"Guilty" verdict on Erap elicits various reactions from La Union people
By Miriam P. Aquino
San Fernando City, La Union (13 September) -- The ruling handed down by the Sandiganbayan yesterday to the former President Joseph Estrada for the crime of plunder elicited various reactions of people from all walks of life.
In the City of San Fernando, La Union, different sectors gave various reactions to the quick response survey conducted.
Non-professionals, students, educators and even employees from both the private and government sector, law enforcers, and even local officials gave different points of view. Some would say that the verdict is unfair because obviously "mayroon daw political color," others were sympathetic because "siya daw ay matanda na at kahit papano may nagawa din namang kabutihan para sa bayan lalo na sa mahihirap." Few were in favor to the decision because they have long expected for his conviction, and that he deserves it.
Daniel Bolong, Jr., Vice-President of the La Union Hotel and Restaurant Association (LUHRA) said, "I think he deserves it, but if he deserves it all those who do the same must have to follow suit."
Lovie Jadormeo, Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of La Union (LUCCI) who speaks in behalf of the Chamber said, "It's just right for him to be convicted with the evidences presented, "kasi kung not guilty ang magiging sentence sa kanya, pangit tingnan dahil talaga namang may kasalanan siya. It has a positive point on the Administration para hindi siya tularan and it shows that there is really justice in the country. But the sad point is, bakit iyong ibang may ganito ding gawain hindi lumalabas na guilty, was it because of the notion na he lacks education kaya hindi niya mai-defend ang sarili niya? Kung nangyari kay Erap dapat din i-apply sa ibang mga government officials at kahit na sinong mataas na tao."
Dolores Salazar, President, La Union Cottage Industry said, "hindi ako kumporme sa verdict, kung not guilty si Jinggoy at Atty. Serapio dapat ganun din kay Erap. Hindi fair yung mga mahistrado halatang may political color iyong hatol."
Lorna Verastigue, Gen. Manager of Oasis Country Resort directly said that "the verdict is unfair, all those who committed plunder even in the previous years and at present should also be convicted."
Andres Tan of Allied Bank and past President of La Union Banker's Association – "He deserves it, suwerte lang niya dahil wala nang death penalty, dapat nga lethal injection pa ang hatol. Nakakahiya ang image natin na iyung dating presidente natin ay magnanakaw, dapat lang sa kaniya iyon para hindi pamarisan."
Ives Jesus Nisce II, Senior Manager for Administration, Rang-Ay Bank said that "He doesn't care much about it, but Erap deserves it and actually he even deserves more than that, and a lot more. He's now back in Tanay, Rizal right? I just don't think he'll really be serving his sentence in jail. He should be put in jail.
For the business sector, mixed reactions were heard but they have agreed to one particular thing – "That if it applies to Erap, then it should apply to anybody even the corrupt officials of the government." (PIA La Union) [top]