Erap: I have forgiven my enemies


Posted at Apr 26 2011 09:03 PM | Updated as of Apr 27 2011 06:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - More than 3,000 policemen were deployed on April 25, 2001 to arrest ousted President Joseph Estrada for plunder.

He was placed under house arrest for 6 1/2 years at his estate in Tanay, Rizal, and was convicted in 2007.

Erap: I have forgiven my enemies 1
He was eventually pardoned by then-President Gloria Arroyo.

Ten years after his arrest, Estrada said he has forgiven those who went after him.

"Doon ko naranasan ang pagiging ispiritwal, kaya nga kahit wala akong kasalanan, pinatawad ko na lahat sila," he said.

Estrada, however, maintained that he was a victim of politics.

He claimed that Arroyo wanted him jailed so her administration's legitimacy would not be questioned.

Estrada added that this was also the reason why Arroyo, through former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez, offered to let him go into exile.
"I refused. They wanted to get rid of me para sa kanilang legitimacy," he said.

Estrada also criticized Arroyo for the anomalies during her presidency.

"Nandiyan ang ZTE, fertilizer fund scam. Dinaya pa niya ang best friend ko si FPJ," he said.

Estrada added, the fact that he placed 2nd in the May 2010 elections proves that many believe he is innocent.

Arroyo's spokesperson, Elena Bautista-Horn, said Arroyo did not prejudge Estrada's case.

"Those are matters only the courts can decide," she said. "He was ... granted clemency also by President Arroyo at great political cost to herself."

"Now that he is a free man because of the clemency, he is at liberty to express his feelings and we will continue to pray for his well-being," Bautista-Horn added. - Report from Henry Omaga-Diaz, ABS-CBN News; ANC