Press Release
November 5, 2007


Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada today said he and the whole Estrada family are very thankful for the "closure" of the case against his father, former president Joseph Estrada, as he expressed gratitude to all who helped in securing freedom for the latter.

In a privilege speech at the resumption of the Senate session today, titled, "PRESIDENT ESTRADA AND THE AGENDA OF GOOD GOVERNANCE AND REFORM," the young Estrada said, "It is of no moment now whether there are those who opposed or supported the grant of pardon. What is important now is that there is closure of this case. Equally important is that he is now free, reunited with his loved ones, especially with his ailing mother, my grandmother, and, prepared to resume the pro-poor programs he left behind."

Jinggoy said he decided to make a privilege speech about his father's plight because of some persistent accusations of "special deals" with the Arroyo administration in granting executive clemency to President Estrada.

"It is unfortunate that the rumor and gossip mills are working overtime to cast aspersions and other unfounded innuendos on the acceptance of executive clemency by President Estrada... No deals or compromises were made with the grant and acceptance of the pardon of President Estrada.

He added, "If there was any deal at all, it could only be in terms of President Estrada's choice to dedicate his remaining years in the service of our people...especially against poverty, against corruption, and against the violation of the democratic and human rights

of our people. President Estrada remains united with our people in the quest for truth, in the defense of the constitution, in the preservation of the rule of law, and, in the pursuit of good governance."

Jinggoy declared he remains with the opposition and will not abandon the opposition.

On the other hand, the senator said he will block the reported possible appointment to the Supreme Court of the Sandiganbayan special division justices that convicted his father.

"We are convinced, then and now, that the special court created to exclusively try the case of President Estrada was established precisely to convict him, which is what exactly happened. If it be true that these justices will be rewarded with a position in the Supreme Court, I will oppose this, hopefully, with other righteous citizens who believe that justice must not be subject to bargaining, to wheeling and dealing, or, to horse-trading. This runs smack of reward for securing a guilty verdict (against my father)," Jinggoy said.

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