Ex-president Estrada’s son Jinggoy out on bail
Manila: The son of former Philippine president Joseph Estrada who was held in detention for more than three years over a massive “pork barrel” scam was out on bail yesterday.
Former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, 54, was released after his lawyers posted 1.33 million pesos (RM108,597)) in bail.
He still faces trial for allegedly skimming 183 million pesos (RM1.49mil) off a “pork barrel” known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund.
A “pork barrel” refers to government funds for projects by legislators meant to please voters and win votes.
An anti-graft court filed plunder charges against Estrada in June 2014. He was arrested a month later.
The case dragged on for over three years as his lawyers repeatedly asked the court to allow him to post bail for an offence considered non-bailable.
Estrada is the eldest son of former actor Joseph Estrada, who was Philippine president from 1998 till he was ousted in a popular revolt in 2001 over corruption allegations.
In allowing Estrada to post bail, the anti-graft court said “there was no strong evidence” that he was the “main plunderer” in a scam to steal 10 billion pesos (RM816.5mil) in public funds.
Estrada is the second senator implicated in the case to be allowed to post bail. Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile, 93, was allowed to post bail on account of his age and health. Another former senator Ramon Revilla Jr, 50, is still being held inside a compound at the Philippine police headquarters in Manila. He is also seeking bail.
In his campaign speeches, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to have Estrada and Revilla released from detention. He claimed the two had been targeted by his predecessor Benigno Aquino for political persecution.
Legal trouble: A file pic of Jinggoy on his way to a detention centre.