Progressives welcome Estrada guilty verdict, warn Gloria over similar fate

From the email loop comes a common statement of five incumbent Members of Congress representing progressive partylist groups stating their views regarding former President Estrada’s guility verdict in the plunder case, portions of which are quoted below

The Sandiganbayan verdict … affirms our stand when we supported and endorsed the plunder complaint filed by Plunder Watch in 2001.

The significance of the verdict is that it sets a precedent 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.

The statement was signed by Bayan Muna Reps. Satur C. Ocampo and Teddy Casino; Gabriela Reps. Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan; and Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran.

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan released a similar statement, stressing that:

The verdict offers a small measure of justice and is acceptable insofar as it points out the wrongdoings of the former president…

Let the Estrada verdict serve as a stern warning against the current occupants of Malacañang who may end up with the same fate because their crimes are far, far worse than the ones Estrada was convicted of.

The crisis hounding the Arroyo presidency will not simply go away with the fact that Estrada was convicted by the Sandiganbayan. The paranoia and insecurity exhibited by the Arroyo regime before the promulgation of the verdict stems from a deep political crisis that is the result of the Arroyo regime’s lack of legitimacy and gross corruption. This crisis will continue since the people want Arroyo to be held accountable as well.

Ahead of the handing down of the verdict, Plunder Watch convenor Fr. Joe Dizon said that “History has already judged Erap…Ang perception ng tao ngayon mas mabaho at corrupt ang Arroyo administration, kaya ang galit ng tao nakasentro kay Gloria.”

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