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Cory Aquino Says "Sorry" to Erap Estrada
« on: January 04, 2009, 02:13:35 AM »
Former president Corazon Aquino has apologized to deposed president Joseph Estrada for participating in his ouster in 2001.

Aquino said she is one of those who would plead "guilty" for her role in the military-backed popular uprising that removed Estrada from power and replaced him with his then vice president, now President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"Lahat tayo nagkakamali, patawarin mo na lang ako [All of us make mistakes, please forgive me]," she told Estrada.

The two former leaders, along with another former president, Fidel Ramos, were at the launching of the biography of former speaker Jose de Venecia.

Later, Estrada escorted Aquino, who has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is undergoing treatment, to her car.

Asked for his reaction to Aquino's apology, Estrada said he felt "vindicated" by the statement.

"I feel vindicated, coming from a respectable person, our icon and symbol of democracy," he told reporters in an interview after the event.

He said he did not expect the apology to come from Aquino.

"It's unexpected, that's why I am very happy today," the deposed leader said.

“It is fantastic,” he said in a separate interview, repeating the word again and again.

“She [Aquino] told the truth [about] what she feels. I am very happy she is very true, an example of a president who is transparent, who is honest and tells the truth,” he added.

At the height of the national broadband network deal controversy, Aquino and Estrada joined the interfaith rally in Makati City in February calling for truth and accountability, reform and the resignation of Arroyo.

Asked how he felt being surrounded by personalities from EDSA Dos, as the uprising that ousted him as called, Estrada said: "As they said, the weak cannot forgive, but forgiveness is the attribute of [the] strong, so I forgive them because I have the attribute of being strong."

In his speech at the book launch, Estrada identified De Venecia as one of the officials who asked him to step down in 2001.

“Today, I give you my full and absolute pardon. That is my exercise of executive privilege,” Estrada told De Venecia. - source: http://www.asianjournal.com

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