MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang announced today that President Benigno Aquino III is set to address the Filipino people and issue a sincere apology over the acts of plunder that the country suffered in the hands of former President and now Manila mayor Joseph Estrada and also on his behalf.
Estrada was convicted in 2007 of plunder charges and sentenced to reclusion perpetua, but was eventually pardoned by his successor, former president and now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“The President decided to go on with this to put a closure on the incident so that both the Philippines and the former president can finally reconcile,” said Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
He added that, “The President opted to apologize for the sin of one man after Estrada decided to issue a formal apology to Hong Kong for the Quirino Grandstand hostage crisis in 2010 with the help of the Manila City Council via the passing of a resolution.”
Lacierda denied the apology was intended to embarrass Estrada, who is a political rival of Aquino’s.
Aquino was quoted as saying that “the principal purpose of the apology is to end the controversy, to have closure.”
Stay tuned for further updates.