Youth group Anakbayan expresses deep doubts over Mrs. Gloria Arroyo’s real motives for having granted Executive Clemency to ousted president and convicted plunderer Joseph Ejercito Estrada.
Anakbayan questions the timeliness of the pardon. The response to Estrada’s petition for clemency was so abrupt that even Estrada’s lawyers were caught off-guard.
Coincidentally, it came at a time when Mrs. Arroyo was implicated anew in the ZTE scam via a damning testimony from Jose ‘Joey’ de Venecia at the resumption of the Senate hearings. It also conveniently comes at a period when Arroyo faces the public’s overwhelming distrust over what is perceived as the most irreconcilable political crisis yet to ever beset her administration.
Anakbayan has reason to believe that, like all other diversionary tactics being perpetrated by Malacanang, Estrada’s pardon is not for ‘reconcilition’ and humanitarian purposes but still for the survival of Arroyo’s beleaguered administration.
Estrada’s pardon, however, will fail to save Arroyo. It has done nothing but display the Arroyo administration’s lack of moral ascendancy in imposing sanctions to corrupt wrongdoers. It demonstrates the Arroyo administration’s practice of political expediency in legal and judicial decisions that come as a threat to its tenure.
History will indeed judge Arroyo’s decision but we pose a challenge to the Estrada camp, known personalities of the political opposition, amid this development. Youth and students will not hesitate to condemn even the slightest inkling of Estrada’s capitulation towards the Arroyo administration following his pardon.
We will not be diverted from our cause to build the broadest movement against the present corrupt and Mafia-like Arroyo regime.