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The Erap Challenge
« on: November 17, 2007, 10:08:06 AM »
By Jose Rodel Clapano
The Philippine Star

Joseph Estrada is in a fighting mood.

The former president said yesterday that his conditional pardon can not be revoked by the Arroyo administration unless he violates the conditions it set in pardoning him.

“We are ready, they can recall my pardon if I committed any violation. I am also ready to go back to jail, even to Muntinlupa, if they can prove that I am guilty,” Estrada said.

In an interview over radio station dzMM, Estrada maintained that he accepted the pardon granted to him last Oct. 25 by President Arroyo because he had lost hope in the justice system in the country.

Estrada said he is ready to go back to jail should Malacañang recall his pardon.

“I know that I would have lost even if I brought my case before the Supreme Court. I think it is impossible, but they will only revoke my pardon if I commit a violation,” Estrada said.

He said he would continue to block the threat of the Sandiganbayan, through Sheriff Ed Urieta, to confiscate his legally acquired properties even if it will mean putting him again in jail.

Urieta earlier said that he will move for the forfeiture of Estrada’s legally acquired properties such as his apartment units in Cubao, Quezon City, his vehicles and the rest house in Tanay, Rizal should the latter fail to pay the exact amount that he allegedy acquired through commissions in various government transactions and jueteng.

But Estrada said he belongs to a well-off family. He said his grandmother has an ancestral home in Laguna.

“Modesty aside, my family is quite well-off. We had the biggest house, a mansion when we transferred to San Juan,” Estrada said.

He maintained that he did not steal a single centavo from government coffers and emphasized that he ruled through “service and not greed.”

“I cannot face the public if I stole a single centavo from the government’s coffers. I was twice offered by the government, through then Justice Secretary Hernando Perez, to leave the country and no charges will be filed, but I did not leave because I cannot betray the more than 11 million Filipinos who voted for me in the 1998 presidential elections,” Estrada said.

source: http://www.philstar.com/index.php?Headlines&p=49&type=2&sec=24&aid=20071116127

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