Pagkakaisa ang layunin ng pardon kay Erap - Arroyo
“National unity and advancement, along with the rule of law, justice and accountability have guided our decisions and positions taken in the Estrada case until today," pahayag ni Arroyo sa talumpati niya sa ginanap na Philippine Business Conference sa Manila Hotel.
“If I have showed concern for the personal circumstances of the former president, it is not a sign of diminished determination to see justice done. It is out of sensitivity to the feelings of the segments of our masa who continue to identify with his personal circumstances," paliwanag ng Pangulo.
Pinabulaanan niya ang mga paratang na iginawad lamang niya ang pardon kay Estrada upang iligtas ang kanyang administrasyon sa maaaring kahalintulad na sitwasyon na pinagdaanan ng dating pangulo.
“We braved a backlash from the masses when we enforced the Sandiganbayan arrest order in April 2001. We never wavered in respecting and following the edicts of the court in the past six and a half years, whatever the political cost," paliwanag ni Arroyo.
“For the whole time that I have served as President, the issues surrounding former President Estrada’s trial and detention constituted the single most significant cause of political noise and controversy in the national firmament. Although such noise and controversy have largely failed to derail the overall course of our administration, it has been a cause of distraction, recrimination and intrigue," sinabi pa ni Arroyo.
“This is a period of Constitutional healing. The wisdom of the law enables the President to exercise the power of pardon. The system of justice is working. I am using the law for what I see in my best lights as the good of the greater number," dagdag nito.
Sa kanyang talumpati, inisa-isa din ng Pangulo ang mga parehong kaso ng mga dating lider sa ibang bansa na binigyan din ng pardon.
“President Nixon was pardoned before conviction. President Estrada has been in detention for six and a half years," ayon sa kanya.
“The former Presidents of Korea were released after spending two years in detention. They were granted a special pardon by President Kim Dae-jung to help reconcile a country torn apart and enable it to focus on repairing the economy hit by the Asian financial crisis," dagdag nito.
Noong Huwebes ay inilabas ni Arroyo ang pagbibigay ng kapatawaran kay Estrada na hinatulan ng Sandiganbayan noong Setyembre 12 ng reclusion perpetua o habangbuhay na pagkakakulong na maaaring umabot sa hanggang 40 taon dahil sa kasong pandarambong. - Mark J. Ubalde, GMANews.TV