The Sandiganbayan has spoken: Former President Joseph Estrada is guilty of Plunder

A few minutes ago, the Sandiganbayan promulgated its verdict in the cases against former President Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Atty. Edward Serapio. President Estrada is NOT guilty for the charge of perjury, while both Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Atty. Serapio are NOT guilty with the charge of plunder.

The Sandiganbayan, however, ruled that former President Estrada is guilty of Plunder. The penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua, with the accessory penalty of civil interdiction and perpetual absolute disqualification, as well as forfeiture or confiscation of instruments and proceeds of the offense. These properties are:

(1) The total amount of Five Hundred Forty Two Million Seven Hundred Ninety One Thousand Pesos (P545,291,000.00), with interest and income earned, inclusive of the amount of Two Hundred Million Pesos (P200,000,000.00), deposited in the name and account of the Erap Muslim Youth Foundation.

(2) The amount of One Hundred Eighty Nine Million Pesos (P189,000,000.00), inclusive of interests and income earned, deposited in the Jose Velarde account.

(3) The real property consisting of a house and lot dubbed as “Boracay Mansion” located at #100 11th Street, New Manila, Quezon City.

Former President Estrada has fifteen (15) days to file a motion for reconsideration, which motion shall be decided by the Sandiganbayan within thirty (30) days from being submitted for resolution. His defense panel could also opt to file an appeal directly with the Supreme Court.

Please refer to the related discussion on The Law on Plunder or its definition.


  1. True, the SB has spoken.

    But they did not speak well when it permitted Erap to be returned to his farmhouse in Tanay “until further notice”.

    This is discriminatory and a bad precedent. The law cannot have two sets of punishment. It does not stand to reason that his being a former president entitles him to exemption.

    I would not have grumbled if the basis for such exemption was humanitarian consideration such as old age and medical condition. I believe that senile offenders should not be kept in regular jails where they are mixed with regular criminals owing to their geriatric condition. I suggest that a “Senile Justice and Welfare System” be considered by our legislators.

  2. Lito, I believe the issue on former Pres. Estrada being detained in Tanay had been raised from the start. Maybe this is the reason why Erap, through Atty. Saguisag, manifested during the promulgation that he wants to be treated just like others. However, if there’s a ground to question the apparent “special” treatment, then somebody could have raised it a long time ago. Nobody raised that before the courts, maybe because it just won’t fly.

    As to the “Senile Justice and Welfare System,” it probably has a laudable purpose. However, just for the sake of argument and playing the devil’s advocate, proceeding with it is pretty much like running a home for the aged. As it is, there is a severe lack of budget for the jail system in general. Any additional budget could perhaps be used to improve the existing system, for the benefit of all inmates. Just a thought.





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