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PIA Press Release

Church appeals for acceptance and respect for Erap's verdict

By Neela G. Duallo

City of Mati, Davao Oriental (14 September) -- Various emotions were noted as the last lines of the verdict for former President Joseph Estrada's Plunder case was read.

Bishop Patricio Alo, DD of the Diocese of Mati reiterated the importance of accepting the decision of the anti-graft court.

"Let us diplomatically respect and accept the decision, and as a former leader, let us pray for him," the Bishop said in a statement aired over the diocesan radio station, DXHM-Radyo Totoo.

With the decision, Vice-Governor Mayo Almario said that the former President already said that he is ready of whatever decision the Sandiganbayan will render, but still, the former President should also be accorded with his rights to appeal the decision before the Sandiganbayan and the Supreme Court.

"Let the verdict serve as a lesson and a warning to all those who are likewise guilty but are not yet caught. What is important is we move on as a country and savor our economic gains," he said.

Local residents also expressed their views on the decision.

They already expected the former President and his camp to file a motion for reconsideration to the Sandiganbayan, and if not, elevate the matter to the Supreme Court.

And with his age, some local residents believe that the government can be considerate and put him in house arrest.

But even then, some constituents also said that the verdict will carve history in Philippine politics, and the stain it brought to Estrada's metamorphosis, from the award winning actor that he was, to the Presidency that he held only for quite sometime

Local residents also said that if Estrada was acquitted, such decision will question the legality of Edsa 2, and of President Arroyo's rose to the Presidency.

Others said that the verdict is indeed, a story of Estrada's rise and fall. (DXHM-Mati/PIA XI) [top]

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