PGMA's legal adviser proposes absolute pardon for Estrada
Manila (20 September) -- Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Sergio Apostol is proposing to President Arroyo to grant an absolute pardon to former President Estrada who was convicted last week by Sandiganbayan of two counts plunder case. Estrada was sentenced up to 40 years in prison by Sandiganbayan's Anti-Graft Court.
Apostol said Former President Estrada would only prolong the process if his lawyers took the judicial route. He said "elevating the case to the Supreme Court could take five to 10 years, so our appeal to him is not to seek reconsideration and allow the court's decision to become final and executory", said the chief legal counsel.
He added that Estrada should, likewise, drop the amnesty idea because amnesty is for political offenders only and not for plunderers.
"Former President Estrada must make a formal and official request for pardon, then he will negotiate with the President and the President will start the process for him to avail himself of a pardon" Apostol further said.
"The ball is in the hands of former President Estrada. President Arroyo is only waiting for him to show interest in a pardon," he said. (PIA Isabela) [top]