Des barreaux pour Estrada

BANGKOK – Joseph Estrada, ancien président des Philippines tombé en disgrâce, risque de passer le reste de sa vie en prison après qu’un tribunal spécial de Manille l’a jugé coupable d’avoir amassé environ 15 millions de dollars en ristournes et pots-de-vin. Au cours des 30 mois de son mandat, de mi-1998 au début de 2001, Estrada a accepté des pots-de-vin de barons du jeu et a orchestré (avec les fonds de la sécurité sociale) la vente d’actions, dirigeant la plupart des bénéfices vers son compte personnel ouvert sous un faux nom.

Estrada a littéralement défini lui-même le pillage : sénateur au début des années 1990, il a été l’un des membres du Congrès à élaborer la loi au nom de laquelle il a été inculpé. Pour de nombreux Philippins, c’est un fait d’une poésie à nulle autre pareille, et qui contient sans doute plus d’ironie que les comédies d’action d’Estrada des années 1960 n’en ont jamais possédé.

On ne peut minimiser l’importance de la décision unanime du tribunal de condamner le premier président philippin à être jugé. Après tout, nous sommes aux Philippines, pays où Imelda Marcos peut encore vivre librement et sans être inquiétée. Malgré les preuves incontournables des nombreuses morts, maladies et dysfonctionnement qu’elle et feu son mari, le dictateur Ferdinand Marcos, ont infligé aux Philippines, la seule vraie déception qu’elle ait eu à affronter a été de perdre les dernières élections présidentielles auxquelles elle a été autorisée à participer.

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