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Erap plunder drama: The wife cried, and mistress, too

September 12, 2007 10:01am

The wife, the children cried, and the mistress, too. This, after the antigraft court ruled that former President Joseph Estrada was guilty of plunder charges and would be imprisoned for 20 to 40 years.

GMA News reported that Estrada's wife, Luisa "Loi" Ejercito appeared calm but teary eyed when she heard the verdict. The daughter, Jackie Ejercito-Lopez, cried hard and was calmed down by husband Beaver.

San Juan Mayor Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, Estrada's son with Guia Gomez, was also seen weeping silently on the sad fate of his father and hugging Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco. Another Estrada offspring and co-accused, Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito was seen bowing his head after hearing the adverse ruling.

Meanwhile, after hearing the verdict, the convicted leader stayed inside the holding area at the sixth floor of the Sandiganbayan. The public did not see Estrada crying. Spectators said he looked composed. But GMA News quoted insiders as saying that they saw Estrada cried inside the holding room.

Cagayan De Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez later on confirmed that Estrada cried. "Umiiyak ang pamilya, naiiyak din si President (The family is crying, the President is also in tears)."

Another report from radio dzMM said Laarni Enriquez, Estrada's mistress, also cried in pain after learning that the father of her three children was convicted of a capital offense.

The radio report said Enriquez decided to stay at her house in Mandaluyong City and watch the Sandiganbayan proceedings on television. DzMM said Jake, Estrada's son with Enriquez, went to the court to see his father. As of posting time, Estrada's two other children with Enriquez don't know yet what had happened to their father.

Estrada was the first president convicted under Republic Act 7080 or the Plunder Law that was passed in 1991. Lawmakers crafted a measure against plunder to prevent abusive public officials like former President Ferdinand Marcos from draining off public funds. Estrada was senator when the measure was signed into law.

Some people believe number 13 caused bad luck to the supposed hero of the masses. Estrada is the 13th president of the Philippines, who was impeached on November 13, 2000 and entered the courtroom of the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday at 9:13 a.m. - with reports from Tita Valderama and Amita Legaspi - GMANews.TV
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