Reading the text of the decision to grant Estrada’s clemency, here’s what I fear..
A retiring government official can actually commit widespread plunder, fight his case, demand for a VIP rest house with a battalion of the best soldiers as guards (while on trial). In the event of conviction, he can file for a pardon by simply copying the letter sent by Erap to GMA. Nope, there is no need to admit anything. By simply citing estoppels and precedent, HE WILL WALK AWAY.
ESTOPPELS: A legal principle that prevents a person from asserting or denying something in court that contradicts what has already been established as the truth.
equitable estoppels: A type of estoppel that bars a person from adopting a position in court that contradicts his or her past statements or actions when that contradictory stance would be unfair to another person who relied on the original position. For example, if a landlord agrees to allow a tenant to pay the rent ten days late for six months, it would be unfair to allow the landlord to bring a court action in the fourth month to evict the tenant for being a week late with the rent. The landlord would be estopped from asserting his right to evict the tenant for late payment of rent. Also known as estoppel in pais.
- an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time
- case law: (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions
- common law: a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws; "common law originated in the unwritten laws of England and was later applied in the United States"
- a subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time)
Therefore, the succeeding Presidents can actually do nothing should a similar case arise. In the same manner, all those now in jail for plunder may demand pardon from GMA.
That makes this country the most plunder-conducive country in the world.
HERE'S THE TEXT OF THE ORDER TO GRANT EX PRESIDENT ESTRADA WITH EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY (PARDON):
“Whereas, this Administration has a policy of releasing inmates who have reached the age of seventy (70),
“Whereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has been under detention for six and a half years,
“Whereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly committed to no longer seek any elective position or office,
“In view hereof and pursuant to the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution, I hereby grant executive clemency to Joseph Ejercito Estrada, convicted by the Sandiganbayan of plunder and imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. He is hereby restored to his civil and political rights.
“The forfeitures imposed by the Sandiganbayan remain in force and in full, including all writs and processes issued by the Sandiganbayan in pursuance hereof, except for the bank account(s) he owned before his tenure as President.”