Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Erap guilty of plunder; acquitted of perjury

The Sandiganbayan Special Division on Wednesday found former president Joseph Estrada guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of plunder but acquitted him for the lesser crime of perjury.

Winding up a six-year trial that the 70-year-old had repeatedly insisted was politically motivated, the anti-graft court ruled that Estrada was guilty of plundering billions of pesos in tobacco excise tax kickbacks and bribes and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua.

"Accordingly accused former president Joseph Estrada is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and accessory penalties of civil interdiction during the period of sentence and perpetual absolute disqualification," the decision read.

It added: "The period within accused former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada has been under detention shall be credited to him in full as long as he agrees voluntarily in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners."

The anti-graft court, however, acquitted Estrada's co-accused in the plunder case including his son, Sen. Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, and lawyer Edward Serapio.

The court confiscated more than P700 million in Estrada's assets including a foundation set up by the former president for Muslim youth scholars, the controversial "Jose Velarde" account that allegedly contained millions of pesos in illegal gambling bribes and the now famous Boracay mansion in New Manila, Quezon City.

read more of the story
copy of erap's verdict here

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Philippines' Estrada guilty of plunder, gets life

1 comment:

Lester said...

I just hope the prosecutor's will do their best to recover the remaining 75% of the P4.1 billion in question.

Anyway, I wrote an entry about this issue in my weblog too. I hope you can find time to read.. I posted it on: