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PIA Press Release
2007/09/13

Estrada verdict has little effect on economy, bizmen say

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (13 September) -- The decision of the Sandiganbayan on the plunder case against President Joseph Estrada could invigorate the economy and bring in more foreign investments.

Mindanao representative to the Export Development Council Joji Ilagan Bian made this observation even as she expressed great relief that finally a sensitive national issue was resolved.

She said the verdict showed that democracy is finally working in the country.

"It is possible to convict a rich and powerful personality," she said.

"This will inspire and motivate the citizenry to be more committed and vigilant in reporting incidents of corruptions especially those committed by public officials.

"Given this (Estrada verdict)said we should now move on with facing greater problem like poverty, the peace issue in Mindanao and beating corruption." Bian added.

Meanwhile Davao City Councilor Peter Lavina who chair the council's committee on trade and commerce saw the guilty verdict of the Sandiganbayan to the plunder case against former President Joseph Estrada has little impact on the economy.

He said the verdict has long been expected and protests are expected to be minimal.

Atty. Domingo Duerme chair of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry viewed the decision as a means to legitimize Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as President of the Republic of the Philippines.

He said it will hopefully stabilize the political scenario.

Sebastian Angliongto, chair emeritus of the Mindanao Business Council said it has no impact to the economy provided di magkagulo ang bayan (the nation will not plunge into chaos).

Private sector leader Iriz Melliza, President of the Holy Cross of Davao College said it could have great impact on the political system of the country.

On the government side, Compostela Valley Province Governor Chungkee Uy said the verdict of the Sandiganbayan must be respected while Maguindanao Governor Zaldy Ampatuan expressed the same reaction saying the court has spoken and the rule of law will have to be followed.

He said former President Erap and his lawyers have their legal options and they should be allowed to choose their options.

Presidential Adviser on New Government Centers Lawyer Silvestre Bello III said the verdict is expected because it has very strong evidence. (PIA XI) [top]

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