[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 12 September Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Sep 12 14:33:44 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 12 September 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



(UPDATE 2) Estrada guilty of plunder; perjury rap dropped (INQUIRER.net, Agence France-Presse)

MANILA, Philippines -- Former president Joseph Estrada has been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of plunder by the Sandiganbayan and has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

But Estrada son, Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, and lawyer Eduardo Serapio, were acquitted by the anti-graft court in its ruling issued Wednesday that capped a six-year trial for the former leader who was ousted in a popular revolt in 2001.

The perjury case against Estrada however was dismissed.

The court said it would allow Estrada to stay at his resthouse in Tanay, Rizal "until further orders."

The former leader said he did not want any special treatment.

"Our client is prepared to be taken to the National Penitentiary now," his lawyer Rene Saguisag said.

Estrada is considered the first Philippine president to have been criminally convicted.

Estrada's lawyers said they would read the decisions first to determine their options.

The former president was composed when Teresa Pabulayan, Sandiganbayan Special Division Clerk of Court, read the dispositive portion of Criminal Case 26558 for plunder but winced when he heard the word "guilty."

The 70-year-old former action star-turned politician had repeatedly insisted that the charges against him were politically motivated.

The case against Estrada has marked a bitter chapter in Philippine politics that began when he was ousted from power in 2001, a move which led to violent protests in the streets.

Estrada repeatedly denied the corruption allegations, accusing the business elite, his successor President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the powerful Roman Catholic Church of conspiring against him because of his populist platform.

UPDATE) Govt confiscates $87 million from Estrada (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


The Sandiganbayan on Wednesday ordered that $87 million frozen in the accounts of deposed president Joseph Estrada, who was found guilty of corruption, be handed over to the state.


The funds, including protection money from illegal gambling operators, embezzled tobacco taxes, and commissions from insider trading, will be "forfeited", the special anti-graft court ruled. 


Palace 'bows' to Sandigan verdict (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Malacañang on Tuesday said that it "bows to the decision" of the Sandiganbayan on the case of former president Joseph Estrada who was sentenced to reclusion perpetua after the anti-graft court found him guilty of plunder. 


"We bow to the decision of the Sandiganbayan. We hope and pray that the rule of law will prevail," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said in a statement.  


Bunye added:  "Meantime, we have a country to run an economy to grow and a peace to win. We hope that this sad episode in history will not permanently distract us from these goals."


Estrada to file motion for reconsideration--lawyers (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE) Former president Joseph Estrada will appeal the decision by an anti-graft court that convicted him of plunder, one of his lawyers said Wednesday.

Estelito Mendoza said there were many factors that the Sandiganbayan failed to appreciate in its ruling -- thus a motion for reconsideration before the anti-graft court.

Mendoza issued the statement in a press conference after receiving a copy of the 262-page ruling.

"We will study the decision and file a motion for reconsideration. We have until September 27 to file our motion," Mendoza said.

Estrada gives CNN exclusive interview -- in the loo (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


If there's a will, and both media and former president Joseph Estrada have lots of it, there's a way.


Despite a ring of security around him before and after the guilty verdict was handed down by the Sandiganbayan, the deposed president was able to grant pocket interviews and issue statements to the media.


Even the international news agency CNN got a live phone patch with the former president convicted of plunder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua. 


ABS-CBN correspondent Ricky Carandang, who was with Estrada at the time of the CNN interview, said the former president had to run to the bathroom to avoid the Sandiganbayan marshals. It was at the bathroom that CNN anchor Hugh Riminton was able to talk to the deposed president .


Estrada told CNN he does not believe it is the end of the road for him even as he urged his supporters to calm down. Earlier, his lawyers said they will file a motion for reconsideration before the Sandiganbayan. 

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