"Estrada told reporters he would not accept pardon from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, his former vice-president who replaced him when he was ousted by a popular revolt in January 2001.
Estrada said pardons would be for those who were guilty. If pronounced guilty by the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday, Estrada said he would leave his Tanay estate and go to the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City."
Everybody’s talking about Erap’s demand for an amnesty (or is it pardon?) sans any admission of guilt.
Regarding Erap, if indeed he is innocent and the courts under GMA will not fail to indict him, a pardon is one of the options that he may use in order to escape a jail sentence. Another option will be for him to slug it out in the courts. The Supreme Court normally takes time to decide on heavy cases and by that time, the GMA might already be out of power and he may have better chances for an acquittal.
If Erap is innocent of the crimes being pointed at him, I do not blame him for exercising his option to ask for and receive pardon. Of course, he also cannot blame us if we start having a lower regard for him. After all, he proudly declared a few days ago, that he is ready to go to Muntinlupa and that he will not accept any pardon from GMA. But now, he is using the ailing and dying Mom justification in his call for a pardon. Of course, I do not believe in that. His Mom’s been ailing and old.. He knew that even before. Why he’s invoking that only now is beyond my comprehension.
As for GMA, she may strike a deal with ERAP so that there will be peace until the remaining days of her term. The deal may even cover her family beyond her tenure. How practical an option the pardon may be, I find it quite disgusting for the following reasons:
Remember that lady from the BIR who had the unfortunate distinction of being the first to get convicted for plunder? If memory serves me right, she was sentenced to 100 years in jail. Where is she now? If she is alive, she must still be behind bars.
And Erap? He was convicted but before seeing the insides of Muntinlupa, the prospect of pardon is already being floated. He is simply under guard in his own luxury estate. That is almost a call for everyone to commit plunder. Imagine, all that one can expect is nothing short of a VIP confinement? If you want so see a detailed aerial photo of the Tanay Estate, visit this link. Oh boy, that can hardly be called jail even by US standards.
Now, that is quite tasteless.
If Erap will be pardoned while the BIR lady continuous to rot, what kind of justice do we have?
Some are saying that Erap should be pardoned because he has suffered enough having been incarcerated for 6 years. Besides, he is a former President. I do not subscribe to such thinking for the same reason that Erap’s 6 years was spent in a rich man’s getaway which is far from the correctional facility that the BIR lady was sent to.
Erap has not served a day of his sentence. Furthermore, the people that were previously sentenced for the same offenses are yet to be pardoned. As for his being a former president, I believe that instead of it being a reason to be easy on him, it should even be a cause to give him a heavier penalty. His offenses are made heavier through betrayal of public trust. The government spent so much during his election and still, he squandered it.
If he’s innocent, let Erap get himself acquitted through the courts. No to Amnesty.
"Neither king nor pauper, master or slave, rich or poor.. No one is above the law!"