Yup, it’s finally out: former Philippine President Joseph “Erap” Estrada has been finally found guilty.
It’s been six long years since his trial began. And the verdict is finally out.
Link to the story:
Former president Joseph Estrada has been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of plunder by the Sandiganbayan and has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
It’s to be expected, really. Although I haven’t really been able to reach the specifics of the case, it seems Estrada’s defense lawyers really weren’t able to find any so-called “loopholes” in the prosecution’s case.
On the side, I’m rather saddened by one neophyte senator’s thoughts on the subject:
Senator Francis Escudero said on Wednesday he is “sad” that justice has been elusive for former president Joseph Estrada from the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.
Hmm, I guess Senator Escudero really has his reasons for believing Erap isn’t guilty. But…that’s just an opinion, which means nothing anyway when the Court who tried Erap finally made their decision.
Too bad Erap’s son Jinggoy and their lawyer-friend Edward Serapio weren’t found guilty. Oh well, that’s part of the decision that came out.
As usual, Erap continues to delude himself:
In a taped message smuggled to a radio station on the eve of the verdict, Estrada said he believed the public had already decided he was innocent.
If he means the majority public, he might want to hire the Social Weather Station or Pulse Asia to do a survey on most of the public. And that’s if he’s targetting maybe the voting public, the class D or lower public, whatever.
Probably referring to the public who believes in him, anyway. People are pretty much free to believe whatever they want.
One question I’ve always thought whatever the result of this is “What’s going to happen after?”. Will Estrada’s lawyers appeal this or will he submit to the decision?
We’ll know in the next coming days. But a landmark first has been issued today.