Erap eligible for pardon - Apostol
Manila (19 September) -- Amidst talks on whether former President Joseph Estrada Presidential is amenable or not for presidential pardon or amnesty, Chief Legal Adviser Sergio Apostol said the government would be willing to grant Estrada absolute pardon, saying he is already 70 years old and is eligible for it.
Accordingly, the former President would only prolong the process if his lawyers take the judicial route. For some analysts elevating the case to the Supreme Court could take five to 10 years, thus, the appeal of some politicians and concerned fellows for him to seek reconsideration and allow the anti-graft court's decision to become final and executory.
As explained, Estrada should also drop the amnesty idea because it is applicable only for political offenders and not for plunderers.
The former Chief Executive was convicted by the anti-graft court's Special Division for plunder on two counts and sentenced with reclusion perpetua or 40 years of imprisonment.
For him to avail of the presidential pardon, convicted Estrada must make a formal and official request for such to be submitted to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's action.
Critics also say the ball is in the hands of Estrada while President Arroyo is only waiting for him to show interest in a pardon. (PIA-MMIO) [top]