Una estrella encarcelada

BANGKOK – Joseph Estrada, el desacreditado ex presidente de las Filipinas, afronta la perspectiva de pasarse los años que le quedan de vida en la cárcel después de que un tribunal especial de Manila lo declarara culpable de amasar unos 15 millones de dólares de los EE.UU. en sobornos y cohechos. Durante los 30 meses en que gobernó su país, desde mediados de 1998 hasta comienzos de 2001, Estrada aceptó sobornos de los señores de los garitos, orquestó (con fondos de la seguridad social) ventas de valores bursátiles y desvió gran parte de los beneficios a su cuenta personal subscrita con un alias.

Estrada definió, literalmente, el saqueo: como senador a comienzos del decenio de 1990, fue un diputado al Congreso que formuló la ley conforme a la cual fue declarado culpable. Para muchos filipinos, hay en ello más que suficiente poesía y, desde luego, más ironía que la acopiada por las comedias cinematográficas de acción del decenio de 1960 interpretadas por Estrada.

No se puede quitar importancia a la decisión unánime del tribunal de declarar culpable al primer presidente en toda la historia de las Filipinas que ha sido sometido a un proceso penal. Al fin y al cabo, se trata de las Filipinas en las que Imelda Marcos sigue viviendo libre y cómodamente. Pese a las abundantes pruebas de los generalizados sufrimientos, muertes, pobreza y desorganización que su difunto marido, el dictador Ferdinand Marcos, y ella infligieron a las Filipinas, la única auténtica desilusión que ha padecido posteriormente ha sido la derrota en las últimas elecciones presidenciales en las que se le permitió participar.

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