Former Philippine president found guilty of plunder
The court however acquitted him of perjury.
the anti-graft court ordered the freezing of Estrada’s accounts estimated at $87 million.
The funds, including protection money from illegal gambling operators, embezzled tobacco taxes, and commissions from insider trading, will be "forfeited," the anti-graft court ruled.
But Estrada son, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, and lawyer Eduardo Serapio, were acquitted by the anti-graft court in its ruling issued Wednesday that capped a six-year trial for the former leader who was ousted in a popular revolt in 2001.
The perjury case against Estrada however was dismissed.
The court said it would allow Estrada to stay at his resthouse in Tanay, Rizal “until further orders.”
The former leader said he did not want any special treatment.
"Our client is prepared to be taken to the National Penitentiary now," his lawyer Rene Saguisag said.
Estrada is considered the first Philippine president to have been criminally convicted.
The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have been on red alert since noon of September 11 to thwart any violent reactions from Estrada supporters.
Officials were relieved when only 500 to 600 Estrada supporters turned out at the demonstration point near the Sandiganbayan along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, a far cry from the estimated 5,000.
Security was also very tight around the presidential palace as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo worried about a repeat of violent protests that followed Estrada's arrest in April 2001.
Arroyo spokesman Ignacio Bunye appealed for calm.
"We hope and pray that the rule of law will prevail," Bunye said. "Meantime, we have a country to run, an economy to grow and a peace to win. We hope that this sad episode in our history will not permanently distract us from this goal."
Estrada, who has continued to wear a wristband with the presidential seal in public -- said before the verdict that he would appeal a conviction but did not immediately tell the court he would do so.
"This is the only forum where I could tell the Filipino people my innocence," a disappointed Estrada told reporters. "That's why I took a gamble. I thought the rule of law will prevail over here. This is really a kangaroo court. This is a political decision."
The verdict opens a new chapter in Philippine history as the court, for the first time, incarcerates a Filipino president.
Photos from ABS CBN news