Philippine leader pardons ex-president Estrada (1st Lead)
Oct 25, 2007, 9:59 GMT
Manila - Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Thursday pardoned jailed former president Joseph Estrada, who was convicted for large-scale corruption and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The grant of executive clemency was announced despite mounting opposition to the move, which some critics warned would be a mockery of the country's justice system.
Acting Executive Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the pardon was being granted to Estrada, 70, considering he has been in detention for six and a half years during the trial.
'He is hereby restored to his civil and political rights,' Bunye said.
Estrada earlier applied for pardon after withdrawing his appeal of his conviction of plunder, or theft of public funds in excess of one million dollars.
The former president was convicted of plunder on September 12 by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court. He was sentenced to life in prison.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur