March 22, 2006 · Posted in: In the News

Estrada takes the stand

FIVE years since charges of plunder, perjury and corruption were filed against him, former president Joseph Estrada testifies today at the Sandiganbayan as the 79th defense witness in what has been called the “Trial of the Century.”

Saying he will tell “the absolute truth,” Estrada vowed to “fight for my innocence, my honor, and liberty.”

Estrada’s lawyers yesterday told the media the defense will rest after the former president’s testimony, which is expected to last for several weeks.

This morning, Estrada left his rest house in Tanay, where he is detained, at around 7 a.m. to proceed to Sandiganbayan. There, along Commonwealth Avenue, his supporters have started to gather early, numbering around 500 as of 10 a.m., according to the police.

In a statement released to the media on the eve of his appearance, Estrada said the last five years “has been a period of extreme mental and spiritual anguish as well as emotional strain.”

Yet, Estrada said, his detention “has been worth every second if only to prove my innocence to those who truly matter the most: my countrymen.”

Below is the full text of Estrada’s statement:

IT HAS been a period of extreme mental and spiritual anguish as well as emotional strain. For almost five years, I have been denied my liberty and stripped of my honor on the basis of trumped-up charges lodged against me by my political enemies.

There has been no let-up in the constant, and consistent, efforts to vilify me before the Filipino people. The powers that be have used every trick available to them to keep me in detention and to deny my right to free speech.

Ngayon, sa wakas, ay may sumisilay ng liwanag sa kahabaan ng dilim. Sa ika-22 ng Marso, ang inyong lingkod ay haharap na sa Sandiganbayan special division upang magbigay ng salaysay ukol sa mga kasong isinampa laban sa akin.

Bagama’t ilan pa sanang testigo ang dapat ay haharap upang lalo pang gibain ang mga paratang laban sa akin, sumuko ang mga ito sa mga banta laban sa kanilang kaligtasan — mga bantang pinaniniwalaan kong galing sa iisang kampo: ang grupo ng mga nangangamba para sa kanilang pwesto sa sandaling napatunayan ko sa harap ng mga mahistrado ng anti-graft court na ako’y walang sala.

I have paid a painful and heavy price for my convictions. In 2001, I was twice offered exile in a country of my choice if only I were to submit a letter of resignation thereby laying a stamp of legitimacy on those who succeeded in mounting a coup d’état against my presidency — a presidency which, by the way, I won fair and square — a fact which even my most bitter political enemies could not deny nor cast doubts on.

I refused both offers, and those that grabbed power made sure I suffered for my determination to stay and prove my innocence before an honorable court.

Yet, despite the price I have had to pay, my detention has been worth every second if only to prove my innocence to those who truly matter the most: my countrymen. I intend to use my every appearance in court to relate the facts. Not facts as peddled by prosecution witnesses whose statements cannot be corroborated nor could they be supported by documents, but facts that are unquestionable and inarguable. In short, the absolute truth.

The past few months have been equally difficult ones for our country. Natural calamities have tragically claimed many lives. Our economy continues to lurch from one crisis to another. The social and moral fabric of our nation has literally been ripped asunder by flawed executive decisions, highlighted by the recent Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 which in my view is just a flimsy excuse to impose virtual martial rule.

I offer only a humble opinion from a Filipino citizen who has himself fallen victim to the viciousness of this regime: Our country is suffering from the sins of its current leaders. When lying, cheating and stealing become part and parcel of (mis)governance, there will be no end in sight to the impoverished future our countrymen face, nor to the polarization which holds sway in our society.

As a citizen accused of a crime, I shall appear in court to fight for my innocence, my honor and liberty.

But as a constitutionally elected President robbed of his mandate, I shall appear in court to fight for the restoration of the rule of law and bring about an end to the rule of force that has blighted our land and shaken the very foundations of our democracy.

It is a battle that will be won by truth. And only the truth can save our Republic.

14 Responses to Estrada takes the stand



March 22nd, 2006 at 12:18 pm

I hope Estrada is put to death if found guilty.
Those supporters of his in and out of the courtroom hoping for a “not guilty” verdict, you’re wasting your time. You really think he’ll be acquitted? If so, would that mean a reinstatement in Malacanan? Will the people in power now let that happen?

But then again, knowing how screwed up our justice system is considering after 20 years Imelda’s cases haven’t been resolved, Erap will be found “guilty” but pardoned by GMA in the spirit of reconciliation.



Jon Mariano

March 22nd, 2006 at 12:31 pm

I suggest that Erap will just say sorry for lapse in judgement. And then we move on.



March 22nd, 2006 at 1:39 pm

No chance si eRaP na mahatulan ng InnocenT verdict.

Odds are against him.

You have a sitting CheaT ExecutivE who will do anything and everything to stay in power. Kontrolado nila ang Tongresso, PNP, Militar, Judges, atbp..

Akala ni Estrada, porke nananalo sya sa survey, matatakot ang mga sinungaling, mandaraya at magnanakaw kapag tumahol sya?

Kung may magnanakaw sa bahay mo at tumahol ang nakataling aso, walang mangyayari kung takot ang mga tao sa loob ng bahay. Malamang pababayaan lang nila na nakawan sila, huwag lang silang saktan.

Ganyan ang ating kalagayan ngayon. May magnanakaw na nakapasok sa loob ng bahay natin… Nabola tayo, naloko tayo…
Pero walang gustong humarap para hulihin at palayasin ang magnanakaw dahil takot tayo…

Besides, magsumbong ka man sa pulis, wala rin mangyayari… Maabala ka pa… Mapapagastos ka pa… Malalagay pa sa panganib ang buhay mo at ng iyong pamilya.

Malalaman mo lang kasabwat pala ang pulis…

Bayaan mo na lang… Maghanap buhay ka na lang…

Mabalik lang kay eRaP… Di sa kumakampi ako sa kanya… pero palagay ko, patikim lang ang desisyon ng Korte Suprema na di pinayagan ang live coverage ng testimonya nya.

Makikita sa desisyon ng Korte Suprema na hindi sila patas kay eRaP.

Ang dahilan daw ay dahil tumutol daw si eRaP noon na magkaroon ng live coverage ang plunder trial nya.

Palagay ko dapat patas lang ang ating kagalang-galang na Korte Suprema. Nagkaroon na nga ng live coverage ang ImPeachmenT kung saan nagalit ang taumbayan kay eRaP at napatalsik sya.

Hindi binigyan si eRaP ng pagkakataon para ilabas ang kanyang panig.

Sa plunder trial, gusto ng mga nagpatalsik sa kanya magkaroon ng Live Coverage ang Plunder Trial. Hindi pumayag si eRaP.

Kung ako man si eRaP, din rin ako papayag na ulitin ang ginawang pagbabastos sa akin sa ImPeachmenT. Besides, karamihan sa atin hindi nakakaintindi ng procedures sa korte at ang appreciation of evidence. Hinusga natin si eRaP na base yata sa pagsisinungaling at sabwatan ng kanyang mga kalaban.

Pero ngayong sya na ang magpapalabas ng kanyang panig, di ba dapat lang pagbigyan ng Korte na magkaroon ng live coverage ang pagpapaliwanag ni eRaP. Di ba gusto rin nating marinig sa kanyang bibig ang paliwanag nya?

Palagay ko, kung sinabi na inosente si eRaP, lalo tayong magkakagulo. Di naman papayag ang magnanakaw na makawala ang aso sa tali nya di ba? Baka sya kagatin ng aso at tumapang ang taumbahay na bugbugin at patalsikin ang magnanakaw.



March 22nd, 2006 at 1:49 pm

Former president estrada should tell the whole story about all these issues against him inorder to clear his name and start a new life.



March 22nd, 2006 at 3:17 pm

i hope estrada is found not guilty


Coffee With Amee » Erap’s Role of a Lifetime

March 22nd, 2006 at 3:27 pm

[…] Also check out PCIJ’s entry on Erap’s  upcoming court appearance. I wonder what other bombs Erap will let explode when he takes the stand. He is right in saying that our country is suffering from the sins of his leaders but he is wrong in portraying himself to be above everyone else, when he is very much one of the vultures who have sucked our coffers dry and have made fun of our economy. […]



March 22nd, 2006 at 3:31 pm

agree with jon mariano. all erap needs to do is say sorry for his lapse in judgment. i’m sure the too much forgiving pinoys (specially the apathetic silent majority) will accept his apology and move on. pardon him for the sake of reconciliation and the economy. afterall, politicians are all one and the same. they’re all cheaters, liars and plunderers. and nobody is faultless anyway. we are all part of the problem. no need to upset the present condition. we never have it so good. the peso is strengthening, investments are coming in, the tourism industry is peaking up and more ofw’s are going out. we don’t need another destabilization now that the economy is peaking up.

to erap: just say sorry and we will forgive you. we need to move on. end of story.



March 22nd, 2006 at 3:35 pm


“Pero ngayong sya na ang magpapalabas ng kanyang panig, di ba dapat lang pagbigyan ng Korte na magkaroon ng live coverage ang pagpapaliwanag ni eRaP. Di ba gusto rin nating marinig sa kanyang bibig ang paliwanag nya?”

wala din namang live coverage sina prosecuter villa-ignacio, hindi ba? ganoon din, patas lang.



March 22nd, 2006 at 8:53 pm

if its the end of the story then that’s it. recommend all of us to shut our doors away from this blog and comback come before next election to effect those moving on calls.



March 22nd, 2006 at 9:08 pm

do i know for sure. at least during the impeachment i was all years every session. today, just what exactly are they talking about? oh its erap’s chance in the witness stand… surely that seemed big.

to think of it, acquittal is more likely to happen to create precedence to arroyo’s future graft case after her anomalous term ends in 2010.

well goodluck erap.

having the most approval rating, an acquittal would almost surely put you a step closer to malacanan.

even lucifer was once an angel, right? maybe lucifer can change back.

but between those melodramatic malacanan boat ride in 2001 to being arrested, to being detained in sta rosa, to being in house arrest. now after 5 years your case becomes clearer… i hope.

guilty or not, erap don’t deserve death. he have endured enough. after 5 years, the recommendation could be sentence served.

at least for erap, if found guilty, his crime ended in 2001.

as gloria’s is a continuing crime – that deserve capital punishment.



March 22nd, 2006 at 9:20 pm

hi noelet,

welcome back. i’m actually addressing my comment to the silent apathetic majority whose lines are no to rallies, no to protest, we are all guilty, all politicians are the same, forgive glue-ria, no alternative, the opposition is worse than glue-ria, it’s the economy, we should move on, etc. etc.

so we should say the same with erap’s case.


Barako Café » Blog Archive » The ties that bind Erap & GMA

March 22nd, 2006 at 9:29 pm

[…] “Erap takes the stand from PCIJ” quotes Erap’s statement: […]


Barako Café » Blog Archive » The ties that bind Erap & GMA

March 22nd, 2006 at 9:44 pm

[…] “Erap takes the stand” on PCIJ’s blog quotes his statement on, among others, national government’s attempt to negotiate with him: […]



March 24th, 2006 at 6:19 pm

i dun know if its off topic but im basing this on some comments 😀

someone said: “Former president estrada should tell the whole story about all these issues against him inorder to clear his name and start a new life.”

“hipokrito tayong lahat. kung puro paninira noo e puro papuri naman ngayon ang naririnig natin tunkol kay FPJ.”

that already the same as to erap.

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