Whether Estrada be acquitted or convicted, the cards are stacked in the administration’s favor.
If he is convicted, there’s the appeal to the Supreme Court. Unless the administration makes the blunder of transferring him to Bilibid and making a martyr out of Erap, it would just be status quo until the high court makes a final ruling.
If he’s convicted of a lesser charge, pardon can only be given if he does not appeal and he has always maintained that he won’t accept clemency from Mrs. Arroyo.
If ever he is acquitted, I don’t think he’d ask for the presidency back. He has made peace with the fact, i think, that it is lost. He’d probably content himself with making sure that he’d be a thorn in the side of Mrs Arroyo and be the opposition’s capo.
More importantly, there’d be little chance of people massing in the streets.
First, you have the weather. And I wouldn’t put it past the Arroyo government to do “cloud-seeding” just in case there’d be an attempt to gather people.
Second, by the end of the rainy season, at the very least by mid-October, there’s the general sense of well-being due to the Christmas season.
By January, when people are more hot-headed and now predisposed to mass-actions and protest rallies probably because they are again neck-deep in debt due to the holiday festivities, the issue would have blown-over.