Sandiganbayan denies furlough request of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada

admin   •   February 17, 2015   •   2069

Senator Jinggoy Estrada (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan denied on Monday the motion of Senator Jinggoy Estrada requesting the court to allow him to leave PNP Custodial Center for three hours to celebrate his birthday this Tuesday, February 17.

Sen. Estrada wished to attend mass in Pinaglabanan Church in San Juan City and to spend time with his family afterwards.

In the resolution signed by 5th division justices, the court says they will set a bad precedent if they will allow the Senator’s request, for it will appear unfair to other detention prisoners.

The court also reminded Sen. Estrada that he is facing plunder and graft charges and he is not entitled to his full political and civil rights.

Sen. Estrada, nevertheless, expressed his wishes for his birthday.

“I hope my bail hearing here in Sandiganbayan will be finished. Of course my utmost wish is for the court to allow me to post bail so I can go back to my family and to my work in the Senate, and be able to travel around the country,” the Senator said.

Meanwhile, the Sandiganbayan 5th division resumed today its hearing on Sen. Estrada’s motion to post bail.

PDAF scam witness Merlina Sunas testified in court her knowledge on Sen. Estrada’s participation in the pork barrel scam.

She said she was the one who deposited Estrada’s kickbacks on an account under a name Juan Ng.

This account was believed to be under the control of Sen. Estrada based on the report released by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

Estrada denied all these allegations.

“They are laying the basis of the predicate so they can link Mr. Juan Ng to the AMLC report. I have nothing to do with it. Maybe they have transactions that I do not know,” Estrada said.

Meanwhile, the Sandiganbayan 5th division released on Monday a hold departure order against former APEC Rep. Edgar Valdez who is now also facing plunder charges in relation to the PDAF scam.

Aside from Valdez, separate hold departure orders were also issued against Janet Lim Napoles and 11 other co-accused in graft.

The court said, hold departure orders are necessary to prevent the accused from leaving the country while their cases are still pending in court.

As of the moment, the anti-graft court is studying if there probable cause in the new PDAF cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman, and if they find enough merit in the cases, anytime soon, warrants of arrest will be released against all the accused. (Joyce Balancio / UNTV News)

Ban on pay parking takes effect in San Juan City

Marje Pelayo   •   August 5, 2019

SAN JUAN CITY, Philippines – San Juan City’s Executive Order no. 7 has taken effect on Monday (August 5), banning operations of pay parking in all of the city’s public roads.

The order is in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to clear public roads being used for private purposes.

Among the thoroughfares designated as ‘no parking zones’ are the following:

  • Club Filipino Avenue
  • Annapolis Street
  • Eisenhower Street
  • Connecticut Street
  • Missouri Street
  • Xavier Street
  • Grant Street
  • Washington Street
  • Madison Street
  • Pinaglabanan Street (Fil-Oil Flying V Centre)
  • Santolan Road
  • other public roads made as private parking spaces

The order also authorizes the city’s traffic management and parking office, Task Force Disiplina, the traffic police, and ‘lupong tagapamayapa’ of each barangay to issue traffic citation tickets to violators.

Vehicles found on ‘no parking zones’ will be towed immediately, according to the EO. — with reports from Harlene Delgado

Outgoing senators reveal plans after Senate

Marje Pelayo   •   May 22, 2019

Upper row: (L-R ) Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Bam Aquino, Francis Escudero Lower row: (L-R) Senators Gringo Honasan, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Loren Legarda

MANILA, Philippines – Six senators of the 17th Congress are soon to leave the Senate.

Senators Francis Escudero, Gringo Honasan, Loren Legarda and Antonio Trillanes IV have until June 30 to serve their last term.

Senators Bam Aquino and Joseph Victor Ejercito, meanwhile, needed to leave following their defeat in the 2019 midterm polls.

Escudero may be leaving the Senate but he remains in public office after winning as governor of Sorsogon.

Legarda, likewise, is shifting to local governance after being proclaimed as the new representative of Antique.

For his part, Honasan said he is still hoping for President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of him as head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

“It’s up in the air. That will be decided after June 30 by the appointing authority,” Honasan said.

Meanwhile, Senators Aquino and Ejercito said that their next plan to enjoy their private lives with their respective families.

“Ngayon ang ating destiny ay maiba hindi man magpatuloy dito. I guess na mahalaga right now just to take steps back. Spend more time with your kids and try to determine how to help the country in other ways,” Aquino said.

“Maraming paraan para tumulong sa ating bayan,” he added.

“Tulungan ko muna ang wife ko sa mga businesses naming,” Ejercito said when asked about his plans following his exit from Senate.

He admitted, however, that he regretted the outcome of running against his brother Jinggoy Estrada.

“Ang regrets ko…ang pinakamabigat kong problema yung dalawa kaming magkapatid na tumakbo,” Ejercito said.

“Sana kinausap ko na lang. Nag-usap kami ng father ko, ng pamilya na nasabi ko na sana ang aking concern. Ilang beses ko sinabi na ito ang mangyayari na pwede kaming mahila lahat pababa. Exactly ito  na nga ang nangyari,” he added.

Trillanes, meanwhile, said he is thinking of going back to school.

The controversial senator earlier said he will remain critical of the Duterte administration even outside of Senate. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

End of an era? Estrada-Ejercito clan suffers crushing defeat in 2019 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2019

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, meeting the press after casting his vote at P. Burgos Elementary School in Sta. Mesa, Manila in 2019 Midterm Elections. (Daniel M. Iglesias/PVI)

MANILA, Philippines – Is it time for the Ejercito-Estrada clan to take a break from politics?

The clan’s patriarch, former president and reelectionist Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is losing by a wide margin to mayoral contender Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Based on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial, unofficial results as of 3:50 p.m. on Tuesday with 99.06 percent of election returns, Domagoso has garnered 354,327 votes while Estrada got 208,561.

Moreno previously served as vice mayor to Erap from 2013 to 2016. He joined but lost the senatorial race in 2016.

With Erap’s loss came the failed mayoral bid of his granddaughter Janella Ejercito Estrada in San Juan City.

Janella, daughter of senatorial aspirant Jinggoy Estrada, who got 24,813 votes was beaten by former vice mayor Francis Zamora who garnered 35,060 votes.

Zamora’s victory ended the Ejercito-Estrada clan’s nearly 50-year reign in the city. The Estrada clan took hold of San Juan City since 1969 when then popular actor Estrada won as mayor. He was succeeded by his sons Jinggoy and JV Ejercito then JV’s mother Guia Gomez to whom Zamora narrowly lost his bid for mayor in 2016.

The Zamoras and Estradas were family friends for 30 years until Francis and Guia both ran in the mayoralty race in 2016. Francis claimed he was cheated in the election.

READ: Sotto, Zamora, Moreno topple giants; make history in PH politics

Meanwhile, Erap’s nephew ER Ejercito failed in his bid for governor in Laguna against reelectionist governor Ramil Hernandez.

His other nephew, Gary Estrada Ejercito also lost in Cainta, Rizal’s vice mayoralty race against Ace Servillion.

In the senate race, Erap’s sons Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada are trailing beyond the top 12. JV is currently at 13th spot with 13,866,130 votes while his brother Jinggoy is at 15th with 11,018,985 votes as of 3:50 pm with 99.06 percent of election returns.

End of an era?

Did the May 13 midterm elections signal the end of a political era for the Estrada-Ejercito clan?

According to political analyst, Professor Edmund Tayao, Erap’s defeat could mean that the Manila voters are looking for a new leader who could bring significant changes to the city.

“Erap was considered as some kind of alternative having been a previous president, so many may have thought he would be a better Mayor compared to [Alfredo] Lim but after two terms there was not much change that happened,” Tayao told UNTV News and Rescue in an interview.

Tayao also believes that the previous rift between JV and Jinggoy have damaged their chances of winning in Senate race.

“Ang naka-contribute pa dito yung masyadong negative campaign, below the belt yung ginawa niya against his own brother, that boomeranged on him,” he said in reference to the half-brothers’ disagreements in the past.

“So, instead of maintaining his supposed advantage over his half-brother, nabaligtad ang pangyayari, mas binoto ng tao si JV Ejercito,” he added.

The two brothers had admitted to a tepid relationship after JV decided to use the Estrada name to boost his political image. Their relationship also turned sour at the height of the 2013 pork barrel scam.

Tayao said that based on his personal assessment of the general election results, Filipino voters seemed to be looking for new names and faces in politics who could deliver positive results.

“What is shown to the general results of the elections which is across the board, nage-experiment ang mga tao, ayaw na nila ng more of the same so they elected a different sort of combination,” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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