Sandiganbayan allows Estrada, Napoles to seek plunder case dismissal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 20, 2019   •   2411

(L-R) Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles

The Sandiganbayan has allowed senatorial candidate Jinggoy Estrada and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to file for the dismissal of the plunder charge against them.

The 5th division of the Sandiganbayan has given both parties 10 days to file their demurrer of evidence. The prosecution will also be given 10 days to respond.

The resolution states: “After a meticulous examination of the totality of evidence presented by the prosecution, both testimonial and documentary, the Court resolves to grant the present motion of the accused, to sufficiently provide him an opportunity to challenge the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence establishing material elements o the offense charged to support a judgment of guilt.”

Estrada and Napoles are facing plunder and graft charges following their involvement in the ‘pork barrel scam’. Estrada is accused of amassing P180 million kickback from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of bogus non-government organizations which is reportedly linked to Napoles.

READ: Janet Napoles to serve a lifetime in jail over PDAF scam

Estrada denies his involvement with the ‘pork barrel scam’ and connection with Napoles. Meanwhile, Napoles is already convicted in a separate plunder case in December last year.—Aileen Cerrudo

Only one Estrada should run for office, Jinggoy says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —Former senator Jinggoy Estrada has signified his intent in running for a Senate seat in the 2022 national elections.

In an interview on Wednesday (July 7), Estrada said he still has unfinished business in the Senate and was encouraged by the continuous support of the public after several surveys still include him in the winning circle.

However, the former senator said only one Estrada should run for office, pertaining to his brother former senator JV Ejercito.

“Mabuti na ‘yung iisa lang ang Estrada ang tumakbo kasi minsan nalilito ang ating mga botante kung sino sa aming dalawa. Siguro, it’s high time that we get to talk to each other,” Jinggoy said.

Ejercito, on the other hand, said in a tweet that it is the right of anyone to run for public office and the people will decide which candidate they will vote for.

“Everyone has the right to run for public office. But it is the prerogative of the people to choose a candidate with integrity, honesty & track record,” Ejercito said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Sandiganbayan clears Revilla, 6 others of graft in pork barrel cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has cleared Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and six others of graft cases relating to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the pork barrel scam.

Revilla was accused of diverting his PDAF funds to bogus non-government organizations which involved the so-called Pork Barrel Queen, Janet Lim Napoles.

Based on the ruling of the Sandiganbayan First Division that was released on Monday (July 5), the court granted Revilla’s demurrer to evidence acquitting the Senator of 16 counts of graft on grounds of insufficiency of evidence.

“The bonds posted by accused Revilla are hereby ordered released, subject to the usual accounting and auditing procedures. The Hold Departure Order issued against them are also set aside and declared functus officio,” the ruling stated.

Also dismissed from the case are Mario Relampagos, Rosario Nunez, Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare, Encarnita Christina Munsod, and Chita Jalandoni.

Meanwhile, the court did not grant Napoles on her demurrer to evidence, meaning the graft cases filed against her will continue to trial.

In a statement, Revilla said the dismissal is proof that the accusations filed against him have no basis.

“The Sandiganbayan, by granting our Demurrer to Evidence and dismissing all the charges against me, validates what we have known from the very beginning – that all the accusations against me have no basis and any leg to stand on,” he said.

“I am not, and never have been involved in graft and corruption. This is the reason why I did not run; I did not hide; and did not evade the judicial system. I put my trust and my life in our Courts. The truth has come out. Now, I can move forward to serving our nation and our people even further, free of this nuisance,” he added.

The Sandiganbayan also acquitted Revilla of plunder in relation to the pork barrel scam in December 2018. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Ex-Pres. Joseph Estrada to be discharged from hospital Monday – Jinggoy

Robie de Guzman   •   April 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Former President Joseph Estrada is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Monday, his son, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada announced.

“Our family is overjoyed to announce that our father will finally be discharged from the hospital today,” he said in a post on Facebook.

“We would like to express our gratitude to his doctors for their expertise and care,” he added.

Jinggoy also thanked those who offered prayers and support for their family.

“We would like to thank everyone who prayed with us and supported us through this harrowing experience,” he said.

“But most of all, we would like to thank our Lord Almighty for His love and guidance through all of this,” he added.

Estrada contracted novel coronavirus disease in late March.

Jinggoy on April 13 announced that his father had tested negative for the virus and was transferred to a regular room.

But on April 16, Estrada was moved back to an intensive care unit after his doctors found “a super imposed bacterial lung infection.”

He was later brought back to a regular room after condition improved.

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