I can’t get over my disappointment with President Arroyo’s pardon to convicted former President Joseph Estrada. I insist, Estrada must serve his sentence in jail. I insist that the years spent by Estrada in Veterans Memorial Medical Center and in his rest house in Tanay were not sufficient penalty for the crime he committed.
Another disappointing move is running in Philippine political arena. Now, military officials and top government officials are calling for a pardon for nine convicted 2003 Oakwood coup plotters (Magdalo mutineers) who were sentenced to 12 to 40 years for their crime. The call for pardon surfaced even before the court decision. How sad.
I stand on my strong opposition to this pardon as I strongly oppose GMA’s pardon to Erap.
When President Arroyo granted pardon to convicted former President Estrada, it gave wrong impression about crime and politics. Such pardon overrode the rule of law. It ruined the trust of the people.
Granting presidential pardon to 2003 coup plotters could have the same effect as Erap’s pardon. It will send a bad signal to uniformed personnel. It may encourage another military adventurism. Look what Gregorio Honasan did. Remember what Antonio Trillanes did. These are only few indicators of the weaknesses of the Philippine military; and how weak we are in dealing with military adventurism.
We Filipinos have always been famously forgiving. We may not forget, but we all too easily forgive, says the editorial of Philippine Daily inquirer. It is not too harsh to allow the criminals pay the crime they committed. It is just right to prosecute criminals. It is fair that they spend their days in prison.
No pardon, please!
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!