Arroyo Appeals For Unity And Reconciliation

September 14, 2007 at 5:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Arroyo has reiterated her call for unity and reconciliation following the conviction of former president Joseph Estrada by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.

Arroyo said: “We live by the rule of law.We abide by what the court decides. We must be a government that honors contracts and agreements that go through the required processes. We must be a government that abides by what the courts of the land decide on matters of dispute.”

She said the Filipinos are are tired of political drama and want progress. “We have moved on as a nation. The people are concerned about maintaining peace, order and stability. We have been through many upheavals.””The people deserve a stable government and economic progress. That is what they are getting now,” she said.

Arroyo also called on all leaders to rally around the country’s economy “so that it can truly lift up all boats.” “I ask the whole world to support the Philippines on the road to national consolidation,” she said.Estrada has been found guilty of plunder and has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

At the same time, the anti-graft court ordered the freezing of the former president’s accounts estimated at US$ 87 million. This will be forfeited in favor of the government. However, the perjury case against Estrada was dismissed.

Two of his co-accused in the plunder charge, Senator Jose Estrada and lawyer Eduardo Serapio, were acquitted by the Sandiganbayan in its ruling issued Wednesday that capped a six-year trial for the former leader who was ousted in 2001.

Despite the sentence, the anti-graft court allowed Estrada to stay at his rest house in Tanya, Rizal province.

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