Tuesday, October 23, 2007

DOJ to Recommend Pardon for Estrada

Acting Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera today said she is going to recommended to President Arroyo to pardon former President Joseph Estrada. This after the convicted former president withdrew his motion for reconsideration at the Sandiganbayan and sought presidential pardon.

Estrada wrote the President yesterday seeking a full and impartial pardon.

But Devanadera said the justice department is inclined to recommend a "conditional pardon."

In an interview, Devanadera said the government can restore Estrada's civil and political rights meaning he can vote and run for office but forfeited properties like the so-called Boracay Mansion and the million-peso money deposited for the Erap Muslim Youth Foundation.

She added that she is just waiting for the Sandiganbayan to accept Estrada's withdrawal of the motion so she could start the paperwork for the recommendation.

Asked whether the pardon will be the government's Christmas gift to the ousted leader, Devanadera replied: "It's a gift."

Interior and Local Government Secretary ROnaldo Puno, a former Estrada cabinet secretary said Estrada's seeking for pardon is a "gesture of reconciliation" to the Arroyo administration.

But in a phone conversation with GMA News, Estrada admitted that he is depressed and humiliated.

The former President said has given up on the country's justice system and he is leaving every to God.

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