Well. That was interesting.
The Special Division of the Sandiganbayan declared Erap not guilty of perjury. From what I recall of the Erap cases, this has something to do with his SAL, the Statement of Assets and Liabilities that all government officials must declare as a means of checking whether corruption is happening or not. Admittedly, this initial decision got me on edge.
Then, the Clerk of Court read the decision on plunder.
Guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
And the Philippines narrowly avoids a moral and political dilemma.
I can’t comment more until I get my hands on the decision (which I hope gets published soon), but at least this is over. It’s a bit interesting, though, that he was acquitted of perjury but guilty of plunder; aren’t the two closely related, anyway?
Jez-chan also pointed out that she expected lawyers to be more eloquent. I think she was referring to the exchange between the judges and Atty. Rene Saguisag, something about asking the court for a bit of space so the Estrada defense team could discuss with the man their next plan of action. I told Jezzie that Saguisag and the whole uber-elite Estrada team might still be reeling from the decision.
More on this later. Got to prepare for the budget hearing this afternoon.