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PIA Press Release

Respect Sandiganbayan's decision on Erap's case, Negros Oriental exec appeals

Dumaguete City (14 September) -- Provincial Board Member Melimore Saycon said the public should respect the Sandiganbayan's decision after former Pres. Joseph Estrada was found guilty for the crime of perjury on September 11, 2007.

Saycon said he was already expecting the guilty verdict even before the Sandigabayan handed down its decision at 9:30 in the morning. "Otherwise, the present administration can be charged for damages including the Supreme Court which recognized Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's presidency in 2001-2004," he sadded.

"Let us respect the verdict on [Estrada's] case," said Saycon.

Malacaņang, in a statement issued by Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye, said that they "bow to the decision of the Sandiganbaya." "We hope and pray that the rule of law will prevail. Meantime, we have a country to run, an economy to grow, and a peace to win. We hope that this sad episode in our history will not permanently distract us from these goals," said Bunye.

Meantime, City Police Chief Dionardo Carlos in an interview an hour prior to the reading of the former president's verdict, said his office has not received any reports of groups planning to hold demonstration rallies on the streets in line with Estrada's verdict.

"But I expect people to react after the sentence has been handed down," he said.

However, the police chief said he does not expect any violence in the city in the aftermath of the verdict. "Our situation here is peaceful. Nevertheless, the entire city police force has already been on red alert for this week due to the inspection of Camp Crame officers in our station. So all our police officers have been deployed in their posts," said Carlos.

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces is on nationwide full alert starting on September 12. The government's security forces will maintain peace and uphold and enforce the verdict handed down by the anti-graft court.

The PNP reiterated its call for peaceful mobilization. The police will respect their right to hold rallies but with a warning that violators would be arrested. (PIA/Jennifer C. Tilos) [top]

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