the plunder complaint filed by Plunder Watch in 2001.

However, we respect Mr. Estrada’s right to file a motion for reconsideration and to appeal the verdict up to the Supreme Court.

The significance of the verdict is that it sets a precedence for the future prosecution of high government officials for similar or related cases with reasonable prospects of success.

The verdict serves as a fair warning to President Gloria M. Arroyo, who by using the awesome powers and influence of the presidency has succeeded in frustrating two impeachment proceedings against her that entailed numerous complaints of plunder, election fraud, corruption, gross human rights violations and other high crimes, that she cannot forever escape public accountability for such acts.

In this regard, the verdict on Estrada will not in any way efface the crisis of legitimacy hounding the Arroyo presidency.#

Rep. Satur C. Ocampo, Bayan Muna Party-List
Rep. Liza L. Maza, Gabriela Women’s Party
Rep. Crispin B. Beltran, Anakpawis Party-List
Rep. Teodoro A. Casiño, Bayan Muna Party-List
Rep. Luzviminda C. Ilagan, Gabriela Women’s Party

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