> buhaY nga naMan : GUILTY si eraP!

The Sandiganbayan anti-graft court has finally handed down its verdict on the plunder case against former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada today September 12, 2007.

Estrada was found “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” of plunder and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua, or jail of up to 40 years however, Estrada was found not guilty of the perjury charges against him. The former president’s son, Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, and lawyer Edwardo Serapio on the other hand, was found innocent of the charges.

Estrada is charged with plunder, which is made up of four counts of corruption, involving diversion of funds amounting to about P4 billion ($85 million). He was also charged with perjury.
The charges include taking commissions in the purchase of shares by government insurance funds, payoffs from gambling lords, diverting tobacco taxes for personal use and maintaining a bank account under a false name. The perjury charge relates to misrepresentation on earned income.

In the meantime, the court allowed Estrada to return to his Tanay, Rizal resthouse, instead of being hauled off to jail.


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