Erap offers Tanay mansion as GMA jail house
MANILA, Philippines - Former President Joseph Estrada is now offering his rest house in Tanay, Rizal as a possible place of incarceration for former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Estrada stayed inside the Tanay rest house for several years while facing trial on plunder charges. He was convicted in September 2007, but given a pardon by Arroyo the following month.
Before his incarceration in Tanay, Estrada stayed briefly in Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and then placed under hospital arrest at Veteran's Memorial Medical Center. He was later brought to his rest house.
The former president said that while he was able to take care of animals in Tanay, he was still a prisoner in his own home.
"Kasi para ka ring nakakulong doon eh. Araw-araw tatlong shifts ng pulis. Mahigipit din, kahit si Dra. Loi (Ejercito) kinakapkapan. Pati cellphone bawal," he said.
Estrada said he is willing to let Arroyo use his rest house while she is facing a case of electoral sabotage before the Pasay regional trial court.
"Mas presko simoy ng hangin doon eh. Baka mas lumakas sya doon," he said.
However, he said Arroyo must first be brought to a government facility before she is transferred to the rest house.
Estrada said he does not want Arroyo placed in an ordinary jail cell, nor does he agree to Arroyo's request for house arrest.
"Dahil babae sya, meron din tayong ina. Hindi niya dapat ma-experience ang naranasan ko. Sa palagay ko ay ilagay na lang sya sa government hospital. Kasi pag akusado ka, the government must have full control," he said.
The former president said Arroyo sinned greatly against the Filipino people, which is why it is difficult for her to gain the public's sympathy.
"Nakita ko parang walang naawa sa kaniya eh. Di ako na ang naawa sa kaniya," he said. Report from Anthony Taberna, ABS-CBN News