January 17, 2001
volume 12, no. 17
Cardinal Fears Violence After Estrada Acquittal

    MANILA, Jan. 16, 01 ( - Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila said on Wednesday that he was afraid that violence could erupt after President Joseph Estrada was all but acquitted in the Senate impeachment court.

    Cardinal Sin said, "I am so afraid that...we might not be able to stop bloodshed. We know in our hearts that the president is guilty." Demonstrators had already gathered in Manila on Wednesday, demanding Estrada's resignation.

    Estrada had been charged with corruption and accepting bribes, but the senators sitting as judges in the trial voted 11-10 on Tuesday to reject prosecution demands to open bank documents which they said would prove Estrada had amassed wealth in office illegally. The entire prosecution team of members of the House of Representatives then resigned, saying the prosecution could not continue without the evidence.

    Cardinal Sin recalled the 1986 "people power" revolt in which hundreds of thousands of people gathered peacefully to topple the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Philippine Vice-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former president Corazon Aquino, who along with Sin are spearheading a campaign to demand Estrada's resignation, joined about 10,000 people in the unusual post-midnight protest.

    "I really pity the Filipino people. We restored democracy but what did Erap do with it?" she said, referring to Estrada by his nickname, which means "Buddy" in Filipino.

For other news stories, see

January 17, 2001
volume 12, no. 17
Global News in the Universal Church

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