The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is former Philippine President Joseph Estrada. He gets the award for the following.
MANILA (Reuters) - Former Philippine president Joseph Estrada was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday after an anti-graft court found him guilty of plunder.I gave Estrada the Knucklehead over the bank account in a false name. Amazing, a jury found him not guilty even though the former President confessed to doing it.
Fears that a guilty verdict could trigger widespread street protests and possible riots in Manila seemed misplaced. Pro-Estrada activists staged scattered low-key demonstrations in the city of 12 million people but all were peaceful.
The 70-year-old movie star, ousted from power in an army-backed revolt in 2001, listened to the judgment impassively but showed a flash of spirit afterwards.
"I thought the role of justice would prevail here but really it's a kangaroo court," Estrada, wearing a traditional Filipino dress shirt and his trademark wristband, told reporters. "This is a political decision."
The verdict also barred the former president from ever holding public office again.
Estrada was not immediately jailed. The court allowed him to return to his villa, east of Manila, to remain under house arrest until further orders. He is to appeal against the verdict, and the case will also come up for automatic Supreme Court review.
Outside the courthouse, around 300 supporters waved banners and made anti-government speeches but remained peaceful.
Estrada was charged with plunder, made up of four counts of corruption, involving diversion of funds amounting to about 4 billion pesos ($85 million).
Lawyers said he was found guilty on two counts, of receiving payoffs from illegal gambling and taking commissions in the sale of shares to government pension funds. He was cleared of two charges of maintaining a bank account in a false name and of diverting tobacco taxes to his own use.
Estrada was also charged with perjury, related to an alleged misrepresentation of earned income, but was found not guilty.
Estrada was formerly a star of Filipino movies, and still has a big following. They accounts for why there were so many supporters. Though my Philippine born wife says some of them were PROBABLY paid to appear in support of Estrada.
Talking about dear wife, she and her mother were riveted to our television last night as they watched the verdicts come in. Through Directv, we get four Filipino channels. The wife likes and watches this programming so much, I probably hum the Wowowee theme in my sleep. LOL.
Estrada is barred from running from public office again. That says a great deal about Philippine politics. Corrupt and disgraced politicians still attempt to run for office again, and often get elected. Imagine a US congressman doing that? Imelda Marcos was elected to the Philippine Congress in the 90's.(Disclosure- My wife's family is from the same province as the Marcoses and my brother-in-law Leoncio has sometimes been hired to play the piano to play at a party held by Imelda) As my wife says about Philippine politicians, they're all the same. Different dog, same collar.
For robbing the Philippine citizens he was elected to serve, Joseph Estrada is today's Knucklehead of the Day.
Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Bright & Early, Cao, Conservative Thoughts, Leaning Straight Up, Mad Pigeon, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Planck's Constant, Pursuing Holiness, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl, Yankee Sailor,