Pardon on Erap, A Second Chance?

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erap.jpgMy first reaction was disappointment at our President when she granted absolute pardon to Erap. What happened to all that government money spent on his trial? By giving Erap that absolute pardon, our president restored all his civil and political rights, which were automatically removed by his conviction of atrocious crimes involving illegally amassing billions of pesos by virtue of his public office. I am not going to talk about the political implications of Erap’s absolute pardon.

I believe everyone should be given a second chance to fix things right. The thing is a deal was worked out in that Erap can keep some, if not most, of the money he got during his years as a so-called public servant. This was openly admitted by Estrada’s lawyers and Malacanang and is reportedly included in the document giving him executive clemency. I feel bad that he gets to keep most of the money . More than $15.5 million in bank accounts believed to be owned by him would remain in effect, Bunye said.

When one is given a second chance in life, one should be willing to make amends, a healing change. The absolute pardon can inspire Erap to prove to us that he deserves this chance. But first of all, why does he get to keep most of the money he acquired in his presidency? If ever he keeps this money, I hope he can use this to benefit the poor or improve our economy in future projects.

Before we actually make amends or begin to consider appropriate amends, we allow ourselves to change our attitude. This is where healing begins–within us. Erap started by recognizing the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I cannot determine if Erap’s recognition is sincere or not but I would rather assume it was necessary for him to establish that in order to start a new life. I assume he wants to change and become a better person and learn from his mistakes.

Do you think Erap deserves this pardon? Do you believe a person can have a renewed positive life if given the chance?