Here’s the Bayan statement on the Erap verdict posted on the website www.bayan.ph
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan, New Patriotic Alliance), one of the complainants in the plunder case against former President Joseph Estrada, accepts the decision of the Sandiganbayan convicting the former president of the crime of plunder.
The verdict offers a small measure of justice and is acceptable insofar as it points out the wrongdoings of the former president.
Let the Estrada verdict serve as a stern warning against the current occupants of Malacañang who may end up with the same fate because their crimes are far, far worse than the ones Estrada was convicted of.
The significance of the Estrada verdict would be greatly diminished if the same standards of justice do not apply to the officials of the Arroyo government. The president and her close associates have been accused of systematic corruption on a far bigger scale than Estrada. We hope that the Estrada verdict will set a legal precedent that may be useful if ever Arroyo is prosecuted in similar cases of plunder, corruption and perjury.
The crisis hounding the Arroyo presidency will not simply go away with the fact that Estrada was convicted by the Sandiganbayan. The paranoia and insecurity exhibited by the Arroyo regime before the promulgation of the verdict stems from a deep political crisis that is the result of the Arroyo regime’s lack of legitimacy and gross corruption. This crisis will continue since the people want Arroyo to be held accountable as well.