EDITORIAL  — The most corrupt
() - February 1, 2008 - 12:00am

Deposed President Joseph Estrada is threatening to sue the United Nations for rating him as the 10th most corrupt leader in recent decades. The ranking in fact comes from the 2004 Global Corruption Report prepared by Transparency International. The TI report ranked Indonesia’s late president Suharto as the most corrupt, with estimates of his ill-gotten wealth ranging from $15 billion to $35 billion, followed by the Philippines’ own Ferdinand Marcos with $5 billion to $10 billion.

The Philippines is the only country with two former presidents in the Top 10, which says a lot about the success of the anti-corruption campaign here in the past three decades. Marcos and Estrada share the Top 10 with former despots including Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko, Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic and Haiti’s Jean-Claude Duvalier, which could have contributed to the anger of Estrada over his inclusion in the list. After all, though he has been accused of many things, Estrada was never a tyrant.

But there is no glossing over the fact that he is a convict – the biggest fish ever netted in this country for plunder, a relatively new crime that entails heavier punishment than ordinary corruption. That makes him stand out among many of the others on the TI list of dishonor, whose guilt has not been established in court. Even Suharto died recently with the corruption charges against him unresolved, and he is being mourned as the builder of modern Indonesia.

Since being freed last year after six years in detention, Estrada has given indications that he is preparing for a full political comeback. One way of doing this is by insisting on his innocence. But Estrada was prosecuted by a credible team, and he has accepted presidential pardon, which entails an admission of guilt. This is useful to bear in mind as he tries to rewrite history and paint himself as an innocent man wronged by the courts.

BUT ESTRADA COUNTRY DEPOSED PRESIDENT JOSEPH ESTRADA EVEN SUHARTO FERDINAND MARCOS GLOBAL CORRUPTION REPORT JEAN-CLAUDE DUVALIER PLACE REGION
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with